Rival families can be eliminated only when they've lost control of all businesses and have retreated to their fortress-like compounds. At this point, the compounds become unlocked so that you can get into them and fight your way to wherever it is that you need to place a bomb. In theory, you shouldn't attempt this kind of operation until you've weakened a family by assassinating a number of its made men, but in practice, the only real difference between those guys and the regular guards is that it takes more bullets to put them down. Interestingly, the only way to permanently kill a made man other than to bomb his family's compound is to do so in a way that sends a specific message to his family, and you can find out which message needs to be sent only by doing favors for people you meet on the street. Remember how Vito Corleone was unable to turn down any request from a friend on his daughter's wedding day in the first Godfather movie? Well, this is nothing like that. Rather, you approach complete strangers and tell them they look like they need help, at which point they tell you who or which building they want attacked. Do them the favor, and they'll tell you where one of your enemies can be found and that he can only be killed with a Molotov, with a shot between the eyes, with a fall from a great height, by being run over with a car, or something similar. Not only is soliciting murder advice from random pedestrians totally absurd, carrying out these contrived actions is more trouble than it's worth, so you'll probably end up just bombing the compound every time.
The front door was locked.
Once you take down all five families, you're about done with the single-player portion of The Godfather II. Multiplayer modes designed for up to 16 players include Team Deathmatch, Demolition Assault, FireStarter, and Safecracker. You play as one of the members of your crew from the single-player game, and as you earn honor points online, you can use them to upgrade your guys' weapon licenses so that they're able to use more-powerful guns both online and off. Your choice of crew member will likely be dictated by the game type that you're playing because, in case you hadn't guessed, those last three modes favor players with demolition, arson, and safecracker skills, respectively. Unfortunately, The Godfather II's multiplayer isn't much fun. Targeting enemies without the lock-on feature feels too imprecise on consoles, completing objectives on the non-deathmatch modes doesn't earn you as many points as just killing people, and most of the maps are too big for just 16 players.
One of the more interesting multiplayer features, regardless of the fact that it's functional rather than fun, is the option for one player on each team to play as the don. As the don, you don't play as a guy on the ground at all, but as a disembodied camera flying high above the map and able to relay information to teammates about enemy locations and the like both with voice chat and by dropping waypoint beacons. When your team captures strategic locations on the map, you can also reward them with bulletproof vests and other perks, which is great for them but as boring as it sounds for you. Worse still, you can only fly around freely at a fixed altitude, so although you have the option to jump between players and key locations with a couple of button presses, your movement still feels oddly restricted. It's possible to make money as the don by betting on the outcome of games, but money's unlikely to be an issue once you near the end of the single-player game, so it's hardly compelling.
Two soldiers demonstrate their very different interpretations of Dominic's order to follow him.
Questionable design choices aside, the problem with almost every aspect of The Godfather II is simply that it feels unfinished. Dated visuals, voiced lines of dialogue that seemingly play at random and often inappropriate times, dead bodies falling through scenery, a car hovering in the air about half a mile off the Cuban coast, being able to snipe enemies through walls and doors that haven't popped into view yet, guards who fail to recognize you as a threat when you walk into a federal building and crack a safe, cars and pedestrians that appear and disappear long before they leave your range of vision, getting stuck in an animation somewhere between a regular walk and a crouch after vaulting through a window--these are just some of the problems we encountered in the 13 hours or so that it took to play from start to finish. Even looking past these anomalies, all you're going to find is repetitive, unsatisfying gameplay in an illogical, inconsistent world. The Godfather II should have been an offer impossible to refuse, but like Michael's brother Fredo, this one will break your heart.