Frankly, I am not the man you want running your country. Over the course of my extended presidency I’ve smuggled rum into a prohibition America, sided with Axis powers during both World Wars, systematically stripped away the rights of my citizens, and assassinated a grandma for opposing my regime. I’m not proud of these things, but I’m glad I felt the need to do them. For all that Tropico 5 adds to the city-building series—and all the ways it doesn’t advance the formula enough—its greatest success is in pushing you towards the murkier aspects of dictatorial rule.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
El Presidente, in his infinite wisdom and kindness, has opened registration for the Tropico 5 beta. If you think you’d be a good leader of a banana republic, you can register for an opportunity to test the game early on publisher Kalypso’s website.
I know. I know. City builders aren't renowned for their CPU-straining graphics. Perhaps unfairly. While the Tropico series didn't dazzle you with its depictions of dictatorial splendour, they had a warm and vibrant beauty to their tenements, shanty towns and decadent tourist traps. And these first 'pre-alpha' screenshots of Tropico 5 show the series' first major upgrade since El Presidente's third outing.
Kalypso have announced Tropico 5, the next game in the light-hearted banana republic dictatorship simulation series. Where Tropico 4 drew slight criticism for being a marginal improvement over its predecessor, the sequel's plans are more wide-ranging. The game will feature multiple eras, with players taking El Presidente from the colonial 19th century, through to the future. Not that you'd know it from the announcement trailer, which is more concerned with showing the great dictator's creepy fascination with globes.