Review by RomanticRights

"Promising but slowly degenerates"

Sure a lot of people were excited for The Godfather II. Hell, I was. There was an expectation that the game would add something to a gradually aging formula that most other "sandbox" games are using. Many promising new features appear to be a breath of fresh air at first and with time, you gradually begin to realize just how foolish you were for getting your hopes up.

(Gameplay)
(Features)
One of the said features that was hyped before GF2s release was the "Dons View" map system. While impressive looking, it can become quite awkward once you delve into it. You can see the whole city you are in from a birds eye view if you zoom all the way out but as you zoom in the camera swoops down till you are almost horizontal with your target, this can be very difficult to navigate or locate anything on the map. Placing a waypoint is also unnecessarily difficult thanks to this, place a waypoint and travel to it in game and you may find yourself a few doors down from your target, not a major gripe, but if you're going to do something, do it right.

Another feature used in trailers and promotion and such is the "Black Hand" fighting mechanic. Grabbing an enemy with LT and RT will allow you to use a number of context sensitive beatings with the left and right sticks. This feature stays entertaining for most of the game, the fun may wear off slightly, but you'll never get tired of punching a goon in the nose enough times till he drops dead.

One more feature was the inclusion of taking over businesses and such with your family. The family concept is fun for most of the game. Promoting guys who have done well to higher spots is gratifying as they receive new skills such as Arsonist(who burn things...), Bruiser(beats down certain doors and can stealth "shank" enemies) Safecracker(Open safes which are high in number and unlock certain doors) Engineer(Can cut the power so your enemies can't call in reinforcements) Demolitions (blows up weak walls and enemy businesses to shut them down) and Medic (who heals downed family members). The family aspect with the skills is all quite fun most of the time but what gets old is taking over businesses or "rackets". It all gets very repetitive over time and when you get enough family members you can easily send a high number of them to take over a place, then you realise you can't really do anything yourself till they;re done as you have no specialties so can't do most things in the game, so you'll find yourself going to join them anyway.

(Setting)
When you begin the game, you start in New York, and the first thing you will notice is that it seems small, you set a waypoint from one side of the map to the other and within twenty seconds you are there. This for me was extremely worrying but I couldn't help thinking that as I progressed, I would unlock more of this mockery of NYC. Sadly I was wrong, NYC gets no bigger, in fact, a quarter of the NYC map isn't even used at all. So you progress to a brand new city, Miami. Take a look at the Don's View and jump for joy, four islands! Big ones at that. Well, that is how they look, sadly, they're not. All the space probably makes two times the NYC map, which is still incredibly poor. Never fear, Cuba is next, surely the last map will top it off. Sadly once again, no. Though a little bigger than NYC, it doesn't even match Miami for size, and can be incredibly hard to play on as the military is everywhere and basically anything you do is going to get you shot at and running for your life for the airport or the safehouse (no doubt followed by the airport).

(Physics and Camera)
Disappointing from the start. The walking and running of your character feels like he's wearing steel shoes. Everything seems to take a long time. Couple this with the agonizing fact that you can't jump and you will be very disappointed, instead you can "vault" over certain objects that are very sparse in number. Eg. you can vault over a concrete barricade in the middle of a street which would be easier to just walk around, but you cant vault over the 1/2 foot cement block that surrounds one building to get to the next. Confusing and frustrating. No real gripes with the camera.

(Controls)
Controls are good, not great, not bad, just good. Nothing really to be said.

(Difficulty)
As others have mentioned, this game can be very easy. It's true. Just go in and shoot the place up with a magnum and watch the enemies drop while you stand tall getting shot ceaselessly without dying. Shooting enemies with ten machine gun bullets will frequently leave them still alive. I've already mentioned the frustrations of Cuba so I won't add anymore. The game can be anywhere from dead easy through to frustratingly difficult but is seldom in between.

(Story)
Lacking to say the least. Boring, uninteresting, a weak take on the events of the movie. One of the games weakest points. Characters are uninspired even though they are based on the movie characters, they just don't seem to have it down packed.

(Graphics/Sound)
Bugs a plenty in the graphics department, vanishing walls etc. you know the "unfinished game" drill. Most character models are just repeats. Settings are bland. The only redeeming quality of the graphics is the great looking explosions, truly, they are great, like Mercs 2 great.

Battle sounds are standard but what will annoy you is how there seems to be two set male voices and two set female voices, and every NPC you meet has one of them. Are we playing a next gen game or is this EAs little joke. You can play the radio in cars, but you wont want to. Its almost all slow classical music which may be thematically correct, but doesn't add anything to the game except another off button to push.


(Play Time/Replayability) You could spend quite a while on the game if you wanted but it gets so boring so quickly you won't want to. Once you finish the game you can still play but you won't want to either as there is nothing left to do so low replay value except for hardcore fans.

Overall
6/10
Slightly good, not great. Frustrating. Evil.

Rent. For sure.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 04/13/09

Game Release: The Godfather II (US, 04/07/09)


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