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Tropico 6 (Console)

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 8 - 2019

Run your banana republic from the comfort of your sofa, just like El Presidente.

 
Kalypso Media’s Tropico games keep on coming, and now the latest version has made an appearance on Xbox One and PS4. This is of course the will of El Presidente, but developers Limbic Entertainment also had a hand in this release, and have done a great job of keeping that slightly dark strategy feel. So get comfortable on the sofa, maybe put on a pair of aviator sunglasses, possibly even grow a bushy moustache, and plan the future of your island paradise. And if anyone gets in your way, well, there are ways of dealing with that.

 


 
Tropico 6 is a city management game that puts the player in control of a tropical island and all of those living there. While it may be ideal to say that the goal of the game is to bring success and prosperity to your island, or islands as the case may be, the reality is that the goal is to stay in power, by any means possible. Sure, making the island as successful as possible will help with that, and add funds to the players personal account, but staying in power may also require some more, shall we say extreme measures. I mean, no one is going to bat an eye if a powerful opponent suddenly disappears, and keeping organisations on side with a random pile of cash is almost expected, isn’t it?

 
While this all sounds quite dark, part of Tropico’s appeal has always been the way the game doesn’t take itself seriously. The player will get to create their own El Presidente, but they are always going to be a parody. And El Presidente’s advisor is as comical as he is knowledgable. The game covers plenty of dark subjects as it moves through the different eras, but always has its tongue firmly in cheek. Seriously, the player can steal land marks from other countries to proudly display in Tropico. Does that sound serious to you?

 
Beneath the fun and assassinations, there are some fairly complex mechanics at play as the player deals with keeping the islanders happy, negotiating with various island factions and other countries, and the important business of making money. Those new to the franchise will do well to play through the lengthy tutorial, which does a great job of explaining most of the basics. It is a long tutorial and players may struggle to absorb all of the information, but answers tend to be easy to find through the various menus in the game. Players familiar to the Tropico games will be pleased to know that the changes for this entry are not too invasive and much of the gameplay remains the same.

 


 
While the tutorials give the basics, the included campaign will certainly fill in the gaps in the players knowledge. These missions are perhaps where the game shines most on the consoles, dropping players into situations and leaving them to follow objectives. The complexities of being a successful dictator are revealed while the player gets to dirty their hands with everything the game offers. Different eras of history are presented through the game, and these offer up some interesting situations for the player to deal with.

 
With all of the politics to one side, much of the game will involve setting down buildings, connecting them to the roads and making sure they are running efficiently. The right building in the right place can solve many problems, and a lot of the missions will involve working out what to build and where to build it. There are a nice selection of different buildings to create, allowing for all manner of different industries to be successful on the island, from banana farming to tourism. The missions themselves are quite lengthy and so will keep the player busy for some time to come, and range from relatively relaxing to absolutely frantic as things get out of control.

 
The sandbox mode is the other option for solo players, giving them the chance to develop their own island paradise under their own conditions. This mode is far more laid back than the missions, but players may find the lack of direction too laid back. That being said, the complete freedom to create, alongside the options the player uses when setting the game up, can make things a little easier and gives players the chance to try new things out without the risk of messing up a mission.

 
For returning players, the new developers are not the only change. Visually, the game looks really impressive on the big screen, and runs really well. The previously mentioned chance to raid other countries, stealing everything from resources to land marks, comes from set buildings that can be placed in each era. The raids really are great fun and fit in so well with the feel of the game. The other main change to the game comes with more islands. El Presidente is no longer limited to a single island and can be in control of entire archipelagos. This gives the player more space to expand, perhaps even specialising different islands, but comes with the added complication of travel between them. It expands the game and is a great addition.

 


 
Tropico fans on PC will have had years and five previous versions to get used to the games management, quirks and sense of humour. However, console gamers will have only had a few years of getting used to this type of city-building game, and not much longer to get used to strategy games in general on consoles. Tropico 6 on consoles is the latest and greatest version of the game, packing in just enough new features to keep it interesting, while still staying true to the previous games, despite being under a new developer. The game can be complex, juggling economy, building and all of the political shenanigans, but the tutorial and campaign will have ruthless dictators running their country in no time. The sandbox mode is much more relaxed, and perfect for an afternoon’s empire building. The game runs great on both PS4 and Xbox One, and Sofa dictators will find hours of rule in Tropico 6. Don’t forget to top up that Swiss bank account, you never know when some palms will need to be greased.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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