Tropico 5 Review

Go Bananas With El Presidente
by Daniel Tack on May 22, 2014 at 06:00 PM
Reviewed on PC
Also on PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Mac, Linux
Publisher Kalypso Media
Developer Haemimont Games
Rating Rating Pending

Tropico is known for its tongue-in-cheek dictator humor combined with solid sim gameplay, and this fifth title in the series keeps the legacy going, with some solid changes to core systems. If you’ve played the series before, you should feel right at home. If you haven’t, it’s a great place to start – this is the most fun and accessible installment yet.

The robust single player campaign does an excellent job of teaching new players how to get the most out of plantations, mines, and other sources of revenue while striving to curry favor among the people and keep their lands safe from invading armies and troops. The classic research, trading, and exploration systems from previous titles in the series are all streamlined to be easily understandable. If the campaign isn’t enough El Presidente for you, there’s sandbox mode, missions, and multiplayer available to keep the dynasty going. The only issue is most of the modes play roughly the same.

Players have to strike a delicate balance in order to achieve maximum efficiency, whether it’s carefully planning of roads and residential areas or selecting the perfect mix of upgraded crops for massive yields. Plenty of complexity is here for players looking for it, but newcomers to the franchise and casual sim fans can enjoy the basic components without worrying about selecting the perfect manager and upgrade for every building.

The game takes place of the course of three different eras, which keeps the gameplay fresh. Each era includes new buildings, research, and ways to tackle the goal of becoming the richest dictator ever. Developing your perfect plot is satisfying and enjoyable, with many different routes players can take to achieve success while mitigating the effects of invasions and disasters. Many difficulty modes are available so players of all skill levels can select the perfect setting to provide a challenge (or lack thereof).

The new multiplayer mode, which supports up to four players, is the most exciting feature in Tropico 5. Players can work together or against one another, and often diplomacy dictates a bit of both as each player angles for his or her own success. You’re still going through the motions of single-player gameplay, but it is nice to have the option to play with friends and occasionally quibble over a resource node, and it’s always fun to watch a random tornado destroy your friend’s entire city.

Tropico 5 is a polished sim game, the only downside being that city development begins to lose its luster because so many of the game modes feel so similar.  But if you’re looking for an accessible, fun, and fresh city builder, Tropico 5 is an excellent choice.

Become an economic, military, and political power as you build up a city
Zooming in on city inhabitants participating in various activities is a nice touch, but the title hardly delivers a visual oomph
A punchy soundtrack and almost slapstick sound effects keep things lively
A tutorial provides a welcome entry point, and the campaign is structured to slowly teach players the ropes. Controls are simple and intuitive, and the complex aspects are rolled out slowly
With disasters, elections, and new tasks to complete at every turn, Tropico 5 provides a structured and entertaining city building experience

Products In This Article

Tropico 5cover

Tropico 5

PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, Linux
Release Date: