Tropico 4, the latest offering in the series from Kalypso, launched a few months ago and has taken the simulation community by storm. After reading the review for the 360 version here on Marooners’ Rock, I knew I had to snag a copy since it sounded like a game I could easily spend hours upon hours playing. While my assumption was correct it did seem like there were a few things lacking, especially when we’ve been spoiled in the past by such games like Civilization and Sim City.
While I would like to avoid getting into comparing apples to oranges, as Civilization and Tropico are two completely different genres, there were some features from Civilization Revolution that I felt would be very welcome, as well as a few other things.
First up, it would be excellent if players were able to design their own island and then play on it. Yes, there is Sandbox mode, however there are only so many things you can customize and choose from. Also the islands you are able to select from are pre-made so what you can customize comes in the form of whether or not you’re hit with natural disasters and other stuff. Having the ability to design your own island, or even being able to work off of a template, would not only add to the already fantastic replayability, but it would provide players with another time sink.
Going beyond that it should be easier for you to select the inhabitants of your island, especially if they are a rebel, a criminal, or anything else that requires attending to. There already is the option to click on the ‘Back’ button when an inhabitant peacefully protests and it will take you to where they are located, but aside from that there is only one other way I’ve been able to find inhabitants. That was when, while playing the Plantation DLC, people were marked with exclamation marks above their heads. Every other time it is quite a pain.
One feature, which I feel would have the most potential, comes in the form of multiplayer. How fun would it be to be able to go head-to-head versus another player, or even a friend, and have your islands battle it out? Victory could range from who exports the most in either dollars or units, which player reaches level 80 of happiness first, and more. While there is no way to have combat like in Civilization, there are other ways to ensure you seal the deal. You could send off attacks in the form of tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, or other natural disasters that you typically face in campaign. Another way you’d be able to thwart your opponent, should you be going for an economic victory, would be to strike up a trade embargo with the United States or USSR. The possibilities really would be endless and would add even more depth to the game.
While I’m mentioning Civilization, it would be nice to have a special mission of the week that players could select from the games main menu, just like in Civilization Revolution. The missions could be chosen by either the devs or the community, and having another aspect to the game that would be constantly changing would help prevent players from getting bored or from the game itself becoming stagnant. Having a rotating weekly mode has proven to be successful for Civ Rev as well as Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2, so if anything it would be a benefit.
Finally there are a couple of minor things, such as being able to select the difficulty in the campaign, and having Facebook and Twitter integration since the PC version allows it. With the difficulty selection, it would be a welcome addition, especially for those who want either a more relaxed game or a challenge. Twitter and Facebook has been a part of the Xbox Live dashboard for months now, and we’ve already seen games like Blur take advantage of the social media sites. It would also be a way for Kalypso to get Tropico 4 out in the eyes of gamers more which could then lead to future sales and expanding their audience.
So, what do you think about these potential features? Are they things you’d like to see added to your game or do you feel Tropico 4 is fine the way that it is? Also, are there any features you’d like to see implemented either through a patch, DLC, or an expansion? Let us know in a comment below!