|System: PC, PS4, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Haemimont Games|
|Pub: Kalypso Media|
|Release: May 23, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Tobacco Reference, Violence|
Though there are harsh decisions to be made in our taboo perception of dictatorship, the game brushes aside any dourness and replaces it with mocking humor. At critical moments we will hear radio broadcasts from a bubbly announcer reminding us that everything should be taken lightly. A homeless person may elicit pity, but when their thoughts are about taxing people as a tourist attraction because of it, it's hard to take them seriously. Even the quests find jovial tones. The United States may request you build a waste treatment plant to hide rockets for them, but then a subsequent quest has you building a pig ranch next to the treatment plant because the pig manure is needed to coat the rockets and stop them from exploding due to a design flaw.
The music also keeps the game perpetually laid back. The ever present upbeat Latin music plays lightly in the background, and doesn't change even when angry citizens are storming the palace or tornados are sweeping through the city. It seems out of place during many of these moments, but again I believe it was a design choice to keep the game from getting too serious. The tracks are generic, with trumpets, guitar plucking, and the like. It's a good backdrop, but nothing memorable.
The visuals are very archaic. Citizens wander around town smoothly enough, and the gentle animations give your city a sense of believability, but closer inspection reveals very rough details. Most buildings are blocky and boring, and the limited character customizations make you look like a dried up prune in a military green outfit. I plopped a clown nose and green hair on my Presidente just to add a splash of color to the bland palette.
In technical respects Tropico 5 feels more like an expansion rather than a successor in the series. Many parts of the gameplay feel similar to past titles, but the inclusion of the era system, an overall campaign that is brimming with choices and consequences, as well as a plausible maiden attempt at multiplayer gives long time fans something new to try out. With touchy political subject matter that is completely mocked and music that makes you move in your seat, it's hard not to play Tropico 5 without a smile on your face.
Date: May 22, 2014