Published on October 27th, 2009 | by prime0
Tropico 3 – Review
Summary: Finally a good game that knows we are all power-hungry, law-breaking miscreants who are looking to do anything to stay in power.
Finally a good game that knows we are all power-hungry, law-breaking miscreants who are looking to do anything to stay in power. Really? Just me? Well thankfully there’s now an outlet for my dictatorial ambition…
Tropic 3 places you as the head of a banana republic, where you can any means necessary transform your tiny island into an international powerhouse. Set during the Cold War, you are struck between the USSR and the US – it’s impossible to keep them both happy and if you annoy either one you’ll soon find some unfriendly warships at your dock.
Islands always start in an undeveloped state, so there’s therefore an immediate need to make your society more advanced by adding schools and healthcare centres, but be careful, as intellectuals are hard to please. You place down different buildings while also making sure that there’s road so your citizen’s can use their cars. Each of your citizens belongs to a specific political group, such as the intellectuals, militarists, communists, capitalists, nationalists and religious zealots. Obviously it’s impossible to keep all of these groups happy, so you need to carefully manage which political approaches you take. Every faction has the potential to protest, blow up buildings carry out a coup d’état. The challenge is maintaining a political balancing act, keeping each group happy enough to maintain your position of power.
Policy edicts can also be issued, such as arranging Mardi Gras festivals, funding social security, introducing martial law or outlawing same-sex marriage. They all have their own perks and pitfalls but they offer a different dynamic to just building.
The South American soundtrack and tongue-in-cheek humour mean that gameplay never gets old or dull. There’s plenty of digs at modern politics, ranging from companies funding re-election campaigns to figures who only praise themselves in speeches.
There’s also create your own dictator’ feature which has you choosing your own avatars strengths and flaws. All of the options will affect you during your reigh, such as a fondness for gambling, which will mean that your country’s funds will occasional go missing, funding your character’s habit. There’s a selection of recreated dictators as well – including Pinochet and Evita – but we obviously preferred our own creations, like John the womanishing pirate.
As well as the sandbox and campaign modes, Haemimont have also created a challenge editor where you can play, create and upload new scenarios. Hopefully, this should result in lots of user-generated content when the game launches.
Tropico 3 is likeable from the very moment you boot up. It’s funny, original and enjoyable enough to appeal to just about anyone. Don’t be afraid to give it a try.