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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2009
Don't get me wrong, Godfather was my favorite Xbox 360 game hands down, so as you can imagine I took the day off in eager anticipation of its sequel. Little Did I know that after 10 hours I'd be finished with the game!

There are some vast improvements on the control of your Family in this version of Godfather and I love how you can hire men, promote them and upgrade their skills and weapons. Don's view is a nice quick way to order men to help protect your investments. The developers were also nice enough to provide us with the locations of any missing safes, finishing moves, etc. for your achievement hunting.

The sad thing is that's about where the game's improvements ends and the bad points begin. While very fun to play in single player, the game's AI strategy is very poor. Outside of the occasional random bombing or attack, the AI posed little to no threat as my empire grew.

For a game that claims to be open-world it's frustratingly closed.

There are three city maps to compete on including NY, or what amounts to about 3 city blocks of NY, Florida (the largest city) and Cuba. In each city the number of buildings you can take control of was considerably lower than in the original game and outside of Florida the maps are really small. Each building is part of a racket which expands your family with upgrades such as additional ammo and eventually armored cars. Sadly the AI families don't appear to use or gain any benefit from holding onto rackets and many of them you cannot control until you unlock the next map. By the time I unlocked Armored Cars the game was well in the bag with about 30 minutes left of game play.

Gone from the original game:
- Don't expect drivebys. Not once did the AI Families chase me down with a vehicle.
- Armored Truck robberies (Not a part of this version at all!)
- Long in depth story in which you feel your weaving together events that shape the Corleone family.

I wish that the developers would have given us a game with the depth of the original Godfather with the control improvements of this game. While the racket bonuses are a nice touch, taking over businesses just didn't have the same feel as its predecessor. It would have been nice if each racket you controlled reduced the cost to purchase weapons, cars or incrementally increased capacity instead of the all or nothing bonus

The game engine is so much fun to play with, I wish there was a random map generator or something to give this game some replay value. As it stands now there is zero replayability.

Multiplayer could have been extremely cool if it had been built as a strategic RTS with each player controlling a family in Don view and using their single player resources (family, weapons, money) to battle with or against friends across the games city maps. It would have been awesome to team up with a buddy and ally against NPC families of varying AI strength. Instead it's yet another frag fest 3d shooter thrown in using its own maps and some of the game engine mechanics. Sure you get to `use' your single player family members while running around fragging each other but in name and abilities only. My made men lost all of their uniqueness in multiplayer in exchange for a lovely blue or red suit and the same face as the next guy. I'm guessing the developers thought they would bring you to multiplayer mode with the lure of unlocking level 4 weapon licenses but after a couple of hours finding out that my made men earned nothing was a huge disappointment. A nice touch in theory, but certainly not enough to keep me playing Godfather 2.

I highly recommend renting this game over a weekend as you can beat it easily in 10-12 hours and if you haven't played Godfather it's worth your money instead of this one.
The Godfather the Game
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2009
The following is for the single player aspect of the game. While this game does have an on-line component, the SP is the primary reason for me purchasing most any game that is not an FPS (and some that are).

First the good.

The game starts off well and the overall story is not bad. You begin in Cuba, just before the revolution, moving from there to NY, to Miami, and eventually a bit back to Cuba, so there is a lot of opportunity to create a detailed and different game than GTA or the like. In addition, the Don's View is interesting and is quite nice visually, separating it from the pack a bit. The team system developed here is very good as well. Your NPC associates are actually somewhat useful (more than just a bullet shield at least) and it is nice that you don't have to worry about losing them, if you drive off they will just appear with you later, eliminating an annoyance from games such as Saint's Row. The hand-to-hand and gunplay is fun and the aiming system works well for a third-person game. The graphics for the characters are actually surprisingly good for a game of this type, but there are a lot of "clones" around.

There are also some very innovative game play elements that bring this game up a notch as well. The ability to eliminate the members of a rival family one-by-one, thus weakening the family's attacks, is a nice touch. Also, the rackets and associated bonuses are nice to have, reminding me of an real-time strategy (RTS) game. Each racket you control gives bonuses, both to the player and to the computer. When you first start, the computer has BP vests, extra ammo, etc. and you have almost noting. To even the score you can bomb one of the enemy's locations, disrupting a racket, and making them lose the bonus, making it easier for you to take over another location you may want. The computer can do the same to you as your rackets grow, so defense becomes important.

Now at this point you might be wondering why I would give a game like this an average rating. The reason is that while the above innovations are quite impressive, they are not followed through on and instead of a deep, interesting game, you are left with a quick, repetitive, standard third-person shooter (yes this is where the cons begin).

The story. While overall it is engaging and a nice, if clichéd, mob tale, the character development for the main character is almost nonexistent. You just don't care about the man you are supposed to be playing, this takes away too much from the game.

The locations. I think the designers got a little too ambitious here and spread things too thin. All the levels are tiny by today's standards, as noted by a previous poster, and the level of detail is sub-par. I would have liked to have seen a larger emphasis on one area, letting the designers focus on this would have made a world of difference and create a better overall look.

The team. While the team members are mostly a help, you just do not need them for this game. Sure you will need their skills for some quests, as you have none of your own, but in taking over rackets, just you and a gun can do this with no problems. In fact, as with most games, the team can get in the way, causing you to have to repeat a level if they accidentally kill someone you needed. Go on your own for the hitman targets, as they will just end up blowing up a nearby car, killing your target and not letting you get the required condition for a permanent kill. I would have liked to see more controls for them than just commanding them to follow, use a skill, or sit in one place.

The above are annoyances, but ones I could live with, what keeps this game from being great is two things, both related to game play. First, the game is just too dang repetitive. Secondly, the AI is a bad joke. The combination of these two factors is what makes the game clock in at about 10 hrs of real gaming and makes this one of the easiest games I have ever played.

I think the designers got a bit too ambitious once again with the RTS elements they added. They did not create a playing field where it really matters if you lose any of the bonuses the rackets create, so they are useless. While the computer usually bombs a good location, taking a bonus for a bit, it doesn't matter as it is still easy to defend against the resulting attack, provided you stationed enough guards there. The only reason to obtain the rackets is really so the enemy compound opens and lets you attack. You end up doing the exact same things over and over until suddenly the game is done. First, attack a racket location (again you can do this by yourself, with no bonuses, with no problem). Second, torture the shopkeeper and grab the business. Third, set up guards (you will always be able to afford what you need). After that, all you do is defend, sending a made man or two if the other side really gets ambitious, until you get all the businesses. Any differences only arise in the main quest and it is just a variation of the above theme, again, very easy to complete. The side missions are nothing more than completing favors for people, sometimes gaining semi-useful ones in return (mostly just the ability to call off the cops). You only have a few things to do though, beat someone up, kill someone, crack a safe, or vandalize a location, all things you do over and over again in taking over the rackets.

One note on the Don's View. While this is a good concept, they need to work on the controls for the next one. It would have been easier to have all your options available on the screen as pop-up (or drop-down) menu system, instead of having to go into each, one-by-one. It gets too tedious when you want to do something quickly and click the wrong button. Also what is with having to use the + pad and not the analog sticks for menu selection??? Not an intuitive control scheme at all.

To sum up, if you are a fan of the GTA or SR-type games, you will like this to an extent. There are some interesting RTS elements that warrant fuller exploration, but the combination of a poorly programmed AI and the repetitive game play overshadows any gains from the innovations. This is a game one should rent or borrow from a friend, but definitely not a must-have purchase.

My 2¢
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 13, 2010
The gameplay is similar to the first, the missions are slightly different, you now have a few guys with you who have "specialties" to help you get into certain areas, etc. But the first one was done better. I liked the look and feel and control of that first game much better than this one. In this game, you're a boss, but you're still going out roughing people up? Doesn't work. Still kinda fun, but weird. Also, that 3D map stinks. I have no idea where I am in relation to where I need to be. It's much more info than you need. The auto-save feature is weak - because I have no idea when it's saving or not. I never know. I can complete some task only to die and re-load an old game, only to find that it didn't save for me after I had completed that task! And it's not very friendly if you wanna save yourself! You get a single save-game slot! Weak!
The game looks utterly unfinished. This game has "Rush to shelves" written all over it. From the bad voice-acting (If you ask someone about joining your family when you have no room - he'll actually SAY he's sorry and has no room, then you proceed to ask the guy questions anyway! LAME!) to the really weak graphics, this game has rush-to-stores written all over it. The plot is weak. The gameplay is wayyyy too easy. I eliminated 3 families in just playing it a handful of times. It's just not a well-thought-out game at ALL.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
Yeah, there is, and it's about on-par with the rest of the game. Sort of... 'eh, well that happened'.

As a huge fan of the movies, I've never been quite sure how to feel about these Godfather games. They're such weird animals, based loosely on the movies but not really inhabiting the same world, what with all the swearing and bright colors. They feel more like 'Goodfellas' the game rather than 'The Godfather'. Not that one is better than the other, but 'Goodfellas' was much more visceral, casually violent and coarse; and that's where these games seem to come from. And they go so far out of their way to 'expand' on the story to shoe-horn in this super-gangster you play as: did the Godfather realy need MORE plot? Also, HA! Did you see the fake Michael Corleone they had to use because they couldn't get the rights to Al Pacino's face? More like Al Paci-NO! ...huh? Or, Michael NO-leone! ...maybe?

Anyway, the story is awkward and 'expands' upon what was already a great story in ways that just cheapen it and make it... stupid. The Corleone family starts to come across as some kind of para-military organization as opposed to, you know... criminals. None of it works. Still, I appreciate the attempt to get as many of the original actors as possible to do some voice acting for it. That was pretty cool to hear.

But the gameplay, despite my moaning about the story, isn't too bad. Shooting and brawling are both fun if occasionally flawed, and there's the beginnings of some nice variety when it's time to assault your enemies compounds. You've got your different varieties of italian stereotype sidekicks to choose from, with different specialties and abilities (demolitions, lockpicking, electrician, what-have-you), so there's some strategy involved in making sure you try to have the right guy for the right job. As the game progresses and you 'promote' guys within your crime-family, they can take on secondary and tertiary skill sets, making certain members true assets. One of the more enjoyable parts for me was building up my crew into a formidable fighting force and promoting and enhaching guys I felt had been the most "reliable" (i.e. shoot bad-guys good).

The three cities you visit (New York, Miami, and Havana) are decent to run around in but always wind up feeling a little flat and a little small (though I might just be spoiled by the GTA series at this point). Grinding down the other crime families, taking their properties and assasinating their leaders, is fun and rewarding if repetitive. You can sabotage their businesses to take away certain bonuses (bullet-proof vests and stuff) but none of it is too difficult, so you might as well just take the whole building rather than waste time planting bombs and cutting wires. You can send your crew to do it for you, but they're not always reliable on their own and will wind up shot down more times than not. There are side-quests to get small bonuses and banks to rob, but overall there isn't much variety. And once you've done something once in this game, there's very little reason or incentive to do it again.

In the end, it's a decent play'n'forget title (so long as you're not a purist about the films). It doesn't ask you to get too invested, which is good, because you wont. Nothing groundbreaking, nothing terribly interesting. The weak story isn't overly-detrimental and could easily have been overcome by strong game-play. But form matched function in this one and mediocrity abounds.

Still, there's some CGI boobs. Not great ones, but that's still better than NO boobs, right? Right?
...Michael NO-leone, HA!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2010
First off this game is indeed fun, you run around capturing places, defending them, and making money while moving your way up the tree. My problems with this game is that the mechanic got old really fast, and the story line did not take much to play through, and graphics are not the best. The multiplayer was fun, but I highly suggjest grabbing a freind and rolling through multiplayer together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2010
I found this game to be very entertaining in the 360 format, but a bit short. If you are familiar with the Godfather movies it seems to make the gameplay a little more fun. I liked the idea of hiring crews with variouls skills, but the idea certainly could have been expanded upon. Overall worth $20 or so.
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on January 12, 2012
I played many hours of the first Godfather and enjoyed almost every second of it. The thought of receiving upgrades when controlling a racket sounded great in practice, but didn't benefit me as much as I would have liked. Here are a few of my other observations from the game:

* Weaken rival families
I like this addition. Go through and use your special execution styles to take out key players in your opponent's crew. In some cases this was as easy as walking up to the person and using the garrote, while other required much more finesse and some luck (hitting someone between the eyes). The favor system was pretty lame, in my opinion. It usually went like this...
Walk up to person, talk, take job. Either do job or search for another favor. At one point my map had all the red indicators for favors. I totally lost track of how many mafia members I had gained access to by completing the favors. I don't think this was that well thought out.

* Dictate family members
I'm torn on the skills aspect of the game. I understand the need for it, but I think it was underdeveloped. This could have been a more important aspect of everything, but it almost seemed like more of an afterthought than anything. By that I mean you could go through the entire game without using any of the skills if you didn't want to. It helped on several occasions, but I think it should have played a more integral part in things. Another addition is when you control where family members protect/defend. You can't be everywhere at once, so being able to assign or send people elsewhere helped out in times of need.

* Gun upgrades
Instead of buying upgrades like in the first one, you mysteriously stumble upon them at different points, most of the time in boss houses. Both sides have their drawbacks, but I would rather know when and where I can upgrade rather than missing something and having to search high and low for it (that's just me). Luckily most of them were pretty obvious, but there was at least one where I had to look it up and it turns out I walked right by it because it didn't look like anything special.

* Length of the game
This was a much shorter game than the first. I decided to work on all the rackets and had near completion when I finished one mission and a large number of my businesses were taken from me. This upset me to no end and made me wonder why I'd spent all the time taking them over. Also, once you finish the main story there's not much else to do. Sure you can run around with all your cool new upgrades and battle with the cops, but has no point and gets old rather quick. I was hoping for something more but it didn't deliver.

It was a good game but not without its flaws. I would suggest buying it for $10 or less or renting it for the weekend. Even better, get the original!
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VINE VOICEon June 14, 2009
I'm a fan of sandbox/free roaming games and enjoy the choices that come behind these types of games. When the original The Godfather the Game came out I picked up a copy, since it was an easy transition from games like GTA. However, I would consider this series a sandbox-lite game. You have the basic elements of free roaming, but the options you typically expect from such a game are noticeably missing.

The game places you as a made man under the Corleone family. After an "unfortunate event" in Cuba you are made the Don of New York, which eventually expands as you also roam around Florida and back to Cuba.

Here are the things I like about the game:

+ GRAPHICS: Solid graphics, which are very fluid.
+ CAST: The dialogue for the game is very good and copies from elements in the Godfather movie series. EA did a good job capturing the mafioso life through the cast selected for each of the characters.
+ ADDED FEATURES: I like the ability to attack rackets in ways other than just attempting a take over. You can bomb a racket, which can help to weaken another rival family. You can set fire to various items in the game, which helps create diversions. Finally, there is the ability to add a made man to your family, which is a medic. This adds a nice touch to heal in battles.
+ KILL STYLES: I like the added ability to execute enemies in a variety of ways from a neck snap to kicking your opponent down and shooting them point blank range with a shotgun.

Here's what I think was lacking from the game, which lead me to categorize it as sandbox-lite.

- VEHICLES: Just as in the first game there is a lack of vehicles. Basically you can drive a handful of different car styles in the game. No motorcycles. No planes. No helicopters. No boats. It seems a bit limited to have a game of this magnitude with such limited abilities for a vehicle. There is also very little use of vehicles within missions other than driving to the mission.
- MISSIONS: Missions are repetitive. You could argue that each racket has a different layout and attackers in different places, but it's basically the same premise. You go in, kill off all the guards and intimidate the owner until he gives you the racket.
- UPGRADES/OPTIONS: The game offers very little in the way of upgrades to both you character and those in your family. Once you complete a few favors, crack a few safes and take over a few rackets you'll have your character and all your made men upgraded. This is disappointing, since it would be nice to see the characters evolve with the game. The options for upgrades to items like weapons are also very limited. There's maybe 4-5 different types of guns.
- DIFFICULTY: What I meant to say was the lack of difficulty. This is a game where you can basically run around and not worry about getting shot. Add a medic or two to your crew and you have no repercussion for not trying to cover during gun fire.

Overall, this is a good rental for anyone who enjoyed the original game in the series. The upgrades make this installment much more enjoyable and the good aspects of the game make it a worthwhile play for hardcore fans of the sandbox/free-roaming genre.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 15, 2009
Godfather 2 follows off of the first installment, following closely with the plot of the movie. You are Dominic, pupil of Aldo Tripani, the main character of the first movie. After Aldo is killed in the Cuban Revolution, Dominic takes over the Florida business interests, while Michael, who is strangely voiced by a George Clooney impersonator, watches from the shadows as you wipe out the rival southern families.

Rather than be a one man army, you're required to take on a crew of specialists that perform the acts that you were capable of in the first game. Aside from changes in driving, with every car handling like an 18 wheeler, and weapon upgrades being random finds rather than purchases, the play is virtually the same. There are some new bells and whistles, with interactable items and a variety of venues, but the premise is still to fire more bullets than the enemy.

The movie inspired missions and scenes feel more stapled on. Rather than being integral to the ascension of the Corleone family, you are more a passer in the night, and the scenes try to bleed out slowly to expand the gameplay, but only makes it rather frustrating. The voice acting is tolerable, and the face creation is rather impressively varied. Graphics are nice, but the range is so short than driving at higher than 40 gives the impression that cars and buildings are warping in from another dimension, and text requires that you have macronocular vision or an impressive 5 figure TV.

Had this game been longer or more varied, it would've held up better. AS it stands, it doesn't have enough improvements to make up for the solid material that was removed from the first game. No more hit missions apart from bizarre grinding favors, no intelligent leveling, text thats impossible to read and watered down, subordinates that're useful, but cookie cutter to the point that I have a set of identical triplets in my family. The shortness of the game knocks it down further, making this a solid rent
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2009
Though I love me some 3rd-person shooter action, the original Godfather game bored me to tears. I just couldn't get into it! I know I know, some of you out there really enjoyed this game quite a bit--and I respect that--but it never struck a chord with me despite my several attempts at playing it.

I'm happy to say that The Godfather II is a little bit of a different story...for the most part. To be frank, it's not much to look at, but I found the overall game engaging enough that I was compelled to play it all the way through to the end in roughly 10 hours.

Initially the experience didn't feel much different from the first as the game (slowly!) introduced all the gameplay mechanics, but in about an hour or so the game began to hit its stride and everything sank in. It turned out this game was deeper--gameplay-wise--than some most other open world games and I found that refreshing as it was unexpected.

The Don View (initiated by hitting the Start button) essentially pulls the game out to a 3D map of the mob world you're trying to take over. Here you will be able to control your game in much greater detail. You'll find yourself inviting people into your family for their beneficial abilities (like lock picking or demolitions), promoting them up the chain (which in-turn grants them additional skills), upgrading their abilities (there are roughly 15 abilities per character ranging from increased health to better aiming), purchase them new weapons and more.

The Don View also offers the ability to delegate tasks for your family by send some of your men to assist in defending a business of yours that's under attack, or bomb an enemies business to cripple a crime ring, or even to attempt to take over another business making it your own. It's a cool system that wasn't as buggy as I was expecting it to be.

In one instance I was attacking a much needed trucking depot to complete a crime ring that would have added bullet proof vests to my crew. While I was waging war the game notified me that one of my other businesses--a bar--was under attack (the notification helpfully offers to take you to the action via the Don View at a press of a button). No problem--I simply instructed 4 of my thugs to help fortify the defenses at the bar. Once I was done taking over the trucking depo I quickly drove over to the bar to assist and as I arrived I could see my guys laying waste to the other family as they finished up the last few guys. It's a rewarding system that works really well and is easily one of the highlights of the game.

Initially I was worried that I was going to spend more time in the Don View than actually playing the game because I was under the impression that this game might have been part 3rd-person shooter and part RTS--but that was not the case at all. Though you do spend a decent amount of time in the Don View, you really spend the majority of your time running around and attacking other families. Also, it's worth mentioning that the Don View might offer enough options to make some peoples head spin at first as it has a plethora of options. I do feel like it could have been organized a little better or at least consolidated in some ways to make it a little more approachable.

There are three cities throughout the game: New York, Cuba and Florida. You can (and will) visit back and forth by visiting the airport in each city. It sounds like a pain, but the maps are small enough that I found it painless.

Without a doubt the most fun I had with the game was when I was attacking other families businesses cannibalizing them into my own crime rings. These rackets--which normally consist of several businesses--have additional benefits that are exclusive to that string of businesses. For instance one racket will grant you larger ammo clips for your crew. One of the bigger ones spans several cities and offers incendiary bullets doubling the damage of your bullets. It's a nice carrot-on-a-stick until the end of the game.

There are some annoyances in the game worth mentioning (some minor but I'll let you be the judge). You will use the thumbsticks to navigate the world, but as soon as you enter any menu system--including the Don View--you must switch over to the D-pad--its inconsistence is an annoyance, and what's further frustrating is that it doesn't even offer the option to do so. Also, the game expects you to interact with the world by talking with people on the streets who need favors (and boy there are a lot of them), but there isn't enough variation on the NPCs, their voices and the environment to keep in very interesting. The graphics never go beyond mediocre and are never impressive.

But I think the biggest gripe I have with the game is the severe lack of side missions or alternate activities to participate in. The whole idea of an open world game is to offer the player choice. In Saint's Row 2 or GTAIV you have so many different activities or side missions at your disposal one could get lost for hours! You can (and in some cases are encouraged) to stray from the main story and get completely lost. That's the joy of an open world game--you make it your own! Yes I understand that there is a specific story to tell here with The Godfather 2, but the other games I mentioned do as well. I just feel like there was a huge opportunity here to move this game into a more interesting experience than it is and in the end we get a game whose world is nothing more than an empty shell. Perhaps EA is hoping people will get lost in the multiplayer experience? Personally I have no interest in that portion of the game.

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