The Godfather II Hands-On

The Godfather II encourages you to "act like a mobster, think like a don." We followed this advice by playing the game and putting a horse in EA's bed.

The original Godfather game was controversial to say the least. It was disowned by the movie's director, Francis Ford Coppola, but tacitly endorsed by stars Robert Duvall, James Caan, and the late Marlon Brando, who all recorded voice-overs for the game. A bit of controversy never harms game sales, though, and the first Godfather evidently did well enough to warrant a sequel, which is set to launch on February 24. With the game so close to release, we got to play a near-finished build at EA's UK offices as well as talk to the development team behind it.

The don view allows you to see which properties are under your control and which are up for grabs.

In The Godfather II, the game's designers want to make you a don as soon as possible. The game is built around the statement "act like a mobster, think like a don," meaning that you carry out the day-to-day business of a street-level thug while also taking strategic control of your interests. The game takes place during the same period as the second film, so Michael Corleone is still the ultimate don, but after the introduction to the game, he entrusts you to start your own family and recruit members into your business.

Before this, though, you need to create your character, and like many modern open-world games, The Godfather II has customisation options aplenty. For the sake of the script, you have to be called Dominic, but you can customise everything about his appearance, so we gave him the rarely seen combination of a Mafia quiff and a bushy beard. With our character created, we jumped into the game, where we found Dom and Don Michael Corleone hanging out with other members of the five crime families of New York. They're celebrating New Year 1959 in Cuba with Hyman Roth, whose declining health is leading him to pledge property to each of the five families. All appears to be going well; Roth has stopped the infighting, while Cuba promises more wealth than any of them ever attained in America.

As the fireworks blasted out over the night sky, we took control of Dom and headed downstairs to talk to some of the main characters. We heard about how Michael had given $2 million to Castro, while other characters seemed to be more cautious about the country and its leader. The civil war threatens to destroy the dreams of the Corleone family, while protesters and suicide bombers are proving problematic to organised crime. It's quickly proven that the families' belief in the country is misplaced, and as the police break into the club, it's your job to escort Michael Corleone out of the country via their private jet.

The Godfather II's story will be familiar to fans of the movie, and the overall story arc will be the same as the film. That means the game will cover both Cuba and New York, and as we headed back to mainland US in a plane, Michael gave us instructions to set up our own family and start recruiting members. At the beginning of the game, we had the choice of bringing an arsonist or a medic into the fold. The first sold us on his ability to burn down buildings with ease, while the second told us he'd be essential in healing us and the rest of our team. As with most things, it all came down to our violent tendencies, so we hired the arsonist and set out on our first mission.

Like in the first Godfather game, much of the action is about intimidating people into doing what you want. Any old thug can beat people up, though, and it's your job to find a weak spot to exploit in each person. Our first victim, a strip-club owner, didn't react to being hit, but he certainly didn't like being thrown violently around the room. In a demo shown later to us by the developers, another victim was scared of heights, so pushing him towards a ledge high up in the air did the trick.

We've yet to see the multiplayer, although the developers promise four game modes and support for up to 16 players.

It's not all about violence, though; verbal communication will also play a part in The Godfather II. When talking to people, you can choose from a number of responses, although we're not sure what effect this will have on the overall story. You can also make strategic alliances with other crime families, while controlling specific key points on the map will give you access to cool upgrades, such as armoured cars. Finally, injured comrades will end up in prison, but if you do favours for the chief of police, you can call in a favour and get your guys out quickly.

The final part of the Godfather puzzle is the multiplayer, and although we didn't get to see it, we did extract a few details from the developers. The game will offer 16-player multiplayer across four game modes. Even better, your character development will carry over from the single-player game and vice versa, meaning that you're always improving your character, even when not progressing in the single-player modes.

We've learned that GameSpot US has a full build of The Godfather II in their office, and the lucky so-and-sos have been playing the campaign this week for a deeper hands-on preview. Look out for their updated impressions, which will be hitting the site very shortly.

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Discussion

40 comments
Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Consolified - not interested. Yours, A PC Gamer.

killakomando
killakomando

If this game has co-op, that would sell it.

Gorilla97
Gorilla97

over the course of a year, i probably put 40 to 50 hours into the 1st Godfather game. it's just one of those that kept bringing me back. so, i'm uber excited to get my hands on a copy of the 2nd. video game sequels are typically better and if thats the case with The Godfather, i'm sure i'll be very pleased.

trodeback
trodeback

I got all hyped about playing the 1st godfather game and it wasn't very good. Mafia was better but not by a long shot. I don't think I'm going to invest any time into this game.

Strigidae
Strigidae

I know graphics ain't everything... but these graphics look just like the first Godfather's graphics. Man!...

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

wow the graphics look like ps2.... doubt they'll have time to polish it up before next month.

Wolfmother0791
Wolfmother0791

@DEmaddin Wow, are you kidding me? Have you ever even PLAYED GTA Vice city? This game looks absolutely nothing like it. IMO, Godfather looks very similar to GTAIV. The only thing in any screenshot that looks iffy is the big metal crates, but that's just one bad texture. I strongly advise you to go play Vice city and enlighten yourself on how different the games look. And plus, this is obviously a somewhat early version of the graphics engine, almost all games have their graphics improved over the course of development.

Fitzycent
Fitzycent

This is gonna rock, can't wait

WardCleaver02
WardCleaver02

@Agent-CSim-47 I think you are confusing the HUD indicator for current weapon, and the actual weapon. The charcter does appear to be holding the Molotov.

doc18
doc18

looks good, but the graphics seem a bit dated from the screenshots i;ve seen...

Agent-CSim-47
Agent-CSim-47

Did anyone else notice on the screenshot of the multiplayer that the character isn't actually holding the molotov.

GamesBond505
GamesBond505

awesome graphics man!! . . . and bu da looks of it seems like there will be a lot for interatives and iems to use . . .

gijas
gijas

thats good they included mulitplayer this time around as GTA IV and SR 2 - must be a new trend and a good one at that.

seksfeet7
seksfeet7

This game may be alright but i dont think it will be worth 60 dollars and porb. wont come close to Mafia 2 ... but we will have to wait and see till both games come out

Horrortot1
Horrortot1

lol demaddin, eatmyshorts35 is completely right

n_8_z
n_8_z

Can't wait!! MAFIA 2 is gonna be better though lol

DEmaddin
DEmaddin

ps: you cant call such a game 3rd Gen this looks like gta Vice City! By the way of cause its not all about the graphics but come on this is ps2 level!

DEmaddin
DEmaddin

@Eat_My_Shorts35: the game trailers are often lifted up and look better than the gameplay the scenes we've seen could be gameplay but the trailer never looks bader than the real game!

tevic
tevic

too bad for the graphics but it looks interesting anyway.

Eat_My_Shorts35
Eat_My_Shorts35

@ shunjinko YOUR WATCHING A VIDEO OFTHE GAME!!! IT ALWAYS LOOKIS BETTER IN PERSON,AND OF COURSE THE PICTURES LOOK CRAPPY BECAUSE SOMETIMES IT CATCHES A FRAME THAT IS A LITTLE CHOPPY, BESIDES, ALL THE PICTURES LOOK CRAPPY ON GAMESPOT, SO STOP FLAMING(i apologize for the flaming i was trying to make a point and show how annoying it is)

Shunjinko
Shunjinko

SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE GRAPHICS? DOES ANYONE SERIOUSLY THINK THOSE ARE "NEXT GEN" GRAPHICS?!

will952
will952

this looks great i hope it comes out nicely on pc, not just a rushed port

KingBobCat
KingBobCat

Although it had a few faults, I loved the first one and am really looking forward to this one! :)

gio88
gio88

I think it,ll be worth playing

killswitch88
killswitch88

The first one was pretty fun so maybe this one will be worth playing too.

MURDA_B
MURDA_B

looks good hope its worth the wait

Legolose
Legolose

This game is going to ROCK !!!! Can't wait, I like the fact that they let you hire speciality, type thugs..

goon2503
goon2503

I like the editing comment that they left in.

Feygin
Feygin

Does this hands on still have comments from the editor on them? The QUERY notations in brackets make this like someone forgot to proof read it :P I agree with truedog, as game aside, this hands-on didn't really tell us a lot about the game that couldn't be found out from just visiting the developer's website.

Destroy3r3
Destroy3r3

I hopes it's different from the first one. Otherwise, why should we buy it?

Darkestrah
Darkestrah

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Narutofan30
Narutofan30

I Kinda Agre with truedog What is diffrent from the first?

truedog80
truedog80

what a useless preview. With a hands-on, i'd like information about how the game controls, if it seems polished enough, or how the gameplay compares to the previous game, instead all we get are words straight from the developers mouth about its features. bleh.