And they can get away with it. While it's got one heck of a learning curve for newcomers--even with the detailed tutorial--and the interface is still somewhat clunkier than it should be, there's a lot of fun to be had with Capitalism II
, especially for those people who are into business simulations. Instead of doing a particular part of business, this game does it all
, and it does it well.
When I say all, I really mean it. Sure, in the tutorial scenario you start off with a convenience store and a single product. From there, you can grow your product line and expand your chain so that you rake in even more profits. But that's just the tip of the iceberg in Capitalism II. You can control every aspect of your product--what is called vertical integration--from its raw base to the completed product. You can buy the factories that get the raw materials (and even sometimes the raw materials themselves), the refinement steps if there are any, and even the media that pushes your product upon the unsuspecting populace.
And Captalism II doesn't stop there. You can buy buildings and try to play the land ownership game; you can play the stock market, wheeling and dealing and trying to stay on top of that game; you can expand into different cities, becoming a massive megacorporation with millions of dollars.
If it sounds overwhelming, well, it is at first. There's a whole lot to learn, and the first campaign devotes itself to teaching you the ins and outs of the game. Even then, there's so much tweaking that you can do that you're really just starting on truly learning the way that Capitalism II works.
For example, there are tons of different products that you can sell, from jewelry to milk. Products all have different ways of making them 'sell', and different areas have different demands for your products. Depending on where you get your products, you may even be putting money into your competitor's pocket. Juggling all of this complexity can be a daunting task, but fortunately the game helps you out with a number of mechanics (some automatic, some simply time-saving) that can keep you sane deep in the complexity.
Capitalism II also sports multiplayer, but the style of play doesn't really fit well into the standard multiplayer paradigm. There's a lot to do, for sure, but Capitalism II is often about exploration of boundaries and seeing just what sort of things you can do to turn the world around, which is easier in a single-player setting. And there's enough single-player to keep you going for ages--the game sports a random scenario generator along with the campaigns, which should produce challenges unending for the addicts.