|a game by||Haemimont Games AD|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, PC|
|Editor Rating:||6.5/10, based on 2 reviews, 1 review is shown|
|User Rating:||9.0/10 - 6 votes|
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|See also:||Mouse Only Games, Merchant Games, Political Games, Games Like Anno, Games Like Frostpunk, Tropico Series|
Everyone’s got their own opinion on how to run a nation. Normally, this leads to a lot of discourse between people and can end up with some difficult consequences. There’s probably some universe in which I begin writing this not for a review, but for some long, drawn out description of how world politics is, describing how banana republics have risen and fallen, and on and on. But that’s neither here nor there, because the focus for this review is Tropico 5 where you can actually play out these scenarios every day to your heart’s desire. You want to see what its like to be a dictator? Go for it.
Benevolent ruler revered by the people? Absolutely. Malicious tyrant? Frightening, but I like your spirit. Tropico 5 isn’t the best game for these ideas nor is it necessarily the best of the Tropico series, but its got some heart in the right places that makes the world feel like its alive as you try to help your country survive and thrive.
What’s truly easy to love about Tropico 5 is that it takes some of the best aspects from games like Sid Meier’s Civilization series, borrows some ideas from giants like Sim City and Planet Coaster, and mashes them into a complex, intricate political setting. Being able to manage foreign and domestic policies is overwhelming at first, but adds great depth to the game. The RTS elements are streamlined and give you a lot of maneuverability while the campaign has been redesigned entirely. In short, each mission in this game occurs on one of two islands – you’ll alternate between them, though development never fully resets from mission to mission. Its enjoyable to watch each island thrive through your efforts instead of watching them go to waste when you start the next mission. Another great piece is that Tropico 5 is different from Tropico 4, meaning old ‘exploitative’ strategies won’t work like they used to. However, Tropico 5 realizes this and rewards players for building towards new designs instead of relying on old ones.
A Bit Up, A Bit Down
Now, Tropico 5 is certainly a different game than 4, and not everything felt like a great change. The streamlining of economic controls leaves a bad taste in your mouth after the depth of control you were given in past games. Its debatable whether or not this is good, but there’s a bit of missed opportunity here that stems with such simplification. Second, combat/defense in Tropico 5, though simpler in a better form than the economic controls, has controls that are outright non-functional half the time. Its difficult to get troops around the map in time to really defend yourself unless they’re already in place.
Finally, actually attempting to be benevolent versus tyrannical is possible, though ultimately arbitrary and sometimes downright impossible. If you’re not constantly pleasing your citizens, its basically fruitless for trying to win the game through fear. Pure benevolence is the intended route, which takes a bit of the fun away from going rogue.
Tropico 5, though it steps forward in several ways, ultimately brings the series nowhere. There are some really great, heavily dedicated parts, and there are other areas that seem entirely neglected. Either way, its still worth playing if you love the series, though its not the shining next installment everyone had hoped for after the fourth game.
- Decent depth/writing
- Detailed campaign that actually builds on your success
- Gameplay rewards newer styles of play, some DLC revives old exploits
- Most new DLC is irrelevant (not worth it)
- Streamlining helps in a few spots, but really hurts areas like economy/associated controls
- Really only one path to victory – being rogue = near impossible