The Godfather II was officially announced in August 2008, although the development of this sequel was hinted as early as 2007. It was subsequently released on 7 April 2009 to North America and 10 April 2009 to Europe under the genres of action-adventure and sandbox, with an ESRB rating of M for Mature. The Godfather II is developed by EA Redwood Shores, incorporating the Godfather engine, and is published by Electronic Arts for the Xbox 360 platform. The game is based on The Godfather Part II, a 1974 crime drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and co-written by Coppola and Mario Puzo. It is played from a third person perspective and contains some stratge aspects as the player’s character battles rival families and take over businesses to ultimately become a “Don” ruling over many cities. Reprising his role as consigliere Tom Hagen is Rober Duvall in both voice and likeness as he did in the first game. However, as Al Pacino who played Don Michael Corleone in the film did not provide his likeness or voice, the character itself was changed significantly in the game. The game features similar gameplay elements as the original game, with a few expansions and improvements. Similar to the prequel, The Godfather II is a third-person shooter game which takes place in an open world, with both story-based and side missions involving gunplay, hand-to-hand fighting and driving. In contrast, The Godfather II features a “Black Hand 2.0” control scheme in which players can grab, knee, kick and head-butt enemies. As for the weapons in the game, each of it including handguns, shotguns and machine guns have their own level and statistics. Not only that, players are also able to purchase licenses to use higher level weapons with more skill.
The Godfather II is said to have been reduced to an uninspired, repetitive open-world action game with out-of-context movie quotes and a handful of recognizable characters scattered throughout its forgettable story, as compared to its mediocre, mindless action flick movie. It is also apparent that the game had been released in an unfinished state and is riddled with performance issues and bugs. In the game, players play as Dominic, an important member of the Corleone family who somehow managed to make it through the epic movie trilogy without ever wandering into camera shot despite apparently being involved in a number of key scenes. As one of Michael Corleone’s most trusted men, Dominic is groomed to head up his own family and after a brief introductory sequence set in Cuba, the game proper gets under way in a diminutive New York where players are instructed to set about making a name for themselves.
“The Godfather II places an interesting spin on the second film in the acclaimed series, adding emphasis on both strategy and action elements to give you a sense of what it’s like to create and control your own empire. Multiplayer also puts a creative spin on using your henchmen to gain money and even items for your soldiers. However, players of action or strategy games of any variety will blow through this title thanks to the lack of difficulty in the single player campaign, and probably will only turn to the multiplayer once they’ve beaten the game, since they won’t need to increase their henchmen’s skills. It’s still fun and has almost all of the elements of a great game, but until a harder difficulty level is added (which, fingers crossed, would occur with a future download or patch), The Godfather II falls a tad bit short.” (IGN, 2009)