Tropico 5 - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

April 28, 2015

Also on:

PS4 Xbox 360 PC

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


Tropico 5 introduces multiplayer modes to the popular construction sim series as gamers once again serve as the dictator of their very own tropical island. The single-player campaign begins in colonial times and finds gamers advancing through the World Wars and the Great Depression, serving as a dictator during the Cold War, and then moving on to the modern era. In the role of El Presidente, players can appoint various family members to key positions and invest in them to unlock new traits, and they can also research and renovate a variety of buildings to bring the island up to date.

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Technical Information

  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Required Disc Space:
    • 4GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Sound Engine:
    • DTS Digital Surround
    • Dolby Digital
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 34 Hours
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'Tropico 5' is part of a heralded series of city management simulations developed by PopTop Software. The series started way back in 2002 with its first release, which went on to win several independent awards. Now with 'Tropico 5' released for all of the major consoles, including the PlayStation 4, a whole new realm of fans are enjoying the game. 'Tropico 5' is one of the most highly coveted games int he series and the jump tot he current generation of big time consoles didn't hurt this fact. While city sims have always had a harder time on consoles, there still have been many passable entries into the genre. We took our time playing with this release and we really fell in love with what it had to offer us.

You are El Presidente, now you must rule...

In the world of crowd city simulators it is really hard to gain notice if you aren't part of the Sid Miers brand of 'Civilization' releases. This hasn't stopped the developers behind 'Tropico' from plugging away and doing their own thing, as they continually refined their game. With 'Tropico 5' it seems like we finally have a game that is competitive with the best that the rest of the genre has to offer.

In 'Tropico' you start off the game as El Presidente, at least in the campaign. You are plopped down on a small Caribbean island in the middle of the 1950's. It's a roaring time to be alive and it's a great time to be a ruler. The basic premise of the game is that you have to bring your country out of the back of the crowd and turn it into a roaring place, full of prosperous and happy people. There are more ways to than one to raise a country, and that means an abundance of game modes.

The first mode we will look at is the dynasty/campaign mode. With the new release for the PS4, the team behind 'Tropico 5' decided to add an enduring amount of years so that players could push to create their own dynasties. This gives you more time to really relax into the game without feeling rushed the entire time. It's a wonderful, and necessary, gameplay change that may be enough to sway many gamers into buying the new version, even if nothing else has changed. But there has been more than a few changes.

In past 'Tropico' titles you would be plopped onto your little land and given absolute carte blanche to move forward in whatever way you felt good about regarding the growth of your nation. For the most prat this stays true in the follow up, but it has been refined in a realistic manner. As the President you have to rule your people, for your people. That means that you have to keep a semblance of continuity throughout their lives and you have to keep them happy. This involves drafting a constitution and electing a 'royal family'.

The game features three very distinct eras that will help stave off any form of weariness or boredom. Your people will prosper and the years will pass, changes will accumulate and you will hopefully be bringing them into an era of unrivaled happiness. Things aren't as simple as we've made it sound, and there are a ton of choices that you will have to make before it is all said and done.

While you raise your land you have to focus on the sort of simulator/research that is so popular in other games. Developing your research, exploring the world, and focusing on trading are all very different tasks that will beg your attention in order to prosper. You as well will have to deal with planning out your residential areas and balancing them against the needs of your country in terms of crop production and other resource gathering. Of course, while all of this is happening you will also have to protect your people from enemies that would seek to harm you. There is a delicate balance here and the campaign is perfect to get you ingratiated into the methods.

Online multiplayer is, perhaps, the greatest addition to the game. You can now play up to four opponents in the online mode. You can work together or try and tear each other apart. Diplomacy becomes a game of 'what does he/she really want' and you quickly learn that you can't trust anybody. So at the end of the day the game becomes all about 'what helps me' rather than 'what helps us'. The mode is the most fun we had while playing the game but it definitely takes some practice in the campaign mode before diving into.

Being that the PS4 is quite a bit of an upgrade over last generations consoles we'd be remiss if we didn't mention how gorgeous the game looked. From wonderful 3D buildings to sprawling, vibrant worlds, 'Tropico 5' keeps your eyes glued to the screen. The game has always pushed the slightly fantastical aspect toward us and you can see it in the color choices throughout the game. Everything is vibrant, bordering on cartoonish, and we think that the game is a success because of it.

The classic humor that gamers have fallen in love with is still there and listening to your diplomats chew away at their words is always a lot of fun. The sound in the game, including the music, puts you right into the Caribbean and overall is a pleasant if forgettable part of the game.

We enjoyed 'Tropico 5' for what it did in order to make the game more relevant for new gamers. The dynasty ability is wonderful and the online multiplayer downright required. We enjoyed how fun the game was to play and how easily the campaign taught us how to take care of business. While the experience isn't as deep as some other city sims on the market, it doesn't need to be in order to be an enjoyable one.

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Release Date:

April 28, 2015

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