Tropico 5 first-look: become a dictator and build a despotic dynasty in this reformist sequel

Phil Savage at

They say that power corrupts, but I suspect it also ages. A once freshfaced candidate, swept into office on an upswell of hope and enthusiasm, will inevitably leave as a wearied, greying husk. In that sense, Tropico 4 was the outgoing incumbent.

The last game in the politically parodic city-building series didn’t introduce new ideas, it merely provided additions to existing features. It brought more buildings, more edicts and more superpowers for El Presidente to deal with, but the telltale tiredness was starting to show. To rejuvenate the franchise its developers, Haemimont Games, were in need of a systemic revolution.

Tropico 5 pre-orders now available for swag-filled physical, discounted digital versions

Emanuel Maiberg at

You know that a publisher has faith in its game when it starts offering special editions with silly bonuses. You may think of the Tropico games as a niche PC series, but this recently announced Tropico 5 Limited Special Edition argues otherwise. It’s not quite as silly as, for example, Wolfenstein: The New Order Panzerhund Edition that includes everything but the actual game, but it tries.

Tropico 5 releases on May 23, Kalypso plans "extensive" SteamOS version

Emanuel Maiberg at

Bribes, drug trafficking, manipulating the media, and politics. They’re all equally legitimate and useful governing tools in the banana-republic-themed Tropico games. Tropico 5 looks like it will be the most ambitious game in the series, and not just because it’s way prettier and has the highest number in its title. For the first time in the series, It’s adding multiple eras, with players taking El Presidente from the colonial 19th century, through to the future. We’ll find out if that’s a big enough addition to mix up the formula when it’s released on May 23.

Tropico 5 screenshots show the political circus, also the actual circus

Phil Savage at

Much like its predecessors, Tropico 5 is a good looking game. Its sumptuous, characterful depiction of island life is almost in direct contrast to the murky dealings of its corrupt and devious president. That'd be you, you wrong'un. At least while you engage in the shady business of domestic surveillance, international double-dealing, and economic embezzlement, you'll have some bright, sunny scenery to marvel at.

Tropico 5 trailer takes you through the eras

Phil Savage at

Haemimont Games, the fun-to-spell developer of Tropico 5, have released a new trailer offering a first look at their upcoming city-builder series. Note that, while it's written Tropico, it's actually pronounced Trropicooooooo. In the world of El Presidente, the root of power comes from your ability to overly-extend vowels. Also from the ruthlessness to fix elections, imprison your enemies, and enact a program of state surveillance.

New Tropico 4 DLC brings Voodoo to your island

Katie Williams at

The exploration of alternative, bordering-on-insane healthcare remedies wasn't something I was expecting in Tropico 4 any time soon, but that's exactly what's happening with the next DLC, "Voodoo." Basically, conventional healthcare has become so poor thanks to your incompetence, Mr Dictator, that an angry sorceress has stormed over from Soviet Russia to teach you a lesson. Possibly with a rubber-chicken-with-a-pulley-in-the-middle, but also with the whole curse thing she's unleashed upon your island.

Omerta: City of Gangsters getting a free update today

Katie Williams at

The number of much-needed soup kitchens and speakeasies has plummeted, and now the City of Gangsters wants you back to do your thing in this bad town. A free update's making its way to the game today, fleshing out both the tactical and tycoon aspects. Check out this trailer for some gameplay from the updated version, or to get your foot tappin' to some ragtime—whichever grabs your fancy.

Omerta: City of Gangsters review

Tim Stone at

Sandy Beech, my latest gang boss, is a complicated capo. Before breakfast (mine not his) he torched a speakeasy and a casino, shot three men in the gut and two in the feet. After breakfast he set up a soup kitchen, built a clinic, and rescued a nightclub owner from the klutches of the Ku Klux Klan.

I’ve no idea whether Sandy enjoyed his morning of slaughter and social work, but I know I did. Though Omerta lacks the humour and economic subtlety of Haemimont’s Tropico 4 there’s ample compensation in the engrossing campaign and cracking turn-based combat.

Sidescrolling shmup Sine Mora heading to PC next week

Tom Sykes at

Bullets, time travel, anthropomorphic animals riding laser-spewing biplanes - it's all there in Sine Mora, the horizontal shmup from Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture released for the 360 earlier in the year. Thankfully, someone has finally seen fit to push the big red 'PC version' button, and it's coming in exactly seven days. Hey, isn't that the date that creepy phonecall said you were going to die on? Oh. Sorry for reminding you about that.

Alien Spidy: Hands-on with Enigma's acrobatic arachnid

Tom Sykes at

Perhaps it shouldn't feel weird to see an arachnid web-slinging in the manner of Spider-Man, but then again I'm more used to them lurking on the ceiling, struggling to climb out of a bath, or skittering around in an upturned pint glass. Enigma Software's infuriatingly titled Alien Spidy - I keep wanting to insert an 'e' - aims to change our perspective of the eight-legged menace, from terrifying household invader to cutesy platform hero. I was recently given the chance to play a preview build of the game, so I could see how successful they've been.

Omerta: City of Gangsters trailer shows Prohibition-era Mafia wars

Omri Petitte at

What does Omerta mean? Why, it's the unspoken code of silence against authorities adopted by "businessmen" and owners of nondescript "laundromats." It's also the name of a new turn-based strategy game in development by Tropico 3 and 4 developer Haemimont Games.

Tropico 4 demo now available

Owen Hill at

Do you like dictating in warm climates while spectating natural disasters? Does your PC laugh in the face of these system requirements?

If so, we think you should download the Tropico 4 demo from steam. You'll get the chance to complete four tutorials, along with one full mission from the dictator-sim.

Tropico 4 system requirements revealed

Tom Senior at

Tropico 4 is out pretty soon. On August 25 in the UK and September 1 in the US, to be precise. If you're wondering whether or not your rig will be able to render all that summery despotism at maximum detail, you'll want to have a glance at the official minimum and recommended system requirements below. Tropico 4 will introduce natural disasters to your island, making oppressing your citizens even more difficult. See some of that bad weather in action in the Tropico 4 trailer. Visit the Tropico 4 site for more info.

Tropico 4 trailer has tornadoes and tidal waves

Tom Senior at

Sunny dictator-sim Tropico 4 is out soon, and the latest trailer gives a look at the new natural disasters added for the sequel. Volcanoes, droughts and tornadoes will appear periodically to tear up your towns, which could contain some of the twenty new buildings, including stock exchanges, shopping malls and aqua parks. There have been some additions on the international stage, too, with the addition of new superpowers. Find out more on the Tropico site. The game's out on August 30.

The First Templar trailer ground pounds an ogre

Tom Senior at

The latest trailer for the First Templar introduces us to main character, Celian d'Arestide, who is definitely not Russell Crowe from Gladiator. He's The First Templar, and whatever he's done in the past, he has a chance to mend it now, father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife - wait, NOT Russell Crowe. The First Templar is a third person hack 'n slash set in the 13th Century. It's due out next month, on May 10. Find out more on the official First Templar site. Thanks to Blue's News for the heads up.

Dungeons review

Richard Cobbett at

Some games wear their inspirations on their sleeves. Dungeons wears a Dungeon Keeper T-shirt, drives a red and black car with a ‘I heart Dungeon Keeper’ sticker on it, and visits a plastic surgeon every Tuesday to ask if he’s ready to give it that Horned Reaper look it so badly wants. Just look at it. If it was any more of a copycat, you’d hear it meow. Except...

Dungeons site launched, game set for release February 4th

Tom Senior at

If you've ever played Dungeon Keeper, then Dungeons will seem very, very familiar to you. You play as an evil Dungeon Master, carving out a dungeon fit for the most diabolical creatures in the realm. Once your cesspit is well populated you can wreak havoc on the local heroes. A new site for the game has been launched, packed full of screens and footage of the game in action. You'll find the trailer embedded below.

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - Director's Cut review

PC Gamer at

In cinema the ‘director’s cut’ label means usually way more gore or an extra nipple or two, but I’ve been looking for hours and haven’t seen either in this updated point-and-click classic.

What you do get is an extended version of the original 1996 mystery game, now with the opportunity to play as Nico, the hot French journalist. She joins forces with the other playable character, floppy haired George (think Hugh Grant’s annoying American cousin) and together they have to solve a murder, pick through bomb sites, hunt down a creepy clown and travel from Paris to sexy locations like Ireland. Oh, the glamour!

Disciples III: Renaissance demo

Jaz McDougall at

Disciples III: Renaissance has gone all demo-y. It's a deeply hexual turn based fantasy battler that deserves a bit of respect. You can read our preview here to get an better idea.