Another day, another Gamescom release peering its head above the parapet. This time it’s Limbic Entertainment’s effort at continuing the well-loved Tropico franchise, with the sixth installment in the series. We were given a run down of how existing features had been improved, as well as the newest additions to the machinations of El Presidente.
Firstly, this one has been developed in Unreal Engine 4, so to say that the Caribbean landscape has been captured in more beauty than ever before would be a criminal understatement. The era system makes a return, with new buildings and edicts being unlocked as you progress through time. These features have also been expanded to include a greater number of structures and political rulings which should give you more control over the general population than in previous entries. This manifests through greater detail in areas like the prison system, where you can order your police force to kill, arrest or otherwise “rough-up” anyone that you feel deserves it. Speaking of which there is now a more complex hierarchy for resident criminals, in which local crime lords can spring up, with whom you can either have an amicable or confrontational relationship.
There is a greater variety to the available landscapes in the game, including archipelago’s of multiple islands, which your citizens will traverse differently based on what era the player finds themselves in – water crossings in earlier periods before the development of bridges in more modern times.
One of the more exciting new features for people who fancy creating themselves a gaudy monstroso-palace is the new customisation feature. Ever wanted a shark tank on the roof? Now you can. Or a leering hologram in the front garden that frightens people in the immediate area? Again, it’s there. The silly, good natured humour remains, but there is just considerably more stuff to play about with.
Another new, and frankly amusing, feature is the idea of raiding. You can send your best troops overseas to steal critical resources from neighbours in the earlier periods, but its in the modern era where the fun in this regard really begins. At the cost of friendly diplomatic relations, you can now head abroad and essentially burgle some of the foremost landmarks of our time, in a move that UNESCO are already describing as “upsetting”. You can take the Statue of Liberty and whack it in the sea outside your house, or put the Taj Mahal on a mountain and turn it into a casino (that last part might be a lie).
At the moment it seems as though the full game will be releasing in January 2019 for PC (with the slim possibility of a closed beta at some point before then), and consoles the summer after that.