As we've previously reported, The Godfather II is indeed a blend of action and strategy gameplay. Taking some liberties with the plot of the famous film, Michael Corleone has appointed the player's character as a fill-in Don. It's in this role that they plot against other families – each with their own ambitions – in an effort to rule all of the rackets in Havana, Miami, and New York City.
The tactics employed by the opponent A.I. – and the choices that can be made by players – are actually derived from a physical card and dice game created by the development team as groundwork for the shift to more strategy-oriented play. While we have yet to get our hands on the video game, we did get the chance to take on some fellow bloggers in the table-top variant; we really enjoyed it, and not just because we won.
In the video game, players will get to direct their soldiers from a "Don's Eye View," which plays very much like the card game in terms of its basic rules. If they'd like, though, the game lets players get hands-on by joining their crew on missions in a free-roaming world.
We've only seen a very small glimpse of what EA's planning for The Godfather II when it's finished for a February 2009 release, but the premise and execution definitely look promising. It's also another departure from "safe" territory for the company, which has been attempting to shake its reputation as a innovation-deficient sequel house as of late. That said, a chance to actually play the game will be an offer we won't be able to refuse.