A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a violent game meant for adults only. Players work as a member of the mob, managing a series of illegal rackets and a crew of henchman in an effort to dominate the city. Players use a bevy of weapons to kill enemies, including pistols, machine guns, bombs, shotguns, and their bare hands. Players can also deliver executions which involve especially brutal kills and lots of blood, such as gunshots to the head and powerful kicks to the face. Part of the gameplay involves control businesses that cover for illegal activities ranging from drug selling to arms smuggling to prostitution. The game is also playable online, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend to anyone under the age of 12.
What's it about?
The dark, seedy world of the mafia is revisited in Electronic Arts' THE GODFATHER II, a violent action game based on the film of the same name. The game borrows heavily from the movie, incorporating characters such as Michael Corleone. The main character works for the Corleone family, and is preparing to celebrate their endeavours in Cuba. The government is overthrown, and the family must flee, but not before your direct boss is killed. Michael gives you the job of an underboss, and tasks you with reclaiming all the illegal rackets in New York.
Godfather II is basically Grand Theft Auto with a mafia theme. Players freely roam the city, engaging in the main missions of the story, shaking down businesses for profit, or going off on contract kills to earn cash. The big difference is Godfather II adds more strategy in the form of the Don's View. Players can view the city in a map that breaks down all the businesses and the mob family in charge. Players can also recruit and manage crews based on specific skills, ranging from Medic to Safecracker and Demolitions expert. If a player's owned business is under attack, they can send a henchman to defend the property and clear out enemies. The game also includes an online multiplayer component, with events such as Team Deathmatch and Demolition Assault, a challenge in which players must blow up three enemy targets.
Is it any good?
Perhaps the most interesting parts of Godfather II are the strategy elements. The Don's View is laid out nicely, allowing players to easily navigate and pinpoint businesses to target. Players must also determine how many bodyguards to hire for each acquired establishment, forcing you to balance expenses. This strategic thinking applies to selecting crewmembers as well, as players try to achieve the ideal combination of strength and support.
Everything else about the game doesn't seem at all different from the first Godfather game. In fact, like the first game, Godfather II just feels like another Grand Theft Auto knockoff when you strip out the strategy. Visually, it looks like a slightly polished version of its PlayStation 2 predecessor. The story isn't very interesting, which is surprising when you consider it borrows from a well-respected film. The henchmen make battles interesting, when they listen to you. Most times, players are better off sending them to clean up messes while you handle the important stuff. Fortunately, the strategy allows players to have a decent experience overall.