Believe it or not, I’ve been wanting to play this game since it came out. I just didn’t think it deserved a $59.99 price tag, so I waited patiently for the price to drop, which it never did, but then it was free for the PS+ a month back and I knew it was the perfect time to pick it up. So, was the game everything I was hoping it would be? Keep reading to find out.
I was super surprised that there is an actual story mode in Tropico 5 that revolves around creating your dynasty and ruling your little colonial settlement and building it into something bigger. While you do this you’ll be pushed along by Leon Kane as you move from the colonial era all the way to the modern era. Leon isn’t doing this to help you out though, he craves destruction and is actually using you to cause all of this mass destruction. It’ll be up to you to then go back in time and stop the events that will eventually start World War III. Throughout the main story you’ll be not only dealing with this one issue, but other issues around the island as well such as disasters, rebels, military coups, trying to please every faction on the island by adjusting your islands constitution, and trying to keep the popular vote and remain as El Presidente.
I was surprised that this game even had a story as I thought it was just a simple simulation, build your own city, type game. Which would have been fine, but the added story was definitely a bonus even though at times towards the end it became boring and tedious. I will say that this was not an easy game at all and although there is a sandbox mode that you can just go crazy in, the actual story mode is no cake walk. This was one of the most frustrating but also one of the most rewarding games that I’ve played in a while and the time I spent playing it was mostly enjoyable even though some of it was frustrating. The main thing though is that you want to save before you start each individual mission since if you lose the mission you have to start from square one all over again. While I did this multiple times, it is not fun and I would have saved a lot of time if I just saved before each new mission. Throughout the story mission of the game you’ll get to play on a total of four different islands, but in sandbox mode there are a ton of different islands to choose from and then an island that you can basically generate yourself based on your preferences. You can even design and customize your own “dynasty” as you start off with one member and then grow throughout the game from some pretty crazy scenarios. There are a ton of different things to do for this game and a ton of different little side missions while you play and I have to say that each playing experience is different. I just feel like the game was drawn out just a little too long making the last 6-7 missions feel like overkill.
The playability of this game was surprisingly simple once you get the hang of it. Everything that you need to know is in the tutorial so it’s a good idea to play through the whole tutorial and if you need to play through it more than once you can. Without the tutorial I would have been completely lost. The only thing I found frustrating, mostly because of my OCD, was the placement of the roads. Sometimes the roads wanted to curve when I wanted them to make perfect little rectangles and squares. I’m sure it’s not the games fault and is actually mine as I am a perfectionist. The game itself also ran smoothly, even though I did run into a couple of errors including some corrupt data at one point and a few saving errors having to do with the multiple saves and the changes in the dynasty. Other than that I didn’t have any complaints in this department and couldn’t find any other bugs or glitches, although the corruption of a save is a major glitch that really can’t be ignored which is why it’s good to have multiple saves.
The graphics for this game were simple, but still had a good quality to them. They weren’t ground breaking, blow you away with the art style graphics, but they were fitting for the game and basically did what they had to do. Even though most of the time you’ll be playing from an aerial view you can always zoom in on your ant sized people living on your island. There’s no major detail to them, but this game wasn’t meant to be played close up like that anyway. It’s meant to be played in an aerial view and when you play it like that, the graphics are nice.
There are a ton of trophies for this game including 51 for the main game and then another 20 for DLC. I haven’t played the DLC and really have no desire to, but I will say that the 50 trophies it takes to get the platinum for this game are not by any chance easy. Expect at least playing for 80+ hours in order to get all of the story trophies and the miscellaneous trophies that this game has to offer. A lot of the trophies also require a lot of grinding that can either happen in story mode or in the sandbox mode. When approaching this trophy list, I basically played through the story not worrying about the miscellaneous trophies. When it came time to start getting those trophies that I knew I couldn’t earn in the story mode, I set up a sandbox mode with unlimited money and just spend hours grinding for them. Then there are those miserable multiplayer trophies. I’m going to say this right now, unless you have someone to actually help you with these trophies do not expect to get them by playing with random people. Find people to play with either on your friends list like I did, thanks LMD for the help, or setup a gaming session using PSNProfiles.com.
Now for the multiplayer, it’s basically the same as the sandbox version of the game expect it’s competitive or even cooperative if you want. You can set it so that there are different rules for how you win or you can just play with someone and grow the island together. This is by far the hardest part of the game since the servers are just about dead and everyone you play with will leave if they aren’t the ones winning. Seriously people, stop being a bunch of sore losers! I could go on and on about how multiplayer is all about winning and losing and that if you can’t handle the loss then don’t play at all, but this isn’t the time for it. I’m just saying that if you’re going to play the multiplayer to get the platinum, then don’t do it with random people. If you’re playing with someone you know then the multiplayer is actually pretty fun.
Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5.
+ Story mode that has an actual story to it that isn’t all that bad.
+ Sandbox mode that allows you to just go crazy and build to your heart’s desire.
+ Decent graphics that are fitting for the game.
+ Easy to play on the PS4 on a game that was clearly made to be a point and click type of game.
What’s Not So Great:
– After a while the story is a bit boring and tedious and it should have been cut by at least 6 missions.
– There can be some save errors having to do with the dynasty at times and there was at one point data corruption with one of my dynasties.
This game took me exactly one month and two weeks to complete and that was of basically constant playing and not really playing all that much else. I would say that this is a great game if you enjoyed games like SimCity and The Sims, but if you aren’t into the whole tedious building and simulation type games then it isn’t for you. I had a blast playing and even though I’m going to pass on the DLC, I still think it was a great game and I wouldn’t hesitate to get another Tropico game. If you got this game for free, and haven’t played it yet then what are you waiting for? If you’re looking to buy it, I would probably suggest getting the complete edition since it has all of the DLC with it.