The Godfather II

Publisher: Electronic Arts Price: �49.99 Format: Xbox 360 (also on PS3, PC) Age rating: 18+ FRANCES Ford Coppola s seminal gangster flick was always ripe for translation into a videogame. Sadly, very little of the Oscar-winning movie remains with the g

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Price: �49.99

Format: Xbox 360 (also on PS3, PC)

Age rating: 18+


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FRANCES Ford Coppola's seminal gangster flick was always ripe for translation into a videogame. Sadly, very little of the Oscar-winning movie remains with the game's developers having taken the decision to ignore the film's celebrated flashback sequences.

By concentrating on one era rather than two, it allows for a much more cohesive gaming experience, but with only passing references to key events from the movie you can't help feel the game is paying lip service to its wonderful source material.

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Despite these misgivings, The Godfather II is actually quite a stylish third-person action game. After a bloody shoot-out in Cuba at the start, you take on the role of Dominic, the newly promoted Don of New York. As such, it's your job to exploit as many illegal profit-making opportunities as possible and crush any rival gangs.

To help you do this you need to recruit some muscle. With seven slots to fill, it's best to recruit as diverse a team as possible, with skills ranging from an explosives expert and an arsonist to a fighter and a safe breaker. With your team in tow, it's then a case of building up your empire by 'persuading' business owners they need your protection.

Much of the action is controlled from Don's View, an overhead map of the city that enables you to issue orders to your men and watch the movements of rival families. When you're not micro-managing your empire, you'll be out on the streets with a baseball bat in hand, looking for new business opportunities.

Once you've completed the single-player game there are five online multiplayer modes to get to grips with. Interestingly, you don't play these as Dominic but one of your hired underlings, with their abilities carried over from the main game. And any money you earn online is deposited in your single-player bank account, which is a nice touch.

Overall, we were heartily impressed with The Godfather II. Combat is as visceral as ever and its machine gun attitude to set pieces is constantly inventive. It's not a classic, but it's still great fun to play.

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