Here at Entertainment Focus we’re big fans of the Tropico series of games so I’ve recently been getting stuck into the Tropico 6 beta. As it’s a beta there are obviously a few gremlins but that’s not what we are here to talk about. In fact, regarding any bugs, Kalypso games have made it incredibly easy to report bugs as you find them in the game, this is what betas are for after all.
If you’ve played any of the other Tropico games you will feel right at home with Tropico 6. I’ve spent countless hours in the other games and Tropico 6 felt immediately familiar, to the point where I didn’t even bother with the tutorial. If this is your first time out in Tropico though, I would recommend the tutorial to help you get to grips with this surprisingly deep city management game.
The first thing that struck me upon starting the game is the massive leap the game has taken graphically. Quite simply Tropico 6 looks stunning. When zoomed out you get a true sense of the scale of the new maps and the level of detail when zoomed right in is miles ahead of the previous Tropico games. I did spend rather a long time simply ‘driving’ around town with the close up camera view just to get a true feel for the graphical upgrades and I was never disappointed.
The other thing that will strike you as you start to play is the dramatically increased play area. In Tropico 6 your empire is spread over several different islands that are all working together. From the start screen it looks like there will be 15 different maps to play on once the game reaches final release. At the start they are only connected by ship but you can build bridges to link them up as you unlock new eras. This new, larger amount of land threw me at first and I found myself trying to cram everything onto what looks like the main island for some reason. When I finally got it into my head that I could build on any of the islands at any time I wanted things felt much easier though poor planning can lead to very poor efficiencies e.g. for some reason I chose to put my logging camps on one island and my lumber mills on another!
Research now leans heavily in the political direction and allows the unlocking of certain edicts as you progress through the game. The usual pop up missions remain but do feel a little more varied than in previous Tropico games. This is mainly due to addition of new buildings that allow you to carry out raids. So far I’ve only used the Pirate Cove which allows you to scour the seas for treasure, industry goods or even people via the raids system. Later buildings will allow you to steal wonders of the world from other nations!
The usual balancing act remains where you are trying to keep each faction happy and every person given food, clothing and shelter plus somewhere to go and get smashed on rum. This task felt a lot harder in Tropico 6 given the larger maps and I, welcomingly, found it more difficult to keep track of what was happening on each of my islands.
Tropico 6 still retains its sense of humour, the first mission in fact tells the tale of how El Prez and Penultimo first met and builds from there. The same South American soundtrack is back with new and more songs which suit the game really well. What I’m most pleased by is the fact that the game hasn’t been dumbed down at all. Underneath all of the humour still lies a seriously deep city manager / builder game that will provide anyone with a decent challenge.
As someone who has been a Tropico fan for years I already can’t recommend Tropico 6 enough. To summarise it is simply bigger and better than the previous Tropico outings and I for one can’t wait for the final release in January next year.
If you’d like to see some game play from the first level you can check out the video below. Please note it’s about an hour long and there’s no voice over:
Tropico 6 is available to preorder now on Steam
Once pre-ordered you will get immediate access to the PC beta.
You can check out our Tropico 6 Beta gallery below: