Developer: EA Redwood Shores
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
A few years ago, director Francis Ford Coppola denounced “The Godfather: The Game” before it was released…despite the fact that he’d reportedly invited the designers to his winery to look through his personal archives. It’s hard to imagine Coppola being any more thrilled with the idea of a game sequel, but he may be happy to know that at least it’s better than the original.
If you’re hoping for an adaptation of “The Godfather Part II,” think again. This game has even less to do with the classic movie series than the first one did, even taking liberties with the story that could anger some film fans.
Just like the first game, “The Godfather II” is an open-world third-person shooter along the lines of “Grand Theft Auto IV.” You once again play as Dominic (a character not in the films) who’s charged with running the Corleone’s operations in Havana, Cuba. Besides a wide variety of shooting and driving missions—both connected and unconnected to the main story—you recruit guys into your outfit, oversee operations around town and even converse with people adventure game-style.
Unlike other games in the “GTA” genre, combat here isn’t a combination of shooting and some simple melee combat. Beating guys up is actually quite involved, requiring two triggers and thumbsticks to pull off a variety of moves. Similarly, you don’t just hire guys for your crew and then let them do their thing, you can actually give them commands (albeit simple ones) as you would in a squad-based shooter like “Rainbow Six: Vegas.” There’s also an aerial view of the world that helps you monitor how your empire is doing, making it easy to figure out what to do next to keep things running smoothly.
However, there’s just no way around the fact that other games of this kind are simply more exciting. The variety, open world and sheer possibilities of “Grand Theft Auto IV” dwarf what’s available here, while similar open-world third-person shooters like “Far Cry 2,” “Mercenaries 2” and “Just Cause” are far more challenging and action packed.
Of course, if you base your moral code on the way people act in the “Godfather” movies, or if you’ve played all of the aforementioned games and can’t get enough of the genre, “The Godfather II” will keep you entertained…for a while. But ultimately every time you want to get out, this game won’t pull you back in.
Bottom Line: Finally, an offer we can refuse.
'Godfather II' video game review
The movie is a classic, the game… not so much
By Paul SemelSpecial to Metromix
April 7, 2009