Tropico 6 - Console Edition Review
Reviewed on Sony PlayStation 4Also available on Microsoft Xbox One and PC
Tropico and is back making you, as with previous entries in the series, El Presidente of a small group of fictional islands somewhere in the Caribbean. With beautiful beaches and tropical vegetation, you will have to turn these paradises into a monopoly of tourism, wealth and power.
What’s new you ask? A lot. Tropico 6 by Limbic Entertainment, is a beautiful and well thought out addition to the series. The game now includes new models and customisation, transport features, world powers, and a somewhat slicker controller layout.
Instantly it's clear that that Tropico 6 brings with it a great new look, with any angle showing off the beautiful game design. You are almost inspired to try your best to make this island the best you can starting with launching your Dictatorial career.
One of the new additions to the game is the customisation to your character and your palace. There is a lot you can do here to make it more “you”. What you will notice at this point is that you can unlock other cosmetics by completing tasks in-game. You can always come back to this customisation feature any time during your adventures in Tropico, so there is no need to worry about always starting a new island to just put on a new hat or change the roof of your palace.
Once you are happy with your Presidente, you can get stuck in. Depending on what mode you are in, you will want to be mindful of what you do first. It can be very tempting to just start placing buildings left, right and centre when you only have a population of 50 and a budget of $50,000. This will pretty much make you sit around waiting for money to come in from foreign aid or the resources you produce. In sandbox mode, you do have the option of having unlimited funds, but you will always start with a small population who cant fill out everything you put down, making your game a slow start.
By starting small, and working with what the tutorial had taught you, if you went through with it that is, will give you the key elements on how to grow a successful island, leaving the design to you. The game does very well in giving you the baby steps on how to do things right before it starts adding layers of difficulty on your journey.
Through the eras of the colonial years, world wars, cold war and then modern times, you will start to unlock different buildings and tools at your disposal. With the vast categories to choose from, you can make the island a military fortress or a tourist haven. All that being considered, you have lots of factions to keep happy, including the world superpowers.
Making your island very militaristic can leave many unhappy with your gun-ho approach. The game does a great job of putting you in front of these people and listening to their needs. Not only will you have to listen to them, but at the end of your term, you have to convince them you are the right man or lady for the role once more. Can you pull on their heartstrings and promise to make all your wrongs right? If you fail on any of your promises or you ignore any of their requests you might just have them knocking down your palace door with a militia behind them or driving a tank up the front lawn in an attempted military coup.
A few other ways to keep the people of Tropico, or the majority of them happy, is to issue edicts out to the islands. These come in all forms of shapes and sizes which will always benefit either one or two factions and annoy the rest. However, there may be one or two edicts that can please all. I mean who doesn't like a tax cut? Tropico does a good job of giving you lots of things to give you a challenging but enjoyable experience.
With the new inclusion of multiple islands, I have taken a liking to the bridges and tunnels you can now create to link them all together. The tunnels are pretty simple. plop it next to a hill/mountain/rocky surface and then place an exit elsewhere. bridges are simple enough with the road tool being a click and drag to a point where you are happy with it. You can now make the city, or in Tropico terms, the island of your dreams. Finally!
Another feature to have a recent facelift is the military aspect. Now it won't win any awards for being a military real-time strategy game and it's not set out to do that. However, it does have enough to satisfy fans of the series, including the introduction of a catalogue of new buildings with special capabilities and actions. Your war campaign has been enhanced beautifully for your term as El Presidente.
However, I feel this is an area where they can make even more changes to going forward. I would have loved to be able to deploy my armed forces overseas or instead of the game ending when I am invaded by one of the superpowers, actually allowing me to at least fight them off. Instead, we are left as a defence force against rebels and sometimes either Axis or the Allies in the world wars era. Introducing a bigger and expansive navy would have been great too. At present, the only naval asset you have is an aircraft carrier and that's just a return from the previous instalment.
All though you may not be strong enough to take on the might of the USA, if you are feeling daring, you can take their landmarks. With the new raids and heists feature, you can now take their precious Statue of Liberty and place it perfectly in the front garden of the presidential palace. It doesn't stop there however, you can rip Stonehenge out from the ground or even pluck the Eiffel Tower away from Paris. All this and more from one of 4 raid buildings.
Tropico 6 has still given you that freedom of doing it your way. You feel like you want to take on a faction and suppress the hell out of it, you can. You want to make everyone happy, throw a peace sign up and visit the botanical gardens you can. The creativeness still exists and that's what matters in Tropico. In my playthrough, I still felt motivated to let my creativity flow and make my islands the most beautiful and well-run establishment going. It may have taken plenty of hours, but it didn't matter as the game makes you forget what time it is.
With the campaign, you have 15 scenario-based islands to work on, all though they are not related to each other, they will keep you engaged for a long period. They provide you with a somewhat story-rich scenario with the traditional Tropico comedy bolted on. And while you are laughing at your wacky sidekick Penultimo, you are always being tested on the next aspect of the game. Well worth finishing.
With Sandbox mode and Multiplayer, you are getting much more than what you paid for. Sandbox provides you with the tools to create your island. With multiple options and customisations, you can create the environment that's right for you. If you are wanting disasters around every corner? Then you are in luck, here is a volcano in the middle of your island. You want all your islands to be of the same size with an abundance of resource? Here are five islands that you asked for brimming with coal, iron and gold. Tropico 6 does it right on the creative scale.
Multiplayer will host you and 3 friends on an island, with the host dictating the conditions for victory. You can team up and bully one out with diplomacy or you can all hold hands and become allies forever. Only slight downside to the multiplayer is there is no cross-platform play.
Tropico 6 is a great step forward. It fixes a lot of the problems that plagued the last instalment and does it while adding plenty of content. Limbic have created the building blocks of something great and with more focus on military interaction of invading and conquering it could become a brilliant all-round experience.