This game is either good for those who never played Restaurant Empire I or poor for those who've completed and squeezed the fruit.
So Armand is back as is Delia. You will continue to control their lives if you play the campaign. However, although the story is different and there are options between the dialogs, every option leads to the same outcome.
Those ill fated decision lead to boring repetitive goals like have a 3.5 star food in a certain restaurant or have at least 50.000$ monthly profit in your restaurant group.
Restaurant Empire II lets you run your own Restaurant. You can chose your staff, your food menu, you can obviously decorate it and there are a handful of themes to chose from. After doing so, you pretty much just watch and make changes if you're profit is lower than your expense.
Things I like about RE II:
» The graphics, although they are sort of outdated.
» The design is simple and linear.
» The game is quite charming.
» Tons of recipes.
» New restaurant themes - German Cuisine and Café and Dessert Houses.
» New items!
» It includes the campaign from the previous release.
» Now you can hire performers.
» Cooking contests have new mini games and there's a TV show where you'll also play another mini game.
What I don't like about RE:
» You can't still "build" your Restaurant. You're still to forced to chose between locked sizes and you can't edit anything about the structure itself.
» The new campaign is outdated. You're still given one Restaurant and you must start from the bottom.
» There's no link between the previous campaign and the new one, except for the story. Whatever you did on the first campaign is long-gone-forgotten.
» Decorating is still very strict. You don't have half the freedom you have on "The Sims" series.
» The new campaign throws too many empty restaurants at you in a row. You build one, win the scenario and the next one, you'll do pretty much the same, because you're given exactly the same starting point - this is one major negative aspect. The progression between scenarios is extremely broken and repetitive.
» Even in 2009, the game is sealed to a 1024x768 resolution.
» The comfort and decoration categories of the restaurant are still very unrealistic.
» There's a new category called live performance which can't ever be 100% and therefore lowers your Restaurant's overall number stars.
» The background music still disappears constantly and there are barely any new songs.
» After around 6 years they only come up with 2 or 3 game-play twists?
Overall, RE: II is one small step forward, one small step back. Old bugs and annoyances are still present, and some of the new twists also bring new bugs. Even with the minor tweaks and features, the game-play still remains the same and the new campaign is a hell of repetitive strict building with boring, unpractical goals. The sandbox is also still pretty bland.
For newcomers RE: II is probably a 5-6 satisfactory game, but to the others, it is undoubtedly a 2-3 poor game. It feels more like an expansion with a new scenario rather than a sequel.
So is RE: II worth it? I'd suggest renting the game, if possible. Overall, I consider Restaurant Empire II to be average. It is still a satisfying experience.