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  • Tropico 5

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    First there was Tropico.
    Then there was another one of it.
    Then there was a 3D one of it.
    Then there was another one of that.
    This is another one of the 3D one.
    Now I would imagine that most people who have rad this far will know that Tropico is amoderately amusing city builder / dictatorship simulator with a distinctly caribean flavour. And most of them will have at least tried one of the prequels, and yes to use a rather obvious cop out, if you liked them, then you will like this. If you didn't, the you won't.
    The question really becomes, is there enough new material to jutify shelling out for, what is really, the same bloody game all over gain. Are Kalypso simply doing a FIFA and gouging their fanbase?
    Well the single player campaign is a not unlikeable mix of pop culture and zeitgeist meme pastiches which holds together more effectively than the sort of rubbish that strategy games typically breach trading standard regulations by calling a "story". There is a not so subtle difference from previous games where instead of being installed on a new island for each "level", you select between two different islands and every decision you make will carry over throughout the story.
    Its an interesting dynamic, making you consider carefully each and every decision, though it can make subsequent levels really easy, or really hard, depending on how you performed throughout the story. Liberally dot guard towers around the island, and the "Island Invasion" level (erm spoiler?!?) becomes a cakewalk,tank your ecconomy in the first level and you maywell be struggling for the rest of the game, or at least until the next island section is unlocked.
    However the "campaign" is short. A lot shorter than previous games, with a literal handful of islands to play on and a run time of maybe 15 hours. This sort of playtime is pretty much a given now for a FPS campaign, but strategy gamers tend to expect a bit more.
    That said, there is still the sandbox mode, which will generate an infinite number of islands to continue your thirst for megalomania upon.


    The main substance of the game, the actual building, has been much improved in a variety of ways. Farms now show exactly how much space they will actually farm, and whilst you can still build on their land, this will have a subsequent impact on their production levels. It does make it much easier to judge exactly how close to the sugar plantation you can build the bunkhouse for its workers.
    You can also assign managers from the general population to buff most buildings, increasing productivity, or happiness or even the standard of localhousing for example. Buildings can also be upgraded as time progresses increasing the customisation options available to you. And indeed time does now march on, with options only being unlocked once a certain timeframe has been reached.

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    Trade is also greatly improved, no longer reliant on simply shipping goods off the island, you can build a fleet of trade ships to export specific goods at inflated prices, or turn your island into a modern day Japan, importing cheap raw resources and processing them into more lucrative luxery goods for export.
    The big draw that Kalypso has made a big thing of is the "dynasty" system, which I cannot help but think of as an attempt to tap into the cult status of Crusader Kings. Unfortunately its the weakest new adition and really a bit of an abject failure. The characters in your dynasty simply exist to give you an alternative character to play as.
    They don't age, or die, they don't enact their own plans to overthrow your rule, or assasinate their older siblings in order to inherit the presidency (eh? Presidency is inherited, just ask the Bush's!).
    Its a bit like Nick Clegg.
    They don't really do anything, they are just there.
    Still, you are free to completely ignore them.
    So thats alright then.
    Tropico 5 is certainly a good game, I'd go so far as to say one of the best city builders currently available, and certainly the best entry in the franchise. If you haven't played the franchise since the second game, then its an easy recommend (provided you liked it. NATCH).
    BUT
    Even with the new additions, it really is just tinkering around the edges. It looks the same and plays the same as 4, and with the reuse of many building models and music remaining unchanged since the third game, a convincing argument could be made that you already paid for the game.
    Twice.
    It also seems to have been released with fewer building choices than either three or four, and theories of a DLC gouging plan cannot really be dismissed out of hand as the paranoid ramblings of deranged conspiracy theorists.

    Now if you will excuse me, whilst my body may well be freezing its extremities off, at least my mind can be whisked away to, well if not a tropical paradise, a close approximation of. After all, I'm running it!

    Coconut Crab/10

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    Attached Files

    • Belimawr
      #4
      Belimawr commented
      Editing a comment
      tried another game earlier playing "deport or kill everyone who doesn't agree with me" after an uncountable amount of rebel attacks and only just into the cold war, also having had a few uprisings, for there suddenly to be a mass uprising that consisted of 90% of my military bases and that was all she wrote, after I amassed a huge army to kill the rebels and anyone else who pissed me off.

    • JackRabbit
      #5
      JackRabbit commented
      Editing a comment
      Setting an atheist state doesn't remove the religious faction. Indeed I think it would be better if by selecting atheist state, you were forbidden from constructing religious buildings, but still kept the religious faction so you have to develop other methods of dealing with them.

    • Belimawr
      #6
      Belimawr commented
      Editing a comment
      it does massively reduce them coming to your island tho. so they just become a small group on the island and neglecting them doesn't affect you much.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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