GC 2008: The Godfather II Preview
Written Tuesday, September 23, 2008 By Dan WebbView author's profile
The Godfather is a franchise that can sell games with its name alone, or so you may think. The Godfather film trilogy has sold millions of copy worldwide to date and continues to sell even now, especially with the release of the remastered versions. But despite all this and generally favourable reviews, The Godfather the video game was never really a resounding success, but EA aim to change that with The Godfather 2.
The primary focus of the original Godfather game was about being a mobster which brought with it lots of action, while that will return to The Godfather 2, EA Redwood Shores focus has shifted somewhat to include a strategic element. So you must now “act like a mobster and think like a don”.
The key innovation for the sequel is known as the “Don’s View” which in essence is a Mafioso style RTS running in the background. It is your main strategic point and when in the Don’s View you will be presented with a top down view of the city where you can see all the racquets, your family, other families and your treasury. The map will be colour coded to indicate who is in control of what area and their operations with each family getting its own unique colour.
The purpose of this demo was to complete a crime ring, with 3 out of 4 racquets already under your control, leaving the primary focus on the Oil Refinery owned by the rival family, the Grenados. Simply by looking in the Don’s View you can tell that the refinery is well guarded with 25 guards. At this point, you have a choice, you can either run in to the refinery, seriously outgunned and try and take it over... But chances are you’ll take a bit of a pummelling, but it is possible, or, you could do a few jobs around the map to help your cause. The choice is yours.
First things first, you need your crew because come on, if you’re going to be the Don, you want to sit back and have it easy and only get your hands dirty when you really need to. All you need to do is go to one of your locations and get them to follow you. Of course, instead of going across the map to get your goons, you could use the family tree which is a brand new Godfather feature.
From the family tree you can see and do numerous things. It in effect is like your little pocket diary and from it you can see who you’ve made and such. In addition from the family tree, you can promote people and treat them sweet by buying them a whole array of goodies. This is very much a light RPG element that ties in quite nicely with the strategy element. As you promote your goons, you can add more and more specialities to them, so a soldier may get one skill, but a capo will get two and so on.
So back to objective at hand. We’ve got the crew but still we need a little more assistance, so what we can do is seek out a person of influence. These people of influence are dotted all around the map and if you complete a certain task for them, they will help you in return. In this instance, Dominic Corleone seeks out the help of the local district attorney, Matthew Tilton, who wants you to destroy a certain diner which will help assist one of his cases. In return, Tilton will place one of the high ranking Grenado family in jail. I mean, that’s what The Godfather should be all about right? Doing favours in exchange for favours. Capiche?
The combat in The Godfather II has been tweaked slightly from the original, moving the controls from the face buttons to the triggers, which each trigger controlling its respective fist. You will also notice that your crew will help you fight without the need of orders instead of standing idly by why you take an ass kicking. So once you have taken the goons out at the diner, it’s time to cause some damage for Mr Tilton and while we’re here, we may as well extort the owner and what better than frying his face on a pan... True mafia style. So now you own the business, you better add a few goons to protect it to stop other families trying to take it back while Tilton follows through on his end of the bargain.
There are times in the Godfather II where what you are doing to other families will start to happen to you. You know the old saying, what goes around, comes around, well, it certainly does here. So there will be many instances where you will be in the middle of something and you will be given a dilemma. Do you stay and complete the objective at hand or do you go out and protect your assets? Entirely your choice, but each decision will have its own repercussions.
In addition to the high ranking Grenado being taken down, in true Don style, you can send a group of goons to bomb a nearby Grenado stronghold to further weaken them as a family. On the way to your next objective you drive past the aforementioned stronghold to see smoke pouring out the windows and you can sleep soundly in your bed knowing your goons were successful. Jumping in to the Don View at this point, you will see the place on fire on the map as well as the Don View makes use of a real time mechanic.
So after weakening the Grenados considerably, it’s time to finish off the main objective. The oil refinery now is a shadow of its former self boasting nowhere near as many guards, so your job will be incredibly easier. To add to that ease, one of Dominic’s men is an engineer and can use his speciality to cut the fence at the back of the plot for a surprise attack. He can even cut the lights as well if you wanted him to, adding more to that sense of surprise. With consummate ease, the refinery is now Corleone territory after roughing up the foreman a bit.
The new innovative Don View seems to be a fantastic addition to The Godfather franchise giving it a pretty unique feel. Now in one title you can get both the strategy element of the Don with the action of the mobster. With 3 cities on offer as well; Miami, Havannah and New York each with their own sense of character, all the early signs point towards The Godfather II being packed to the brim with action and style. The game is also said to feature multiplayer that is in the spirit of the game, so expect some sort of mob wars with your mates. One thing is for certain though, The Godfather II has now appeared on our radars and we’ll be keeping a close eye on this one.
The Godfather II will be available February 2009 on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.