The El Presidente is back, this time with more islands, more politics and loads more corruption. Build your way to victory and save your islands from being attacked and taken over. But does this sixth entry have enough in the way of new elements to make the upgrade worthwhile?
If you have played any previous Tropico games before you will know it’s not all about the building of the island; it’s almost more of a people watching simulator. You’ll spend a large amount of time playing, well, watching people build, and then the miners and the general goings on in the Tropico islands. Fret not though, if you have never played a Tropico game before, as while you’ll take longer to get to grips with it – naturally – but there no real follow on in terms of story through each game.
Tropico 6 is a city builder, and this is exactly what you will be doing (when not people watching) throughout, either during the campaigns or the sandbox mod. You’ll be building all manner of weird and wonderful structures. In Tropico, however, there’s more to proceedings than just building. It’s about ruling the nation you create also. You’ll need to strive for victory as you work your way through different eras in time.
Like most of games of this genre, you’ll need to have patience when it comes to the construction, as you will need to not only place the structures – such as mines and logging camps – in specific areas, but then to build it and reap the rewards you will need to make sure it’s connected to a road. Otherwise, you won’t be able collect the resources your nation has worked hard for.
The Campaign is where the real challenge begins for everyone, as unlike sandbox mode you can’t just place and do what you want; you will need to follow commands and work around real issues that each mission will throw at you. There are around 15 missions across the campaign with each one lasting a fair while. It’s also a great way of learning the systems in play here, with each mission getting a lot more complex and challenging, keeping you on your toes. Alternatively, sandbox mode is super easy and relaxed, as you can choose what will basically happen and have a lot of items and buildings unlocked for you off the bat to play with.
All the games offerings can be somewhat overwhelming I found. When I’m juggling rum orders to neighbouring nations and trying to feed my people or fending off rebels who don’t like the way I run things, the game can get full on. But this is all part of the Tropico experience, and to tell you the truth I prefer the game to push along at a quicker pace. If the people of your island start to get too pushy, you can always have them kidnapped and interrogated or even put a hit out on them – after all, you are the El Presidente.
So with trading, raiding, loans and buildings (oh my!), as well as juggling the economy, Tropico 6 will be keeping you busy for some time to come. I did come across a couple of issues in my time however. For example, when one building goes wrong a symbol appears, and then your money starts to sink. There appears to be no clear answer as to why, so they could have done with producing some more simple ways of explaining how I messed up. Some of the graphics and details feel also a bit dated. Don’t get me wrong, they get the job done for the most part, but a little more detail across the board would’ve been nice.
Tropico 6 is a fun sandbox strategy game, with some new additions that provide some reason to upgrade from the previous entry. I enjoyed my time with the campaign, even if some of the objectives and demands sometimes got a little too overwhelming. At least sandbox mode is there, allowing you to de-stress with no pressures and just enjoy the act of creating your own little empire.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.