Tropico 4 Reviews

227,494 (113,035)
TA Score for this game: 2,108
Posted on 27 October 11 at 18:52, Edited on 02 December 11 at 13:02
This review has 47 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
El Presedente embarks upon the fourth adventure in the series, A totally new tropical island experience, if have you never played Tropico 3 that is.

If your new to Tropico then the objective of the game is to play though various campaign scenarios which will send you on a repetitive path of building farms to feed your people, schools to educate and a military to shoot them when they try and stand up to you with a few others thrown in to the mix, Your usual dictatorship stuff really. Every scenario has its own goals which you must achieve while ensuring the smooth running of your island. These tasks vary and could be anything from embezzling as much money from your treasury as you can to exporting a certain amount of produce, of course it does decide to throw you a few obstacles along the way. You will have strikes to deal with as well as attempted assassinations on your own life often by people that decide to rebel against you because you didn’t do what they wanted, so they run away and hide in the woods until they have amassed enough other rebels at which time they will spring out and try to destroy your buildings or you. A sufficient army proves exceptionally useful against these types and then when you think you have dealt with everything it has to throw as you a tornado comes and rips a hole through the very heart of your town often levelling that expensive building you have just constructed. There is a very loose storyline applied to this version to explain why you keep jumping from island to island, I use the term 'loose storyline' as I only really noticed it after getting half way through the campaign.

On the face of it Tropico 4 is in aspects identical to its predecessor, It looks virtually identical, almost sounds and plays the same and to the untrained eye not a lot has happened to make this latest instalment worth your hard earned being spared. When compared by a avid Tropico fan that has been counting down the days till release the differences between to two are quite impressive. Where 3 fell short on in some areas, 4 defiantly delivers.

New additions start with a much improved selection of buildings, Tourism buildings have had some decent new additions in the flavour of theme and water parks to name a few, Government buildings have really been beefed up with the ability now to employ a cabinet of ministers that will assist you in your duties serving your people enabling you to issue a improved range of edicts which were before just available no questions asked, Industry not only has new additions to the type of produce you can process, but has seen the before abundant ability to be able to import raw materials from overseas to be processed in your factories. In some aspects this can make the sometimes struggle to generate money you need to fund and run your island a little easier, though of course only if you are able to balance your import expenditure as it can spiral out of control leaving you in a black hole of debt if you fail to turn the produce around quickly enough. Previous versions would have required you to for example build a tobacco farm to supply the raw product to your cigar factory in order to be able to produce a more finished product (cigars in this case) for increased export, but with this improved system you can just sit back and take a cut and not fear your factory workers having nothing to do while you grow more raw materials.

The graphics in this game are visually pleasing, buildings look sharp and easily identifiable for what they are, cars and people look good even when zoomed right into street level where you can watch your people going about their business which is quite entertaining to watch when you have a brief moment to spare from the running of your island.

Achievements in this game are reasonably straight forward and a large majority will be earned just by playing through the 20 campaign missions. A lot are shared with its predecessor Tropico 3 but there are many new additions so that its not stale. One achievement in particular will keep you playing for a while after everything else is where you have to get all your personality traits to 5 stars. Stars are gained by the successful completion of missions. One thing that this game is not is a quick and easy 1000. It isn't particularly hard once you have learnt the golden rules of how to establish a island, but it is time consuming. I can easily spend a hour to two hours on campaign missions, and every now and again you will fail because you make a error which unless you are making regular saves on your games will be time down the drain. Anything that you have missed playing through the campaign can be cleared up in the sandbox game type, which in effect gives you a free choice to make the game play as easy or as hard as you like.

The Controls of this game are again identical to the previous version, as it is pretty much a port from the pc where you would have the luxury of a mouse and keyboard it handles very well once you get to know what buttons to press in order to control the camera angles and zoom, You can quickly and easily pan your island which is rather useful when you have a particularly large population. When placing buildings and roads the system slows this pan down in order to help you place more precisely. Menus are well thought out for the use of a controller, and can quickly and easily be navigated, A couple of things that I find a pain is when looking for a particular citizen named Juanito as you will have to click through every single persons icon on your list which with populations of up to 500+ sometimes does become rather tiresome, that aside you only need to do that once to earn the achievement, I also found when trying to build in a close valley the camera sometimes has a mind of its own when trying to place buildings, That said thought all in all its well thought out control system and doesn’t hinder your game play at all 99% of the time.

Now the ugly, One funder mental flaw within this game which is also shared with Tropico 3 is the dreaded save game glitch, saving a island with a large population (250+) will most the time result in a corrupted save file which can not be recovered and will freeze your Xbox in the process of saving, quite simply if you are doing a more advanced scenario you want to make sure that you have enough time to be able to complete it within that sitting. Due to the nature of this game I would not recommend playing it from the disc. I ran Tropico 3 from the disc and it was pretty awful at times, still that said there was one scenario in this new version where I had a large population and island nearly reaching 600 people and the game was running at what felt like 2 steps forward one step back, and that was running from my hard drive, although its a fairly decent port to the xbox, you cant help feeling you really would get the best from the game running on a PC.

So if your thinking is this game for me, and will I be able to play through it without wanting to take my own life then I will say this, If you enjoy simulation games then this will most likely be right up your street, It is fun and the challenges are rather amusing in parts, Personally I find a sense of satisfaction in taking a semi deserted island with not a lot going for it and turning into a prospering paradise full of healthy, happy citizens, with a big fat treasury full of money. If you enjoyed Sim City, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Theme Hospital or any other game of that style then I very much doubt you will find disappointment in this.

I give it a 4 out of 5 and highly recommend it have you not played Tropico 3.
If you found T3 a chore then you would probably be best avoiding this one, but if like me you ached for more after completing it jump on board for some more El Presidente.

(Please be kind, this is my first ever review, I have tried to cover all the bases, if you can see a blatant mistake or have a idea on how to improve it I would very much appreciate the feedback rather than a thumbs down, Thanks)

(v1.1 (01/12/11) - Thanks Brad HR for reminding me about the bad saves and disc running of the game)
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