Tropico 6 – Possibly the Best City Builder this Year? Final Verdict
Platform: Currently on PC, planned to release on consoles in the summer of 2019.
Release date: March 29, 2019
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Limbic Entertainment
Disclaimer – The review copy was provided by the publisher, Kalypso Media.
Initially scheduled to release in 2018, then January 2019, Tropico 6 was finally released on the 29th of March this year. Although fans of the prominent city builder series were both worried and distraught, the release was a success, and people who had preordered the game prior to January 10 were even promised the game’s first DLC, scheduled for a summer release, for free. See what Tropico 6 brings to the table, all new features, an immortal Presidente and new challengers await both fresh and familliar fans of the series – without further ado let’s deep dive into our offical review of Tropico 6 for the PC.
Matching up to its predecessors
Tropico 6 certainly looks, feels and sounds like Tropico. There’s no denying that the game’s atmosphere is totally faithful to the older games. The music, the people, the look of your crowded little banana republic, everything in this game lets you know you’re playing the same Tropico you know and love.
Similar to the other games in the series, Tropico 6 has you seize control of the Caribbean nation of Tropico, to rule as you see fit, as El Presidente. Unlike former games, however, you don’t actually have a dynasty with heirs following in your footsteps as your original character dies of old age. Oh no. El Presidente is now immortal.
Just like in Tropico 5, you advance the game through 4 Eras, which count as a basic way of increasing the game’s complexity as you play through them, as every era adds new mechanics you need to deal with. Unlike its predecessors, however, Tropico 6 allows you to build your country on more than just one island, with new opportunities to manage logistics and transportation. Also unlike its predecessors, 6 gives players the opportunity to customize their palaces, choosing it’s features from a bunch of preset options.
Building a nation from scratch
The gameplay itself is pleasant, and I sure had a great time losing hours upon hours trying to make sure my nation looked it’s best so tourists from all over the world would give me their hard earned cash to enjoy my nightclubs and my fast food joints. The options you’re given as a player are numerous, and the choices you make during the game can change the future of your country in many ways.
The game itself works very well, with citizens actually having excellent path finding, getting from point A to point B efficiently and using available means of transportation properly. I haven’t seen people getting stuck in any point during my playthrough of the game, which , for titles like this one, is definitely a big plus.
What I found to be rather lacking in the game was interacting with the various political powers of the world, as every task they give you is either a straight up increase to your relation with them, or a penalty. Upon reaching certain thresholds, you’d either have the option to ally with a power, ask them for financial aid, or have them attack you outright. While these relations are important to progressing the game, since they are tied in to era progression, the tasks that the factions give you are very random and nonsensical at times. I mean, why on earth does my militarist faction want more nightclubs of all things?
On a much more positive note, however, what I really enjoyed a lot was the level of planning this game takes. You need to plan ahead for every resource you can find on your island(s) and, fortunately, the game’s Overlays screen is easy to use and easy to understand. It’ll highlight any relevant resource you want to acquire at any point of the game and this tool is pretty much a godsend, since you really wouldn’t want to demolish 10 different buildings just because you built a bunch of crocodile ranches on top of all your oil deposits, like I did, now would you?
The sights and sounds of the Caribbean
Graphically, the game looks fairly average. It won’t blow you away, but it does the job it’s meant to do, while maintaining the overall aesthetic of the series. The people of Tropico look exactly like you’d expect them to, based on profession and social status, the vehicles and the buildings have very simple models though and there’s nothing really impressive about the look of the game, however, there’s no denying that once you get to look back on the nation you’ve created from almost nothing, at the sprawling cities and bustling tourist attractions and wonders you’ve placed on your island, it’s a beautiful sight.
The sound design of the game is definitely better than its graphics. The game sounds charming, from the very beginning, with funny voice acting that’s intentionally stereotypical, exotic background noise and, as you advance through the game, the sounds of a massive, crowded city, the voice of Tropico’s one and only radio broadcaster and, of course, the sound of El Presidente’s charming and totally honest campaign speeches.
Of rebellion and warfare
The game, sadly enough, has some kind of military combat in it. Why sadly, you ask? Well, during my playthrough of the game, I had apparently, at some point, defeated over 6 large invasions from the forces of the Axis. At no point in the game was I aware that the axis was attacking, or where their troops were. The soldiers of Tropico had spawned from the military buildings I’d built, moped up the evil Axis troops, then retreated back to the safety of their workplaces. Nothing was destroyed and nothing really happened.
The game does have pop-up warnings that alert you that either something has caught fire (which is a common occurrence) or that you’re being attacked, but they offer little information when it comes to where the actual enemies are. In all due honesty, it seemed like the combat part of the game was an afterthought, which is understandable, seeing how the game is mainly a city builder.
To make things even worse, if you actually upset one of the various super powers around the world, they will issue an ultimatum, which will tell you that you’ll either do what they want you to do, or they will invade. The issue is that this invasion is just a straight up game over screen, with no shot being fired. While I understood that it’s just a way to keep me on my toes and not anger the bigger powers too much, I feel as if the invasion is a massive missed opportunity to make Tropico’s military much more relevant.
Furthermore, the game also has a more advanced system of rebellion and internal politics right now, but the rebels themselves are very disappointing, as they’re likely to either launch a military attack that never does a whole lot, or set a random building on fire every couple of minutes. They’re an annoying feature to deal with, but nowhere near as bad as how the overall combat in this game is.
Tropico 6 was a highly anticipated game and in all due honesty, I think it’s the best game in the whole series, as the whole world just feels much more alive than in previous entries. The game’s pricing is fair, at only 50 bucks, and for how many hours of enjoyment it’s going to provide, it’s definitely worth a purchase. Like any other game, of course, Tropico 6 could use some improvement, in how much your political choices and tasks actually matter and even more so in its military and combat aspects, but I’ll give it a solid 8.5 out of 10