Having already muscled its way onto the PC via the steam service, Tropico 5 provides exactly the sort of oft-hilarious dictator simulator experience that the series is renowned for. Of course, at the heart of the title is a simulation system allowing for building and construction management like no other, replete with metered updates which allow you to gauge the effectiveness of your leadership and decision-making in real-time. However, this is a slightly different affair this time, with multiplayer possibilities being added, thus allowing people to build societies on the same island where they can either work together or directly compete with one another. Needless to say, this opens the door to some very intriguing possibilities to say the least.
First off, the game looks fantastic, with excellent graphics and plenty of detail, which means it will be pretty stunning on big HD screens. Secondly, it should be noted that nearly every aspect of the classic Tropico interface and system has been “overhauled”. In other words, those already familiar with the ins and outs of previous games in the series will certainly feel at home, although lots of improvements have been included. Things like research and trading now feature more subtle details and options, which the intelligent player will be able to exploit to their advantage, for instance.
Additionally, this isn’t a game that forces you to stick inside of one static era. Throughout the course of play you’re going to progress through 4 very distinctive eras which span from the 21st century (modern era) down through the 19th. To make matters even more interesting, each period carries with it its own technologies, architecture, challenges and events, meaning that you’ll actually feel as though you’re “progressing” the more you play. Often times simulation games suffer because of a lack of any sort of evolution, naturally, this system pretty much eliminates this problem and opens the door for a more fulfilling experience.
The gameplay has also been subtly expanded by means of a dynasty element too, which allows your “El Presidente” to create a family and thusly, a line of succession. Taken as a whole, including this mechanic along with the way you can more intimately research trade systems and technologies, the gameplay feels incredibly deep, as though you could spend a lifetime exploring various options. Even better, you can also explore the island in an attempt to discover things like mineral deposits, which in turn might lead to direct conflict with native tribes.
It should also be noted that this is (apparently) going to be the first bona-fide Tropico game to find its way onto any Sony console, so the excitement is well-justified. Gamers who find themselves drawn to simulation titles are definitely going to love what Tropico 5 has to offer on the PS4.