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 beta registration now open

Emanuel Maiberg at

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.

Rise of Venice is out this Friday, new trailer shows the trade system at play

Ian Birnbaum at

A new trailer for the upcoming trade building sim Rise of Venice has been released, detailing the buy-low, sell-high mechanics of the game’s economic routes. It also features the soothing tones of the game’s narrator; I don’t think a trailer has been this relaxing since those Leviathan: Warships smooth jazz trailers. It must be something about boats.

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.

Tropico 4 review

Tim Stone at

I’m guessing Haemimont’s last Latin American despot simulator didn’t go down too well in Havana or Buenos Aires. In Tropico 3 if you chose Che Guevara as your avatar you got an inspiring workhorse with alcohol and anger issues. Picking Juan Peron meant donning the dinner jacket of a flatulent moron.

This time out Che’s only vice is his paranoia, and super-smart Juan leaves the gaseous emissions to his chemical works. Welcome to the subtly tweaked world of Tropico 4.

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.

PC Gamer US Podcast #269: Portals Party

PC Gamer at

Josh, Dan, Evan, Anthony, and Lucas believe they're recording just another podcast in just another average recording studio. But in reality, Aperture Science is bathing the room in radiation to test out their new Superhero mutation program! Will it work? Will Dan grow a third arm to battle crime as The Arm of the Law? Will Evan finally get the built-in, mind-controlled jetpack he's always dreamed of, and rightly deserves? At the very least, the radiation seems to have affected some of their judgments (Josh, we're looking at you and your opinion of Super Meat Boy). Join us as we talk about all the big news swirling around Portal 2, Battlefield 3 pre-order incentives, your listener questions and more!

PC Gamer US Podcast 269: Portals Party