Initial Thoughts: Tropico 5

A major thanks to a dear friend of mine for getting this title for me, Tropico 5 is the long awaited sequel to Tropico 4. As soon as I saw it announced I instantly put it on my wishlist but wasn’t able to play it until I was gifted it at the end of the Steam Summer Sale. After having spent about 90 hours in Tropico 4 – which I still haven’t actually finished all the DLC on – I was more than eager to dig into Tropico 5.

Tropico 5 Logo

While much of the game is the same from Tropico 4, much of it is changed. Each building now just has a “budget” you can spend on it. Buildings are condensed. Stuff is gated behind research. Each mission no longer has it’s own island. You now pretty much have to make your own custom character to play. Let’s just do this bit by bit.

Each building now just has a “budget” you can spend on it. Practically every building has a one to five “star” we’ll call it budget you can set. In this budget is the cost of your workers, each getting a percent of that budget until all slots are filled. I already miss being able to “see” the amount I was setting as a wage per building.

Buildings are condensed. The main example I can think of offhand is the Police Station and Fire Station. This is both a blessing and a curse. It means less buildings to place down, but it means having to maintain the upgrades on the police station. I’ve so far been unable to check to see if doing this upgrade actually gets rid of the police station, which if it does, this really makes me not a fan of it.

Stuff is gated behind research. While Tropico 4 had building permits you could just purchase to get more buildings, Tropico 5 has done away with this in favor of research. You gain Research Points mainly through buildings, though there’s an Edict you can eventually get to help grant you more. However, it’s not just any buildings – it’s specific ones. I’ve so far found myself having to just put down a bunch of these and hope I’ve had enough College graduates to fill the spots.

Before I move onto my next points, that reminds me of something. I have yet to find how to actually set immigration stuff outside of one spot on the “Constitution.” In Tropico 4 you could adjust immigration policies with just one building and I’m sorely missing this building. I’m really missing this building when I see a bunch of buildings needing College graduates… and the College just not really graduating many. The High School hardly seems to be giving many graduates too, though High School feel a lot less “needed” (in comparison to Tropico 4) when so many more positions needs a College graduate.

You now pretty much have to make your own custom character to play. In Tropico 4, maybe I was just lazy, but I liked doing the missions with the pre-made characters and using their various abilities to the best of my own ability to manipulate things in the game. Now I’m limited to one whole ability per “Dynasty Member.” You can create multiple ones and set them to be the “leader” of various buildings, but I find it better to just focus on the one regardless.

Speaking of setting leaders on buildings, that’s something you can actually do now. It is actually a nice little touch and can help you boost various things more from effectiveness to what people think of you! I’m still trying to figure out how to best set them though so they are kind of just ending up all over.

Does the cat approve of Tropico 5? Perhaps. It is in it!
Does the cat approve of Tropico 5? Perhaps. It is in it!

Another thing is that gone are the days of each mission having it’s own island. Missions are now based between “two” islands until you hit a particular story point. I’ve just recently hit the second set of islands, though I haven’t started in on them yet. I really miss being able to essentially do a “fresh” start on each island. The way it is in Tropico 5 can easily put you into a no-win situation. So far I’ve only had one mission where I only got through by the skin of my teeth. I also miss being able to go back and look at my stats on each mission, unless I’m just missing the ability to do that in Tropico 5.

While I will definitely be sinking a lot more time into Tropico 5, I’m still feeling a bit uneasy about some of the changes. I’m really feeling uneasy about just how much seems to just be “missing” which just screams “Hey, DLC is coming! Enjoy spending more money!” I definitely miss a lot of stuff from Tropico 4, but I will be holding out on giving my full thoughts until I have completed the main missions and only really have free play left to do.

Initial Thoughts on Tropico 5

Feeling uneasy about what is “missing” and the changes

About Tropico 5

  • Platform: Steam

  • Genre: Simulation/Strategy

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