All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Godfather II Interview

Game: Godfather II
Company: EA Games

Ricky Tucker AKA StarScream had the opportunity to question Mike Olsen, Creative Director on the upcoming Godfather II game from EA. Here's what they had to say.

GV: The first Godfather game ended with your character in control of New York City. Does the second game pick up with that ending, or is Michael still in charge?

Mike: Godfather II picks up right where Godfather I left off. You start off working for Aldo Trapani (your starting GF1 character for those that remember), but sadly, Aldo doesn't survive through your first mission. Michael asks you to take back what the Corleones have lost, catapulting YOU to the top of the family hence allowing you to pick up right where you left off in GF1 a Don! As Godfather of your own family, you return to New York (one of the three cities portrayed in GF2) where you will immediately begin building your own family and criminal empire.

GV: Will events from the movie cross over into the game's plot? Or is the game more of a stand-alone side story happening around the same time?

Mike: We made a decision early on to not retell every aspect of the film, but rather parallel it by telling YOUR story while interacting with key characters from the fiction. We wanted the focus to be on you building your own family / empire while alongside the Corleone family. That said, we still made sure you intersect at all the great moments from the "modern" half of the film... Hyman Roth bringing the Don's together in Cuba, blackmailing Senator Geary with the dead hooker, Michael and the Senate investigation into organized crime, etc...

GV: How do you recruit associates and how many can you have at a time? Are they always with you? Or can you send them on missions of their own?

Mike: Recruiting is new to GF2 and is in a lot of ways your measure for success within the organization - you're really only as strong as the men beneath you. Recruits are eager to join your family and are spread throughout the GF2 world. Each comes in with a base specialty (there are six in total - each with their own advantages), a starting weapon license (which determines what gun upgrade levels they can use) and a "background" to add a little personality. It's up to you to decide the best fit for your play style, but know that almost all specialties will be needed to progress through the entire game, so choose wisely.

GV: Are your followers always with you? Or can you send them on missions of their own?

Mike: You can still bring up your made men alongside with you, but in GF2, you also have the ability to "pull the strings" of your family using the Don's View to attack, defend and even bomb your rivals businesses in other parts of the world. At the same time, you and up to 3 made men can run around as your "crew" conducting "business" ... whether it be extorting another location, a bank heist, a hit on a rival family, etc. You can even call in favors from politicians you happened to get in your back pocket.... really giving you the feel of being a Don and running your own empire. Using your hard earned cash you can recruit, promote, and customize your crew members in the same way you develop your own character. The RPG development system is deep and robust (one of my favorite features the game offers) and developing your crew is essential to your success.

GV: How many associate "classes" (Medic, Safecracker...) are there? Can their skills be improved as well, or are they static?

Mike: There are six specialties that recruits can train, each with their own advantages. A typical recruit is adept in one of the six, but as you explore the GF2 cities, keep an eye out for those more powerful Associates with two (or more) specialties. These guys are a rare, but extremely valuable commodity to your family.

  • Arsonist: An arsonist is a master of fire. By setting flame to propane tanks, bars, hedges, and other flammable objects, he can create a diversion, take out a large number of rivals or get you into inaccessible areas.
  • Bruiser: A bruiser is your muscle. He can help you break down doors, intimidate witnesses, and even shank enemies from behind. And during a bare-knuckled fight, nobody else compares.
  • Demolitions Expert: A demolitions expert brings the heat. If a strong door, garage or concrete wall is blocking your path, he can bring it down. More importantly, he can set charges to a building's gas main and blow up the business or rival family compound.
  • Engineer: An engineer has every tool for the job. His blowtorch can cut through fences, letting your crew slip inside unnoticed. He can also cut a building's power, shutting down the lights for a stealthy attack while also preventing anyone from calling reinforcements.
  • Medic: A medic should be part of every crew. When he's around, falling in battle isn't the end of the world. Given enough time, he can revive you and your other family members.
  • Safecracker: A safecracker is your key to big money. Every building has a safe stuffed with valuable loot; only a safecracker can get you in. He can also pick some buildings' locks, and help you break into bank vaults.

As you progress through the game, you will unlock new family tree slots allowing you to promote your existing recruits and fill in your empty slots with new made men. Recruits initially join your family as Soldiers, but promoting them to Capo and then ultimately to Underboss brings with it its own advantages. When you promote one of your trusted lieutenants, he not only gains additional hit points, he is able to learn another specialty. But the customization doesn't end there. Just as you are able to upgrade your player's stats and weapons, you are also able to upgrade each individual recruit as well. Investing your money will prove valuable as you can increase their effectiveness in health, shooting accuracy, H2H damage, even how long they stay injured in the hospital or in jail to name a few.

GV: One of my favorite things to do in the first game was shake down and intimidate businesses. Is that mechanic still a part of the gameplay, or does the new system take that over?

Mike: Extorting and controlling businesses is still at the heart of the game as they are both your primary source of income and (new to GF2), they also provide much desired in-game perks like bullet-proof vests or armored cars which are only earned if you control ALL the rackets in a crime ring. Businesses are taken over similar to GF1 where you pressure the venue owner using the wide variety of melee attacks at your disposal. Using the BlackHand control scheme (more on this below) and / or the environment you can pummel your opponents into submission and try to squeeze every last cent out them while also ensuring you don't push them too far beyond their boiling point where they'll be forced to fight back. Find a person's weak spot and you'll gain an additional 25% income. It's an addictive game that proves just as fun in GF2 as it was in GF1, BUT in GF2 you are also required to defend these businesses.

GV: How does the new racket management system work? Does it involve a lot of micromanagement?

Mike: The racket management system adds a unique level of strategy to the game, but does NOT involve a lot of micromanaging. Pressing Start to pause the game brings up the all new Don's View which allows you to "pull the strings" of your family using a 3D view of the entire city. Start by assigning guards to your newly acquired businesses. It'll cost you, but not doing so will almost ensure that your hard earned work will just be taken right back from you. You see in GF2, the other rival families are playing the same game as you...dynamically. They too are after the same crime rings and businesses you are fighting to control. You'll need to defend against their attacks and manage your empire, and plot your next moves - this is where the game really sets itself apart from others in the genre.

GV: Do players have to manage rackets? Or can they hire their own Tom Hagen to do it?

Mike: When Michael becomes occupied with the charges against him, he actually assigns Tom Hagen to be YOUR consigliore. You won't need to manage the day-to-day operations of the rackets, but it's your choice as the head of your family to send your made-men to defend your rackets or get your hands dirty and take care of things personally with your crew.

GV: Are rackets just in Miami, or do they take place in New York as well? If so, are you forced to travel between the two often, or is it story-based?

Mike: Rackets are in all three cities including Havanna. Some crime rings are completely contained in one city while others (the more profitable) span multiple cities making them a little more challenging to take over and defend, but the advantages are well worth the investment.

GV: What advantages come with controlling rackets?

Mike: As previously described, controlling all businesses within a racket brings with it a very valuable in-game perk. Some of these perks directly affect your action game (be it bullet-proof vests which bring you more health or an armored car that can withstand heavy gun fire while you attempt to penetrate a heavily guarded warehouse) and others affect the strategy game (controlling the brothels racket as an example results in your guards defending your businesses at half price).

GV: Communication plays a big role in the game, such as building alliances with other crime families. Do your choices influence the overall story, or is it fairly linear?

Mike: Which venues / rackets you choose to take over as well as which family you go after will certainly change the outcome of their retaliation. Going after one family early on vs. spreading out your attacks on multiple rivals will certainly change the outcome from game to game.

GV: Is multiplayer limited to just competitive modes, or is there co-op?

Mike: The multiplayer modes consist of family vs. family death match battles in addition to custom game modes designed specifically for your crew members' specialties (i.e. your arsonist can set fires in the "fire-starter" scenario) to win the mode. The cool thing is that you will be bringing your recruits from your single player experience to battle online and then they will return to your single player campaign with any cash / "rewards" they earned online.

GV: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about the game?

Mike: The Godfather II offers a new take on The Godfather franchise. We think we really built on our strengths from the first game while also fixing some of the more egregious issues and adding a cool new twist to the open-world genre. Now you don't just have to be one lone man against the world... you're not only part of a crime family, you're the Don!

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Interviews Neopets Puzzle Adventure Developer Interview Interviews Wanted: Weapons of Fate Producer Interview

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated