Tropico 4

Tropico 4 is muy caliente!

By Daavpuke, Posted 05 Sep 2011

El Presidente is back to rule in Tropico 4. The Latin demi-god once again sets his eyes on world domination, as he builds a superpower out of mere islands in this unique building strategy simulator. From the moment the Latin sounds warm the screen and heart with their presence, one thing is certain: This game will be an experience. After a well-rounded tutorial, players can throw their sombrero at a chance to rule their constituents by either force or love.


Introducing Tropico 4, now with extra disaster!

The warmth of Tropico 4 is not only stemmed from its hot, hot salsa beats, but also gets a visual polish with very decent textures, which are easy to manage. A good outlook with a detailed zoom is strengthened by color coding areas and offering simple menus with comprehensive detail.  All this is a simple click away and is displayed on the screen in a colorful, but not harmful way. Unfortunately, some less reputable voice actors tend to slump the joy a bit, but it’s nothing that can’t get accustomed to. At least it’s not annoying and the rest of the presentation, makes up for it in full.

But the real seller of Tropico 4 is just how expansive this game truly is, while still remaining accessible to all players. The main game mode is a campaign of 20 missions, ramping up challenges with each one and taking a chuck of time to complete. After selecting a generic or custom avatar each mission, players dive into the matter at hand and try to solve the particular island’s problem, after which it can be taken to glory. Starting by providing your people with food, El Prez must ensure that builders are present to raise buildings, see to the individual needs of the people, set wages, set up commerce and so forth. This sounds rough, but in reality Tropico 4 does its best to remain as shallow or as deep as one would want.

NoobFeed Review - Tropico 4
Only golden statues will do in the eyes of El Presidente. This is Tropico!

There are tabs for numerous aspects of government, such as Trade, People, Political factions, Foreign Affairs and so on and each have an impact on the island. Put too much pressure on imports and the economy will crumble. Get in a row with factions and see them turn against the government or vote for the other guy in the upcoming elections. There’s a huge amount of content woven into one seamless whole and El Presidente is in charge of all of it. Luckily, the game offers constant feedback on the most pressing matters, which helps to keep an overview on things, while losing track of time. This game is a timewaster.

The great part about this vast amount of information is that the mechanics of the entire simulator are very refined, yet can be easily adjusted with micro transactions. For instance, erecting a new industry building will create jobs and raise export, but it doesn’t just stop there. As there is a ton of elements in Tropico 4, there are also a ton of buildings. Players can choose to let the island grow through agriculture, livestock, industry, but also tourism or entertainment, while boosting education, welfare or by crushing beliefs underfoot by military force. Depending on the mission at hand, one will favor over the other, but truly keeping all factions happy would best require a blend of everything. There are also several buildings which can modify aspects such as trade, offer edicts to change policies and just about anything to keep certain parties content or getting them back on the voter side. Not keeping the people happy however might result in rebel activity, uprisings and coups, because this is modeled after certain cigar-wielding dictators after all.

NoobFeed Review  -Tropico 4
Whose bright idea was it to build a settlement underneath a volcano anyway?

Which is another plus, being that the game throws a constant number of random events to the mix to keep things fresh and add yet more tactical gameplay. Occasionally, small icons will pop up on certain buildings offering an interior of foreign side mission, but there are also just random occurrences, either harming or beneficial. A local tax cut might allow for a free building, but a crash in certain markets might usher in deterioration in production goods. Everything is centered on keeping gameplay fresh and it does so marvelously. This also means that the replay value of this already long game is strengthened with each playthrough being unique.

Should there be some small gripe other than the minor voice issue, it’s that the map scroll is extremely sensitive, which can make it hard to pinpoint an area. This can get a little annoying, but just keeping a cool head will suffice. Additionally, for all the great advice that is sometimes given, people sometimes seem to randomly want to destroy the island. It is never really sure what the pressure point is, but when it’s there, it’s there. Keeping calm and especially not wanting to rush things ahead by placing numerous buildings can be vital to success. In all, this adds additional truth to the fact that politics takes time. These are all very minute issues anyway, which in no way will hinder the tons of fun available from this title.

NoobFeed Review - Tropico 4
Admit it, even with the rain, this looks like a fairly magical place.

Tropico 4 might not alter much from its predecessors, but does enough to keep its simulation strategy on the top shelf with very extensive gameplay, adjustable on the fly. The humor, addition of natural disasters, random encounters and so much more in this radiant environment make this game a must-have for fans and newcomers alike. Even loading screens in this game are great, with memorable quotes from officials throughout history. Once the hundreds of hours of gameplay have run through, players can also enjoy free simulation in a Sandbox mode, take on or create additional challenges or wait for additional missions to come. In short; Tropico 4 is muy caliente!

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Tropico 4

91/100

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC
Publisher(s): Kalypso
Developer(s): Haemimont Games
Genres: Simulation
Themes: Strategy
Release Date: 2011-08-30

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