The Godfather 2 PlayStation 3
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The Godfather 2 Product Details
Released on 09/04/2009
After being promoted by Michael Corleone to Don of New York, players expand to new cities, as they build up their families through extorting businesses, monopolizing illegal crime rings and defeating new families in an effort to become the most powerful mob family in America. To help players manage their empire, The Godfather II introduces “The Don’s View” – an innovative strategy meta-game that allows players to oversee the entire world as they grow the family business. Using the Don’s View, players will be able to build, defend and expand their crime rings, while keeping an eye on the movements and plans of the rival families. Players will also learn to master the business of organized crime by building a family of Made Men, hiring crew, handing out orders, and promoting their best men up the ranks.
Set in a stunning open-world environment, The Godfather II expands on the popular gameplay mechanics of the first game and doubles down on the series’ signature BlackHand control scheme, which now features even more visceral hand-to-hand brutality at your fingertips, introducing a new combo system, pressure tactics and executions. In The Godfather II, players will fight alongside their hand-picked crew, who have their own skills and expertise. Each family member specializes in a specific field such as demolitions, arson, engineering, first-aid and more. As The Don you control the family, sending some of your men on missions while heading off into action with others. The combination of strategic organized crime gameplay and brutal BlackHand action sets The Godfather II apart from other open-world games.
Although EA's original Godfather game was a decent open-world shooter, it never came close to capturing the cerebral aspects of the movie. In the Francis Ford Coppola-directed classic, Vito Corleone spends a lot of time considering his family's position and planning their next move. However, in the 2006 interactive tie-in, you were just charging about in a sharp suit taking down wiseguys. It was organised crime, without much of the organised bit.
Happily, this time round, you're not just a grunt with a gun. While Michael Corleone is being investigated by a Senate commission, you've been put in charge of business; planning every raid, recruiting gang members and ensuring that the family gets to dominate the cities of Miami, New York and Havana. On the way, you'll get to take part in key elements of the Godfather II movie, handling the likes of Frank Pentangeli, Senator Pat Geary and Michael's tragically wayward brother, Fredo, as Cuba opens up to the Mafia money machine.
Making a racket
The strategic element of the game is handled through the Don's View, a map screen showing you where all the key rackets, such as drugs, prostitution, diamond-smuggling and gun-running are going down. Your aim is to take them all over, by moving your guys in and taking your enemies out. Once you own all of one type of racket, you have a crime ring and - like capturing all the same-coloured properties on a Monopoly board - this brings advantages. For example, if you capture all the drug operations on the map, double your income and grab all the neighbourhood chop shops, you're awarded with an armoured car, which is great for raiding the compounds owned by other families.
Whether you're attacking some other family's restauraunt or raiding a warehouse, the action set-pieces are a blast.
You can join one of these raids any time you like, and get stuck into some good, old fashioned gunplay. Whether you're attacking some other family's restaurant or raiding a warehouse, the action set-pieces are a blast, pitching you against huge crews of enemy thugs. Using cover and figuring out the best way into a location are key elements, as is recruiting the right bunch of family soldiers to accompany you. Throughout the game, you meet characters who can be recruited into the family and each has their own specialities, such as demolition, arson and emergency medical treatment, and these can be improved as your guys pick up experience points.
Pals, planning and pressure
During an action sequence, your family soldiers can easily be ordered around, allowing you to, say, get your demolition guy to take out the front door, while you sneak through a side window. Planning and enacting these battles is enthralling stuff, especially when you finally capture the racket's key boss character. You then get to intimidate (or beat the daylights out of) this poor chap until he hands the operation over to you. An onscreen gauge shows how scared he is - push him too far, though, and he may fight back, or just keel over and die, which isn't much use.
Get close enough to a mortally injured enemy and you can take them out with a brutal finishing move.
Elsewhere, you get to take part in major story missions which are filled with recognizable characters from the movie and great voice acting. The vehicles are great to drive, eschewing any sense of heavy realism for accessible, knockabout thrills. The weapons are also spot-on - there are six classes to choose from, taking in the classics, from shotguns to sniper rifles, all of which can be upgraded through three levels. Get close enough to a mortally-injured enemy and you can take them out with a brutal finishing move - do this while playing online and you can even use voice comms to badmouth your opponent before delivering the blood-curdling coup de grace.
Downsides? Well, the game doesn't have the enormous ambient depth of GTA IV - you don't get the same sense of a huge population going about its business in the background. Also, your character's personal journey isn't as meaty and complex as Niko Bellic's. All round, it's less of an epic endeavour, despite the sense that you're controlling the destiny of this mythic crime family.
Nevertheless, this is a top-drawer movie conversion, one which EA's Redwood Shores studio has clearly slung its heart and soul into. It reeks of genuine knowledge of and affection for the movie, and you'll soon become engrossed in the powerplay between the warring families. The multiplayer options are great fun, especially as they link in with the single-player, allowing you to transfer money and experience points between the two modes. If you're a fan of the movie or just appreciate solidly-conceived shooters, the Corleone family is ready to adopt you, and you really shouldn't turn them down.
- Some great action set-pieces.
- Captures the intrigue of the movie.
- Interesting interplay between single and multiplayer.
- Not quite as well-rounded as GTA.
- Visuals are acceptable rather than astonishing.
- It helps to watch the movie a few times.
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