In most crime games, you're never given a chance to fully control the fate of your organization. Even though you work your way up from a low level soldier to a leader, your moves and the growth of your organization is somewhat rigidly tied to linear story features. The same can be said of the opposition to your maneuvers by rivals, who will only react to you and your activities only after you've committed something significant.
As a result, you never get a sense of being a true crime lord who has to deal with the consequences of your actions nor do you feel like you have to watch your back because your enemies will attack you where they feel you're weakest. EA is hoping to change this lack of control with its upcoming release of The Godfather II, a game that lets you run the family business with a mix of action and strategy.