Godfather II XBox 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 8.1
Sound 8.3
Value 7.9
Distributor: EA
Review Date:
April 2009
Andrew Bistak


Godfather II

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With the popularity of Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto IV: Lost and the Damned, it was inevitable for other developers to follow suit and Electronic Art's the Godfather II is no exception to the rule. Although not quite the sandbox game that Grand Theft Auto is, the game feels more structured although this constricts your freedom, however does give a clearer path for some gamers.


  • Set in a stunning open-world environment, The Godfather II expands on the popular gameplay mechanics of the first game and doubles down on the series’ signature BlackHand control scheme, which now features even more visceral hand-to-hand brutality at your fingertips, introducing a new combo system, pressure tactics and executions.

  • In The Godfather II, players will fight alongside their hand-picked crew, who have their own skills and expertise. Each family member specializes in a specific field such as demolitions, arson, engineering, first-aid and more.

  • "The Don's View" allows players to oversee the entire world as they grow the family business.

Based on what some say is the best Godfather movie in the trilogy, the developers have taken certain elements from second movie  which revolves around Michael Corleone, the current godfather of the Corleone family. With this in mind, the game starts with a scene from the second movie where the president of Cuba is under threat from the rebels and when he does stand down, chaos erupts in the streets of Cuba.

As Michael Corleone has brokered a new deal, gamers are introduced to Dominic, a member of the Corleone family that through his years of service has been given the opportunity of making a new family in New York, although under the auspice of the Michael. Needless to say, it's a great Mafia inspired story with some liberties taken for granted, especially with the links between The Godfather II which are tentative at best. Before starting the game, you need to customise Don and add in a variety of Mafia inspired stereotypes from the "Elvis" hair or that classic Goodfellas Mafia look and you'll soon be ready to roll.

Gameplay wise, players control Dominic in a third person perspective that allows him to perform a variety of maneuvers in the game from melee attacks to a variety of weapons available. Dominic or Dom must perform a variety of jobs  from running illegal business to engaging in murders and the like. Thankfully, Dom can assemble lieutenants to assist him in this process and each of these has a different skill that include pros and cons. Whether your driving around in New York, skipping over to Florida or flying over to Cuba, the majority of missions involve "hostile" takeovers where you can send one of your lieutenants or Dom himself.

The combat is quite good, from the cover system to the auto-lock target system which assists in the overall enjoyment of the title. It should be noted that this game is quite violent and when you're engaged in an opponent, you can perform a deadly finishing maneuver which is extremely violent. Controls cars or the characters is easy, however the most annoying aspect of the game is the lack of "jump" which does make for some frustrating gaming. The micromanagement aspect of the title is sturdy which includes a the "Don's View" and gives you an eagle eye perspective of the city and tasks to perform.

In relation to graphics, The Godfather II seems a little lackluster when compared to similar games of this genre (Grand Theft Auto IV and Saints Row II), even though the developers have succeeded in creating the atmosphere of The Godfather. The characters are well animated and have some good texture details that move well with the gaming environment. They are a little "blocky", however considering the engaging storyline of the movies, it's actually not that bad. The voice acting is quite professional, even though some of characters don't sound like their movie counterparts with one in particular being Michael Corleone which is a shame. The soundtrack features elements of the movies which is brilliant and really assists in immersing you into this wondrous underworld criminal underworld.

At the end of the day, The Godfather II is an apt game that manages to successfully recreate the world of the movies with some good gameplay, interesting stories and an almost sandbox like approach. It's not Grand Theft Auto, however for those who want a little more story, I think this title does it well, even though it is quite limiting at times. Definitely one to check out!


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