reviews\ Feb 21, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Capitalism II - PC - Review

It is said that great things improve with age and this point has certainly been proven to be true with the release of Ubi Soft's Capitalism II.  The sophisticated game design developed by renowned game designer Trevor Chan captivated game strategists from around the globe and has continued to present challenges to date.  Capitalism II is not just a clone of the earlier game, however.  The game design has been tweaked and honed to near perfection and the game content offers even more challenge than before!

Whether you are a novice or an accomplished business sim player, you will find that you will have to give yourself time in the beginning to learn the ins and outs of gameplay in Capitalism II and it is highly recommended that players new to the game start with the Entrepreneur's Campaign tutorials.  Playing the tutorials will allow you to learn the basics of the game and they are designed to be played in sequence so that you will continue to add new elements of gameplay as you proceed through the campaign.

Once you are comfortable with your knowledge of the game, you will want to play through the Capitalist's Campaign where you will find individual scenarios that will present specific challenges.  You can also choose to play a Custom game which allows you to define some of the game parameters for yourself.  If you do opt to play a Custom game, you will be lead through a series of screens where you may choose from the options available.

Although complex in nature, the premise of Capitalism II is really quite simple.  You must create businesses that either buy, produce, or sell products or which provide services.  As your business grows and begins to make money, you then reinvest the profits to expand your current operation and to acquire new businesses.

Let's say that you choose retail sales.  There are many factors that must be considered before you can open the doors to your new retail outlet.  You will first have to decide where you want to build.  Do you want to cater to the upper class customer with higher priced items...or do you want to offer items with discount prices to the lower end customer?  There are over 50 products that you can choose to sell.  Many of the products available can be grown or made near your retail location while other products must be imported.  It is important that you have easy access to the products you wish to sell.

Once you decide where you want to locate, it is time to build your retail store.  Will it be a department store or a supermarket?  It is up to you to determine the size of store you will build.  If you are confident that your chosen products will sell easily, you might want to go for a larger building.  However, if you are a bit skeptical about how well your products will be received, it might be wise to start with a smaller building.

I have just given you a few of the factors that you will have to consider if you want to go into retail sales in Capitalism II.  You may want to try your hand at becoming a real estate mogul by building apartments and commercial properties instead.  Or maybe you will opt to be a banker...or a newspaper publisher...or even an oil tycoon!   With Capitalism II, your options are almost limitless!

This Ubi Soft Entertainment game can be played as both a Single Player Game or a Multi-Player Game. Additionally, Multi-Player Games can be played utilizing the internet network or by using a local area network, via modem, cable or TCP/IP address.  Complete, easy-to-understand instruction for playing Multi-Player Games can be found in the game manual.

Minimum System Requirements include:  Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP, Pentium II 233 MHz or comparable processor, 64 MB RAM, 4X CD ROM/DVD ROM drive, 250 MB free hard disk space, Video Card with DirectX 8 compatible driver, DirectX 8 compatible sound card, keyboard and mouse.

Reviewer's Scoring Details

Install:  Easy

Gameplay:  9.0. 
Capitalism II is a very well built game offering very high challenge as both a single- or multi-player game.  The game engine is excellent.  The sim player will find this game to be most satisfying and enjoyable and there is no doubt that it offers a very high replay aspect.

Graphics:  7.5. 
There is certainly room for improvement in this area but the overall graphics are pretty good.

Sound:  5.5. 
I believe this area could stand the most improvement.  Adding some appropriate background music and better sound effects would have greatly improved the game atmosphere.

Difficulty:  8.0. 
Learning to play this Ubi Soft game will take time and as such has a high learning curve.  You can't simply jump into Capitalism II and start playing.  This is not to say that the game is hard to understand or difficult to control, however.  It simply will take time to learn to play effectively.

Concept:  8.0. 
This game is not your typical business game.  Although it utilizes the basic game engine first seen in Capitalism...that engine has been tweaked and honed to a very fine edge.  There is a almost limitless level of achievement that can be reached with the right player behind the controls!

Multiplayer:  8.5. 
Up to 7 players can compete against each other in this game.  The Multi-Player game setup is very easy to do.

Overall:  8.0. 
Even with the lower sound rating, Capitalism II commands a very high overall rating!  The dynamics of the game offer superb challenge and enjoyment for the Sim player!  I believe this game would have sold very well at a higher price but it is truly a bargain at $20!


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