When Mario Pulzo wrote the 1969 novel "The Godfather", he probably didn't know that thirty years later, it would be distilled into a virtual reality simulation where you get to blow stuff up, damage property, and shoot people. Now, I have to confess something, and I’ll probably take a lot of flak for this – I didn’t read the novel (**gasps**), what’s more, I couldn’t really sit through the film (**more gasps**). I know it was meant to be this great masterpiece that everyone should nod at and admire, and talk how good it was...but I just can’t do it. I might be jaded by The Sopranos because I also found that to be drawn out and monotonous.
However, lucky for me, The Godfather 2 game was a different beast entirely. While I’m sure it pays homage to the movies and novels, it is also not afraid to do its thing in the name of fun! Today we review The Godfather 2 video game, and find out how it performs in stereoscopic 3D on DDD, iZ3D, and Nvidia GeForce 3D Vision solutions.
General Game Review
You are Dominic, one of Aldo Trapani’s soldiers. For those that don’t remember, Aldo is the dude from the first game who rose to control all of New York’s Corleone businesses.
If you never sampled this game before, The Godfather 2 can best be described as a GTA-like game, with character speech similar to mass effect (you get to select one of several phrases at different points in the dialogue). Also, like Mass Effect and other titles, you get to personalize your character's appearance. I thought this was a nice touch!
I’ll start off with the most important thing, and the reason that people read game reviews. Is the game fun? YES, absolutely. Is it worth playing? Definitely. So now that that’s over with, let's talk about the game.
Your character is placed in a large town that you are able to roam. Not quite as big as Grand Theft Auto, but still pretty large and definitely way more detailed. Oh! You can get into a lot more buildings than GTA, which was very cool.
The shooting mechanism is in third person, but it's easy to get used to. You get to play the tough guy and beat people up from whom you want to extort money. Not GTA style - Godfather 2 is way more brutal! It's true mobster style at its seediest. Did I mention the boobies? Yes, the boobies! Godfather 2 isn’t shy about'em, and you will find countless nipples in the gentlemens' bars, adult filming houses, and more. Now, the point isn’t so much in the boobies themselves (they are quite basic and polygonal), but rather that the game spared no expense (or shame) in showing them.
All joking aside, parents should be aware that The Godfather 2 video game is over the top in being adult oriented. It's not just violent - it's demeaning as well. Your character beats up and kills women, all the dialogue is sexually suggestive (more direct than suggestive, really), and malicious behaviour is rewarded - not punished. The Godfather 2 is a shameless mix of porno fantasy and crude violence. It is what it is, so consider this when buying the title. We would normally include a 3D video with a game review like this, but the nature of violence and the dialogue made this inappropriate.
As the game progresses, you gain the ability to recruit new family members - other, lower ranking mobsters that will work for you. They will assist on raids and have special abilities like being a medic or a demolitions expert. In many cases, these special abilities are needed to complete levels or challenges in the game, so choose wisely, Wise Guy!
The general “goal” of the game is to control all the businesses on the map by capturing them from a rival family. This means going to those places, shooting a lot of stuff up, extorting the owners, and lots of explosions! Once a family has no more businesses it retreats to its mansion, which, you guessed correctly – you must also blow up! Yay!
Once you control the town, you get to move to a new city and repeat the process with tougher enemies. Sounds simple enough? Not quite. The opposing family can win its businesses back, so you have to constantly assign guards and defend them. Otherwise, you will have to recapture them which can be a drag.
Now! How did The Godfather 2 do in stereoscopic 3D?
Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D Findings (by Neil Schneider)
Maingear X-Cube Intel Core I7 Processor 2.66GHZ 6GB RAM GTX 470, GTX 275 (PhysX) Windows 7 64 Bit NVIDIA 258.96 Stereo Driver NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision / Acer GD235HZ
While Nvidia doesn't recommend this title for GeForce 3D Vision users, we found some fixes they may not be aware of.
To get the best results, turn off the shadows and lens flare features in the graphics settings. Nvidia's results offered the strongest mix of depth and pop-out flexibility without causing camera angle problems.
However, there were cut-out or clipping problems with smoke and mist effects. Volumetric lights were also a problem because they were always rendered at screen depth. In this case, volumetric lights refers to lights shining on the streets, walls, and car headlights.
On the bright side, the crosshairs, name tags - pretty much everything had 3D rendering of some kind which is good.
DDD Stereoscopic 3D Findings
AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition Quad Core Processor 2.5Ghz Patriot Extreme Viper PC2-8500 4GB RAM EVGA GTX285 Windows 7 64 Bit Zalmon Trimon 24" Monitor DDD TriDef Experience 3.0.1
Similar to Nvidia, DDD requires shadows and flares to be turned off. In the options menu, make sure "Hide 2D 3D Objects" is set to "off" or you are going to miss effects that could be there. It's also unnecessary to have auto-convergence turned on.
The 3D map is uncomfortably rendered. Not bad enough that you have to turn the 3D off, but the icons would look better if they were rendered in 2D rather than out of the screen 100% of the time.
While gaming, the city map (especially while driving) is incorrectly rendered because while the map is rendered at a 3D depth, its markers are always at screen depth. This creates a mismatch problem making the map harder to read.
As with Nvidia, crosshairs and name tags are rendered in 3D.
iZ3D Stereoscopic 3D Findings
Core 2 Quad Q6600 Radeon 4870 1GB 4 GB RAM iZ3D 22" 3D Monitor Windows XP 64 iZ3D 1.12 Drivers
As with the other two solutions, flares and shadows need to be turned off. Second to Nvidia, the flexibility for convergence and separation wasn't too bad - so you can get some out of screen effects here too.
Screen depth volumetric lights (e.g. spotlights on the wall and floor) are problematic as they are with the other 3D solutions. At the beginning of the game, the ocean was also rendered in 2D. Not a deal breaker because it's only at the beginning, but it's noticeable.
The game's city map could easily be uncomfortable to read if you zoom in too far. Similar to DDD, the navigation map in the HUD can become totally useless if the separation is too high because the markers don't match up with the map itself.
The Godfather 2 puts you in the midst of crime family warfare, and you really feel it. The 3d may not be flawlessly implemented but that didn’t affect the game play or enjoyment aspect of it – which there is a lot of. If you are into the GTA-genre of games, then you can’t miss this one. In all three cases, the stereoscopic 3D experience works, but it's mediocre at best. A few driver updates here and there would make a world of difference.
Finally, Godfather 2 isn't for kids or squeamish adults. Nudity, violence, and violence against women is the thread that binds this title together. Not quite porno, parents and gift shoppers should be aware of this caveat. Check out MTBS' Godfather 2 gallery, and share your commentary below.