Tropico 6 reveals its isles of plunder

tropico6

If I were going to steal the Eiffel Tower, I’d definitely strap a giant rocket to it and launch it into the sky. Once it was airborne, I’d remotely pilot it back to my volcano lair and then park it in the Monument Chamber next to the Statue of Liberty (also rocket-propelled) and the Great Sphinx of Giza (trundles around on little wheels).

It’s not clear how El Presidente nicks the various monuments scattered around his archipelago nation in Tropico 6, but a new video shows the Eiffel Tower standing in tropical climes, as clear as can be. You’ll be able to organise raids to steal them, we’re told, but the biggest change is in the lay of the land. Rather than managing a single island, you’ll be connecting several islands together, which means you’ll need new tech and transport infrastructure to keep everything running smoothly.

Tropico is lovely, isn’t it? Like Cities: Skylines with some dodgy humour and a billion times more character. That doesn’t make it a better game than Colossal Order’s city-builder because sometimes I want something much more neutral, and Skylines fits the bill marvelously, but it does make Tropico one of the few urban management games that has something to offer other than zoning, power grid fiddling and the laying of pipe.

If you’ve missed out on all the previous games, here’s what you need to know: you are El Presidente, a perfectly legitimate not-dictator, and you must rule your people across four eras with an iron fist and a velvet glove. Butter them up, then lock them up if the butter supply runs out. But try not to keep plenty of butter by maintaining trade relationships with the superpowers of the world.

Here are some of the new features:

“In Tropico 6 you manage extensive archipelagos, build bridges to connect your islands and use new means of transportation and infrastructure for the first time in the series. Send your Tropicans on raids to steal the wonders of the world, including the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. Customize your palace at will and give election speeches from your balcony, to win the favour of your subjects.”

I think it looks rather handsome and I’ll be seeing more of it out at GDC next week ahead of its release later this year.

23 Comments

  1. Seafoam says:

    Bah, I don’t like it. Seems like they took the issues I had with the Tropico games and dialed them up to 11.
    Tropico games have always had that “oh so zany” humour, but for the most part it has been subdued enough to suspend your disbelief.

    Making all your citizens live in tenements while building a golden rotating statue of yourself? Silly, but believable.
    Stealing the statue of liberty, eiffel tower, and the colosseum? That just crosses the line into sillyness that really takes you out of the experience.

    Like how Saint’s Row 2’s humour was better than 4’s in a way, there needs to be a certain balance. If a game is about a serious subject and the zaniness completely drowns the seriousness then it all sorta falls apart.

    • Evan_ says:

      Oh c’mon.. We have yet to see the execution. They may have perfectly sound and reasonable solutions for snatching various..

      No, nevermind. Anyways, I think I’ll have a great time if that will be the greatest issue with the new release.

      • maninahat says:

        That reminds me, when are we going to get a new Carmen Sandiago game?

    • Someoldguy says:

      It does seem excessively clownish, but there probably aren’t many sensible avenues they can take if looking for new material to justify a 6th release.

  2. Lukasz says:

    So evil genius meets tropico?

    Let’s hope it works out

    • modzero says:

      I thought so at first, but after seeing the bridges I think you need to add a certain Rico Rodriguez to the mix.

    • wackazoa says:

      Time to bring out our inner Gru’s.

  3. ramshackabooba says:

    Control several islands? I never used even 50% of the one island in my Tropico games.

  4. Little_Crow says:

    Suddenly Elon Musk’s SpaceX landable rockets make a whole lot of sense, he’s going to steal the world’s monuments for his island lair – it’s the only possible explanation

  5. Zaxwerks says:

    Has the meaning of the word “gameplay” changed into something that means “we’re not going to show you someone playing the game”?

  6. maninahat says:

    Oh look, it’s exactly the same!

    The Tropico series irritates the hell out of me, because it has basically been the same game since the third one, with tiny incremental changes that either make no difference to the game, or just limit access to the features you previously already had. Did anyone really look at Tropico and think “why, yes, this game would be improved with novelty landmarks from other countries?” Also, don’t forget the DLCs!

    I would love for the series to really address its core gimmick of playing an amoral dictator, because whilst the game gives you all these options of doing evil stuff, they are objectively bad decisions that won’t offer any benefit over running a standard democracy. In real life, dictators inherit shoddy, unstable, bankrupted countries and most of their decisions are a product of desperate survival to control both the revolutionaries who put them in power, and the outside forces who threaten to intervene. In Tropico though, you are given a fledging hub with a tiny, complacent population and a nice pot of money to start. With no impetus other than fuh the evils, there is no point or fun in actually playing the game as an amoral dictator.

    Also I like railways. These games should have railways in them, for you to make the trains run on time.

    • foszae says:

      Perhaps the worst part of it is that they keep reusing the same engine without fixing core problems with it, like insane traffic gridlock. Just as a city really hits its stride, the roads are suddenly so overwhelmed by bumper-to-bumper traffic that no-one even makes it to work on time and the economy collapses. The ‘fix’ they offered in the fifth instalment was to put an arbitrary time limit on a city that basically ended the game just as i was really getting enthusiastic about a city, which just killed my interest in that game.

      I think i can hold off on Tropico 6 until i hear that issues like this one have been addressed, or it finally ends up in the 5$ bin. And i’m expecting Surviving Mars to have some fatal flaws in its simulation as well.

  7. automatic says:

    I think that statue is actually a pretty updated metaphor to who really runs all those corruption riddled tropical isles in Central America. Except that one that’s run by an obviously evil communist government I mean.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I remember the first Tropico was about running a Caribbean dictatorship and dealing with foreign cold war pressures.

    Remember that?

    Why are we Dr. Evil now? Being zongo wacky nonsense does not make a game better. I know the games have gotten steadily less grounded, but really? Stealing world monuments? Why even make it the same series at this point?

    It’s like adding cars to Shadow of Mordor. Next up, The Witcher 4: Rivian Space Program.

    • automatic says:

      It’s a metaphor to adding economic liberalism to Latin American countries. In reality they are the ones being robbed through the financial market with the help of corrupt governments. Like it happened during the Cold War, but with less military involved.

  9. Hunchback says:

    Tropico is actually one of my most favourite city builders, i really hope they’ll manage to get this done right. So far i’ve enjoyed all of the previous games, except those damn rebels fighting for “Freedom”, “Democracy” and other such nonsense…

  10. punkass says:

    I’m guessing that by about Tropico 8 there’ll be enough changes to make me move on from Tropico 4…

    It’s a game which maybe gets pulled out once a year for some lightish fun.

  11. carewolf says:

    Will it be another remake of Tropical 4 with fewer features and the same graphics like Tropical 5, or will they actually add anything relevant to gameplay?

    At least the wonder idea seems new, now the question is if it will be relevant to the gameplay.

    • johnny5 says:

      This. Tropico 4 Modern Times was the pinnacle of the series IMO. The new transportation options sound good and I haven’t seen them advertise military or multiplayer for Tropico 6 so that’s a good sign (I’m always baffled by the Tropico fans who think it should be Starcraft). I hope this becomes the game Tropico 5 should have been.

      • doodler says:

        Definitely was, finally had enough changes to actually be different from 4 and they solved the inherent traffic problem that had plagued the series from 3 by just having metro stations that arbitrarily connect and send people across the map immediately.

  12. satsui says:

    My overall opinion is that I’ll wait until the gold edition this time. These guys have a tendency of releasing a billion DLC. Despite that, I’m excited, but I can wait a year or two.

    And for fuck’s sake, give me some damn 4-way streets! Or at least allow me to make 1-way streets. I can barely fill a whole island now and traffic is ridiculous.

  13. wackazoa says:

    “We stole the Statue of Liberty!”

    *YAY!!!!

    “The small one… from Las Vegas…”

    :(