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Capitalism 2 Review
developer: Enlight Software
P233, 64MB RAM, 250MB HDD
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Dec 17, 01
|» All About Capitalism 2 on ActionTrip|
Dusan "Lynx" Katilovic
Huh! Over the last year or so, we suffered a tide of various Tycoon titles, of suspicious quality, to say the least. The most important of the numerous remarks we had about these titles, was that of the very concept of those games: none of them dealt with economy properly, they always extracted one particular abstract aspect.
To be honest, devising any kind of an economic simulation is a daring, yet not an impossible task. Capitalism II is a sequel of a very successful game which appeared on the market five years ago, achieving something that no game achieved since - giving the players a chance to experience all the thrills of creating an economic empire, in a realistic and more importantly, fun way. The success of the original Capitalism is further proved by fact that some schools of economy around the globe started using it for practice and that it got the fabulous add-on, Capitalism Plus.
One unavoidable question when playing sequels is whether the sequel is better or worse than its predecessor. The shortest possible answer here would be - much better, but things cannot be taken that simple... the first thing you will notice in this game, and which will become more and more impressive as you progress through it is the freedom of choice and strategy building it offers. This is hardly described by words, but the possibilities seem infinite. Starting from scratch, you can gradually get grips with many aspects of economy - there are over fifty products for you to research and produce: you can mine ore, breed cattle, rent flats, run a Research & Development center... and you can also combine all these on your way to building your own financial empire. All elements seem like pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together; for instance, the silicon ore you can mine can run through several production facilities and you will end up with a sophisticated product, like say, a printer. IT is not the only branch of industry you can deal with: you can also manage automobile industry, wood industry, leather industry, food industry, etc.
Of course, at a certain point, you can decide that you want to avoid the retailers and offer your goods to end users directly by building stores for your products. Once you get into this line of business, you will face the difficulties of determining the proper pricing policies, and building a strong brand name while staying in line with the competition. The success of your trade network will also directly depend on your advertising and geographical positioning.
All this is still a piece of cake compared to what is in store for you once you reach the stock market. The game brilliantly simulates the stock market, and if you make an initial success, you will soon see your stocks sore and will soon become a big player, taking over less successful competitors. The excess funds can be used for acquiring other companies and investments into stable sectors like real-estate or dynamic like the media. Now, a serious businessman has to think about enjoying his wealth too, say by building a villa with a pool (and putting some naked chicks into it).
What makes Capitalism II really different from its predecessor is the higher level of diversification in all business aspects and advanced AI. It is no more possible to sell any product in general stores; medicines are now sold in drug stores, food in groceries, etc. this move was a big risk for the development team, as it might have easily turned the game in a chaotic nightmare. Fortunately, they used their best skill and knowledge to turn all this into clear and intuitive statistics showing all details concerning the retailers, and supply and demand.
The entire interface has been well-modeled. It will take you some time (not too much mind you, considering the number of useful options in the game) to find all useful things and remember where they are. Everything is very logical and intuitive, and the developers chose the right way to gradually introduce you to more and more complex features off the game.
The only true downsides of this game are quite technical. The graphics are quite unsatisfactory for modern standards. The game contains several completely unnecessary elements (like pedestrians and cars on the streets), but the overall visual impression remains poor. The sound is good, but the few background themes tend to switch rather abruptly, so I guess that will be distracting your attention until you get used to it.
Even though Capitalism II looks indisputably far more mature than its predecessors, it still has room for further improvements. This doesn't mean that I think this game has any flaws; I just think that one day, with a bit of luck, we might get to play Capitalism III, in which you will be able to take the next logical step in business development and engage in politics.
8.9 Very Good
Complexity and wideness of the game, infinite number of possibilities in choosing your business strategy;
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