Tropico 4 Gold Edition (360) Review
- Looks and plays like Tropico 3
- Fun for fans of simulation-style games
- Includes premium DLC
Not so much?
- Seems a little too much like Tropic 3
- Gold Edition only contains one DLC package
If you’ve never played a Tropico game, Tropico 4 Gold Edition is a good starting point. It includes last year’s Tropico 4 game with the premium downloadable content Modern Times, but does not include all add-ons and downloadable content like other game re-releases do.
Sometimes I like to play simulation video games the same way my kids play with blocks. I’ll spend all of this time building everything up, and then the destructive gremlin inside says, “Hey, enough of this nonsense! Let’s knock this thing to the ground!” In Tropico 4, you’re not exactly nuking your small tropical paradise, the same way you can destroy a city in SimCity (although you sorta can), but you can choose to rules as either a benevolent dictator and an evil tyrant.
If you’ve never played a Tropico game, the learning curve will be a bit steep at first. This is true of practically any simulation games, so this isn’t a knock against Tropico 4 at all. My point is, you can’t just jump into a new game and expect to figure it out the same way you can with games like Black Ops II or Halo 4. You’ll want to check out all of the tutorials to get a feel for the game before exploring the game unassisted.
That is, of course, unless you’ve played one of the previous Tropico games. Veterans can probably hop into Tropico 4 and not lose a beat. (I played Tropico 3 awhile back, and while the tutorial seemed similar, I definitely needed a refresher.)
Tropico 4 Gold Edition takes place in 1950s Cuba, where you assume the role of El Presidente. As the leader, your goal is to build a nation for your people and while staying in office, and you can do so in a variety of different styles. While you can rule with fear, wield that abusive power carefully, or you may be overthrown by pissed-off militants.
Like SimCity, you’ll be managing more than building properties for your citizens. In order to build a thriving nation, you’ll have to deal with political superpowers as well as Mother Nature’s natural disasters. Capitalists, and Communists, and Nationalists… oh my! As you attempt to rise to power, you’ll encounter a variety of different factions all which have different ideologies and demands. Pleasing them all won’t be easy, but their support can be vital to staying in office.
When starting a new game, there are many different choices that you can choose from. Tropico 4 has a standard campaign, which spans 20 missions over 10 maps. If you’re interested fooling around without getting too invested in the lengthy campaign, you can play in the sandbox mode, which gives you a little more leniency on your island “paradise,” and how you rule it.
Tropico 4 Gold Edition is sort of a “Game of the Year” package deal that includes the Tropico 4 game (which was released more than a year ago, in October 2011, for the Xbox 360), as well as the Modern Times DLC expansion.
The Modern Times expansion take El Presidente from the familiar 1950′s Cold War-era to, appropriately, modern times… and BEYOND! Modern Times includes new missions and new buildings, like skyscrapers as well as eco-friendly structures. With modern times comes modern problems like the Internet, global financial markets, and space exploration. And you thought keeping your population in line “the old-school way” was difficult — sheesh!
One knock against Tropico 4 Gold Edition is that it’s pretty lightweight for a “Game of the Year” style re-release. It doesn’t include any of the game’s other downloadable content, like Quick-Dry Cement, Megalopolis, and Pirate Heaven. Each of of those will run you around $5 each — and those are only a few of the items that can be purchased through the Xbox Live Marketplace.
If you are a Xbox Live Gold Member, there is sale that lasts through Monday, December 17th 2012, on almost all Tropico 4 content, including the game itself. Most of the downloadable items are available for half-price, some like Vigilante, Megalopolis, and Pirate Heave are still at full-price. If you picked up Tropico 4 Gold Edition, and were bummed that it didn’t include all of the game’s extras, you can buy most of them for a discount — but act quickly! Click here to visit the Tropico 4 page on Xbox Live Marketplace.
I’m not world-wary enough to tell you the differences between Tropico 3 and Tropico 4 — they look very identical. So if you’re looking for the differences between the two, I can only state was others have claimed: Tropico 4 expands upon Tropico 3 but doesn’t feel like huge strides or innovation were made. I’d imagine that the biggest difference would be Tropico 4′s downloadable content, like the included Modern Times campaign, that changes things up a little more dramatically. If you want a better answer than that, I can point you toward the nearest Google search, and let the enthusiasts explain it better than I. If you’re new to the franchise and want to know which one to start, I think I’d recommend the Tropico 4 Gold Edition because of the potential for more variety through the game’s DLC.
Like other simulation games the Tropico started on the PC. In the past, ports from PC to the home console were always thought to be inferior or had to be “dumbed-down.” This was true in some cases. However, I felt the controls and navigating the menus was easy enough. Like the game itself, it may take some time adjusting the the control scheme, but PC players would be in the same boat, with the mouse and keyboard, as well.
I enjoyed playing Tropico 4 Gold Edition, and I recommend it to those who want a little more planning and structure in their video games. I wish it included more of the game’s other DLC, as this doesn’t quite feel like a true “Gold Edition,” but you will save yourself some money by doing with this package rather than buying the original game and content, individually. If you’d like to try before you buy, there is a demo on the Xbox Live Marketplace, which includes the 4 tutorial missions as well as 1 campaign mission.