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First look at EA's The Godfather II


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Casting players as a soldier of the Corleone Family, the original The Godfather from EA took the open-world formula of GTA and introduced some unique fist fighting and intimidation mechanics fitting of its namesake. It reviewed well enough, but its creator decided that, for the sequel, it would take a different approach: the Don's approach.

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.

Gallery: The Godfather II | 29 Photos

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.

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