One of this months PS Plus Games of the month is Tropico 5, available on PS4 (and other consoles). I decided to give it a go, (it was free after all).
The last Tropico game I played was Tropico 3. It was ok but nothing special. It was a formidable city builder. I remember first playing it and thinking how good it looked. I don’t know how well it holds up but graphically, I liked it. It was certainly much better than the 1st Tropico (the only other Tropico game I’ve played), in terms of looks.
Going into Tropico 5, I had low expectations. City builders don’t interest me that much anymore. I like variety and stories in games and typically, city builders don’t provide either of those.
When I first played Tropico 5, it failed to exceed my expectations. It looked ugly. Seriously, the game looks dull. Tropico 3 might look similar, I’d have to go back and check. Even if it’s not, Tropico 5, a 2015 game, should look better than it does.
Luckily, the gameplay is solid. Everything works as expected. There’s a large variety of buildings and structures to make but few new ones.
One improvement I noticed was the political system. Like the previous games, you not only have to manage your city but also your people and your relationship with other countries. This game does a good job of explaining itself. That means that the less politically inclined gamer can easily get enjoyment and understanding of the various edicts etc.
Another new feature that is a welcome addition, are the eras. You can now advance through eras starting in the World Wars and then going into the Civil War and beyond. This is good because each era provides your city with a makeover and allows gameplay to feel fresh. Each era also unlocks new buildings and technologies so each time you advance, you’re always given more to do and play with. It’s very similar to a feature in the Age of Empire games (great games that everyone should try out).
Sadly, Tropico 5 feels just like the previous games. Yes, it’s smoother and there are a couple of adjustments/improvements here and there. But, it’s essentially the same game. The 5 in the title is a bit misleading because the game feels like a well-patched expansion rather than a sequel.