Reviews 2

Tropico 5 – Review

Ahh Tropico 5, your luscious visuals, amazing sound track, great humour and micro management system is everything I need in a game that doesn’t have “Souls” in the title. I could pretty well finish the review right here but if I do I might need to be on the look out for the El Presidente Kochie’s faction – so allow me to expand!




Speaking of expansion, that’s the name of the game, well no Tropico 5 is the name of the game, but I digress. You are the corrupt dictator of a small island nation known as Tropico. Your job is to remove all who oppose you, fill your swiss bank account with siphoned treasury funds.. Oh and you should probably take care of that growing island nation as well. Initially you start off as a budding crown colony, but once the brainwashing has taken hold and your people love you, you can declare independence, cast off the shackles and go out on your own. This is providing you actually survive the inevitable crown invasion. Apparently they don’t take the betrayal of an entire island nation too kindly – talk about an overreaction!


Throughout the game various characters will make themselves known by giving you missions and suggestions. These characters seem to be the visual representations of the factions that make up your populace. The story or main campaign for Tropico 5 will show you how to play the game a multitude of different ways and that’s where the real replayability of Tropico 5 comes out to shine. You may easily be able to become the industrial powerhouse of the Caribbean, but what about building a religious eco-tourist paradise. Both play styles are equally viable, but each come with their own challenges. No matter the play style – it’s the usual ‘world builder’ scenario. Ignore one faction for too long and they will rebel, kill you and place your head on a pike quicker than you can say Ned Stark.




Whether you are playing the main storyline or the sandbox mode, Tropico 5 is broken up into four main time periods; ‘Colonial times’; ‘World Wars’; ‘Cold War’ and lastly ‘Modern Times’. Each one of these sections has its own series of buildings, research items, edicts and factions to please. Knowing how to best please these factions is the hardest thing in Tropico 5. Building new, or more of a type of building, changing your constitution or issuing certain edicts can either make a faction love or hate you, which can be a real pain in the coconuts if it’s coming up to election time.


My main gripe with Tropico 5 is how ‘hands off’ the game can be in relation to managing the various factions. The game will suggest various buildings that it feels you should build, but these are more for your progression as an island nation, not placating a certain faction. You will be given missions throughout the game that will reward you with better relations or more members to a certain faction but taking a faction that holds you in ‘poor standing’ through to ‘beloved’ seems to be well out of my grasp of understanding. Also when the game throws some sort of mission or faction protest in the middle of an election year. It just feels like you are being set up to fail right at the worst point of your El Presidente career.




Issues with the faction happiness system aside, Tropico 5 is a great city building game. The cast of characters that follow you through the game are entertaining, the story is chock full of pop culture references and the game looks stunning. If world builders with a heavy dose of micromanagement are your thing, then I strongly recommend that you give Tropico 5 a go.

Rating: 8/10 Coconuts

BUYERS BEWARE – Lastly –  A special note for those of you who’s PC isn’t bleeding edge. Tropico 5 requires a Direct X 11 capable video card, no exceptions. If you are rocking a really powerful DX10 card, well sorry chumps that just won’t do and the developers have zero plans to patch in DX10 support. I guess DX11 was released in 2011, so there is a good chance that most people DO have a DX11 card, but hey.. I didn’t!