The original Godfather video game was released a few years back on the older consoles and then later brought to this generation of consoles. I for one was a really big fan of the combination of sandbox gaming and the first Godfather movie. Now almost three years later EA is back at it again with the second game iteration of the popular movie franchise which hopes to continue the strong path that the original set forth for it. Does The Godfather II continue the path of the original game, or does it take a wrong turn along the way? Read our full review to find out!
The Godfather II follows the story found in the second movie although unlike the first game it seems to follow the movies plot a little less closely. It seemed to me that the first movie lent itself a little easier to a video game adaptation and the developers had a little more work on their hands with adapting the second. With that being said the developers did an above average job with the story keeping the great Godfather feel. Without giving away some of the differences in plot I will say that for me I found myself quite interested in the family business and the path that you end up taking.
Let’s start with talking about the RTS side of the game. The idea behind the strategy element of The Godfather II is to identify areas on the map where you control the local businesses and also locate places on the map where you still need to take out the opposing families. The strategy found in The Godfather II is as simple as they come, and that wasn’t all that bad of a thing. You start off with a small team of foot soldiers who you then can progress through the ranks and through the family. It is your job to build up your team to help take over competing families. When you do take over a business you can then hire guards to counteract opposing enemies attacks, once again adding a little to the strategy. The strategy element although not perfect does a good job of keeping the game focused on the action while giving at least a little more reason to the mayhem that you will be causing.
The strategy doesn’t take up the majority of your time, in fact for the most part the strategy is more of an interactive map with a few bolted on features. The bulk of the game actually comes when your in the field which also can be broken down into a few different categories. You have the side missions which can include doing tasks for money or doing tasks for information. You then have your self inflicted missions which cause you to take over businesses so you can overthrow various families. And finally you have the story missions which as you might guess are the bigger missions that are push the story forward.
The side missions are a bit repetitive but at the same time can be some of the more enjoyable missions to take part in. These missions range from taking out a person, beating someone up, messing up a business, and all sort of other rather simple tasks. These missions can take up as little or as much of your time as you would like, and for me they made for somewhat enjoyable diversions from the actual main missions. Taking over businesses isn’t usually all that difficult of a proposition as it merely requires you to convince the owner to start paying you which can be done in a number of fashions you just have to figure out what works for each owner without killing them.
The story missions are the missions that can vary from family to family but for the most part these are the more difficult and more drawn out missions and will require members of your teams assistance to complete. The team AI is pretty good, your team will do a good job of helping with enemies. The AI could have been better there is no doubt about it, but they do enough to get the job done and don’t hinder the experience. The story missions are usually the most engaging and usually you will want to get through these to see what turn the story takes next.
So we have talked about the different levels of gameplay, what about the gameplay itself? Well the game plays very close to what the original did, so if you played that you will feel right at home with The Godfather II. The game has a pretty strong arsenal of weapons, cars, and melee attacks that all work rather well. Hand to hand combat still isn’t all that it could be but it works when your trying to convince a shop owner to hand over the store. Overall the gameplay similar to the first game is strong from top to bottom, they could have used a bit more refining but it all works as it is supposed to.
All I have to say is “wow” was I shocked to see how bad The Godfather II looks at times. There are times in the game where you will be going through some of the different locations and are just wondering how things went so bad in the visuals. All of the different businesses you enter into are as plain, as uncreative, and as mundane as they could have possibly been. Everything in this game just seems like mindless boxes with very little to keep you interested.
One of the things that really turned me off from the visual style was just the poor overall feel of the game. You have this really gritty unsatisfying design that tries to kind of mask the games shortcomings but instead it just seems to point out how dull the game really looks. For me the visuals was a huge dropped ball for the game and one that really does hold back the experience.
For me I really enjoyed the first Godfather game, I thought it was a very authentic adaptation of the first movie. The Godfather II is a little less of a true adaptation of the second movie and more goes off on its own a bit and tries to add more of a strategy element. I for one did enjoy the minor strategy sprinkled into the game and I thought it gave some nice needed breaks from the action. There is also a much more mature theme to this game making it much closer to a Grand Theft Auto action game rather then the first game. This to me felt a bit forced and poorly executed but once again not something that really deterred all that much from what was otherwise a very enjoyable experience.
The Godfather II is really a love hate relationship. One the one hand you have the visuals which were a major letdown for the game. On the other hand you have a very enjoyable experience that is set in one of the most popular movie franchises of all time where you get to relive some of the most memorable moments from that said franchise. The game has its faults but when it is all said and done if you really enjoy The Godfather you are going to find a lot to enjoy in The Godfather II.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.