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The Godfather II: The Good Parts
The "Don's View" screen adds tactics and strategy to the normal psychopathic and anti-social behavior of the open-world third person action game. Clicking tab zooms you out to a bird's-eye view of the city (New York, Miami, or Havana), listing all the businesses in the city, the prostitution establishments, drug rings, and who currently controls them.
There's a nice balance in tactics, strategy, and combat makes The Godfather II fun and satisfying to play. Building your criminal empire is extremely engaging and challenging.
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Many of the environments have beautifully represented atmospheres rendered in amazing detail of cities like New York, Miami, and Havana that you can cause as much damage to as you wish. The scenery changes wonderfully from Brooklyn townhouses to pastel colored art deco buildings and Spanish architecture that adds amazing style to any neighborhood.
At the same time, it wasn't uncommon for quest characters and family members to disappear or be distorted visually during the cut scenes and while playing the game. The only way to fix it was to reload from a saved game and continue from there.
The Godfather II does just about everything rather well, but unfortunately nagging graphics problems appear far too often for this to be considered a game with excellent visual presentation. Perhaps for the next game in the series they will address this issue and make it less laggy and more visually pleasing.
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Music and Sound
The soundtrack was very solid entertainment that kept the energy high and the pace of the game moving when necessary, or slower when things were a little more reserved.
The voice acting is surprisingly well done, and not too over the top. Despite the brutish dialogue, your conversations will be similar to the way it was done in Mass Effect where you get to select different responses.
The sound effects were nice and sharp, not too loud, but distinctive enough to often give audible clues, and they added nicely to the brutality of the violence.
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The storyline follows the movie closely. You are a don under Michael Corleone, and aren't allowed to make any really important or eventful decisions, but unique assassination requirements for prominent family members orchestrate some memorable cinematic moments. Your job is to muscle your way and take over all the local money making rackets for your family. You will receive on-screen warnings when your territory is under attack by a rival family. You will need to hire associates to help you guard your rackets, and send your powerful made men to attack your enemies' rackets and defend hot spots.
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The new "Don's View" screen works beautifully to keep your mind active in the strategy and tactics of The Godfather II. The gameplay is balanced between combat and management enough to provide many hours of entertainment as you slowly grind your opposition down and take over their territories. The gameplay expands beautifully the farther along you go into the game. The number of families you have to contend with grows as you grow, and the game expands into a web of shady alliances, corrupt government officials, and backstabbing friends.
Overall, this is what life is like as a gangster, so if you are looking for a life of virtual crime in a video game, this is for you!