Q: I think everyone has heard about The Five Families of New York. Who are they and where do they reside?
The Corleone Family owns and operates in Little Italy, the lower end of Manhattan. To the North is Midtown, where the rich and powerful Barzini Family calls home. Across the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges you’ll run into the Tattaglia family, whose compound can be found in the industrial Vinegar Hill. The Cuneo Family owns Hell’s Kitchen, which many call the armpit of New York. Finally, you’ll find the merciless Stracci Family running things in New Jersey. Don’t get caught slippin’ on a late night in this territory, or you’ll find out why they’re called ‘The Butchers of Jersey’.
Q: Most Godfather fans remember the Tattaglias from the movie. What can you tell me about these pimps and drug pushers?
The Tattaglias are the weakest family in the game. Their low position forces them to work with other families to survive, and to partner with outsiders, like the poppyseed-pushing Virgil Solozzo. Run by Don Philip and his ruthless son, Bruno, the Tattaglias make most of their money as small-time pimps, although teaming with Solozzo shows they are intent on growing their influence. The struggle for power in New York City can change the fortunes of any family, and the Tattaglia’s plans to eliminate the Corleones as rivals could prove successful if done right.
Q: Tell us about “The Butchers of Jersey”, the Straccis.
The Straccis are hostile, cruel, and barbaric, but not particularly well-funded or organized. Their brute force makes them a stronger enemy than the Tattaglias, and their relative isolation in New Jersey provides them a small amount of protection, but also a smaller piece of the NY pie. The primary threat from the Straccis comes from their involvement in smuggling explosives from out-of-state. Some say Jersey isn’t worth fighting for, but don’t say that in front of a Stracci.
Q: And the Cuneos?
The Cuneos are a professional family, both in business and in warfare. As long as they aren’t crossed, the Cuneos have a reputation for honor and loyalty. However, they will fiercely defend their turf, and they control some of the oldest and most well-established rackets in New York City. The Cuneos pride themselves in their excellent marksmanship, so seek cover if the bullets start to fly. Don’t go into the Hell’s Kitchen sewers or railways without a shotgun and lots of ammo.
Q: Finally, tell us about The Corleone Family’s biggest and most powerful enemy – The Barzinis.
The Barzinis are the hardest family in the game. They are well-funded, and control some of the most lucrative businesses in the state – both legal and otherwise. The Barzinis use their influence to manipulate judges and police chiefs, which gives them the legal protection they need to run their brothels and diamond smuggling rackets. A Barzini will fight to death with his last ounce of strength. Even though Don Emilio Barzini attended the wedding of Vito Corleone’s daughter Connie, don’t believe for a second that these families are friends.
Q: Any final tips for dealing with these families as the game progresses?
Start with the Tattaglias. Despite controlling two territories (Little Italy & Brooklyn) at the beginning of the game they are still the easiest family to take on as an Outsider/Associate. Once you’ve acquired a few level 2 firearms head over to New Jersey, but be sure to have enough money on hand to purchase a Safehouse over there…it’ll serve as an armory and a hideout from the “Butchers” and keep you from having to travel too far if you are to get wounded. Once you reach a respect level in the mid-high 20’s you can start to work on the Cuneos. The Cuneos travel in packs, heavily defending their Hell’s Kitchen rackets; aside from at least one level 3 firearm make sure you have the cops on your side, bribe the chief to get the beat cops to fight with you against the boys in red. The Barzinis, hands down the toughest family in the game, shouldn’t even be dealt with until you’ve got most level 3 gun upgrades (at least the Street Sweeper) and plenty of explosives (molotovs, dynamite and time bombs) on hand. Be sure to know where the nearest FBI agents are at all times as you’re going to want to keep the vendetta levels down when battling with the Barzinis…they’re hard enough to beat when they’re not attacking you on sight. Be sure to be very proficient with a firearm too, head shots are the only way to eliminate a group of Barzini’s.
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