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Tropico 6

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 8 - 2019

Penultimo is back.

The Tropico series has been around for a while now, challenging players to put on their dictator hats and run a banana republic. However, El Presidente’s ever helpful assistant Penultimo has also been around for a while, offering sage advise along with a slightly smarmy smile. Don’t tell El Presidente, but I am starting to wonder if Penultimo is the real power in this city-management sim.

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So, El President is back, along with Penultimo, in Kalypso Media’s Tropico 6. Long time fans of the game will be able to enjoy a number of improvements over the previous titles, while still feeling that familiar buzz of building up a successful island dictatorship while remaining in power for as long as possible, by any means. However, behind the scenes there have been some changes, not least of which is handing the development of the game to Limbic Entertainment. Limbic’s more than capable hands have also ushered in a brand new game engine using Unreal Engine 4, making everything look that little bit better as players build up their industries, make loads of money and quell any uprisings.

Those new to the game will be very well introduced by playing through the included tutorials. Even veteran players would do well to check out the tutorials, just so they can quickly get to grips with any of the new mechanics in the game. The tutorials are very well laid out and drop the player into established situations while guiding the player with what they need to know to fix them.

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Players take on the role of a dictator on a tropical island/islands. There is a nice selection of customisation options for the players avatar, who will frequently make appearances in the game. They are then responsible for building up an income for the island, and providing the inhabitants with work, fun and everything else they need to stay happy. The goal of the game is to stay in power, as every so often there will be an election and the player could find themselves kicked out if they have upset enough people. However, with funds that may or may not have been diverted from the people, and a fair bit of charisma, the player will win the election and continue their rule. Worst comes to the worst, bribery is always an option.

Playing through the tutorials will give players the base knowledge they will need to hold off being ousted through the various eras. However, once the player steps into the story missions, their education will continue. The campaign offers up some great situations for the player to flex their dictatorial muscles at, often with surprising twists and turns.

While the tutorials and the campaign missions offer great insight into the game and all of the new features, the sandbox mode is often where most players will spend their time. It is here that the player will have the complete freedom to build up their republic from scratch, and can make the most use of cool new features such as multiple islands and stealing landmarks from other countries.

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Speeches are back! There are many ways for El Presidente to sway the outcome of an election, but nothing is so rousing as seeing El Presidente address his people and make promises (many of which will never be fulfilled, but we are all used to that). An option dropped from the last Tropico game, players are able to create a custom speech for El Presidente to deliver before an election, focussing on specific issues in order to gain more support.

Perhaps the most widely advertised new feature is the one showcased by having the Statue of Liberty dropped into the dictatorship by helicopter. There is a lot more to the new Raids feature than that, and players will have to work their way up to stealing monuments and buildings from other countries. Each era has a different building that will result in raid points being accumulated. These points can then be spent on things like sending teams out to steal resources, handy for when certain resources are running low. However, eventually, they will be able to head out and steal the likes of the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty, each of which will bring different benefits for El Presidente. It’s a great new feature that doesn’t add a huge amount to the gameplay, but still feels significant enough to be worth playing around with.

The big change comes in the form of archipelagos. Tropico is no longer limited to a single island as players can now expand their control over several islands. New transport options make this more viable as massive road bridges can now be built to join islands together, allowing workers and resources to be transported easily between them. For the sandbox player, this means that different islands can be developed for specific reasons, such as making one island a tourist haven, or another for harvesting a certain resource. An archipelago view allows the player to quickly zoom in on whichever area they need to with ease, and the extra space will give players much more freedom to build the dictatorship of their dreams.

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Each new Tropico game has been great fun and it really is testament to the skill of Limbic Entertainment that, coming in for this sixth instalment, they have managed to not only release a great Tropico game, but that it is an improvement over the previous title. The new engine ensures that the game looks absolutely lovely, while the new features add to the game in meaningful ways. Essentially though, Tropico 6 still feels like a Tropico game, and anyone who fancies themselves an armchair dictator will find plenty to enjoy here. Just keep an eye on that Penultimo, I don’t trust him…




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