Tropico 4: My buildings can level up!
Kalypso announced on August 15th that Tropico 5 will bring new cooperative play and be out next year on Xbox, PC, Mac and Linux. El Presidente, rejoice! Steam, whether intentional or not, followed this up by putting all of Kalypso’s catalog on sale 75% off (could have something to do with celebrating Kalypso’s 7th anniversary) which meant I was able to get Tropico 4 and a bunch of DLCs for just $9.99! A funny: When I saw the sale announcement I hollared out “OMG” which caused Grandbaby to toddle over and say (well, I have no clue what she said, was very much unintelligible as she’s just 14 months old). But it sounded like a question so I told her about the sale. She came back with a clear “Wow wow WOW” and then pointed at me and said, in a most authoritative voice, “DID IT!”. So I dod it.
I started off playing through the tutorial to see what had changed. My initial impression was ‘not a lot’ past a lot of graphical updates. And, overall, I think that’s pretty fair when you first start playing. On the other hand the presentation is different. Remember Penultimo?
When Penultimo or other various island folks, such as a minister or an ambassador, maybe a hippie-loving flower child or a Bishop need to relay information or a request to you it’s done so with these placards that have a picture of whoever is needing your immediate attention, a description of what they want and a voice-over to read the first line or so of the request. Previously in other Tropico games it was a sheet of official paper that popped on your screen so the voice overs and portraits are a very nice and welcome change. They also made the objective system a bit more pronounced in that you can “Accept” a lot of them now, as in the above screen shot, and some even give rewards. You can have five objectives at any given time and they appear in a ‘quest tracker’ like area of your screen so you A) don’t forget (it can happen, trust me) and B) click on the objective at a later point to read the details again. This, too, is a nice change.
Tropico 4 has the same basic buildings initially only you can ‘level them up’ via an unlock system. I’m not sure what triggers the unlocks other than general growth and advancement. The housing I use most are the apartments to get a better housing rating. When they leveled up to the “Modern Apartment Block'” complete with a helipad I was, at first, excited. Then I looked at my island and silently cursed my apparent ‘throw apartment buildings in the wind and let them land where they fall’ style of building. ‘Least, it sure looked that way with the new buildings. They aren’t rectangular with nice clean edges anymore and thanks to the curvy styling on the new buildings (which, looks great if your placement doesn’t suck donkey balls) it looked as if I’d tried to create a ying and yang type of three bladed pinwheel. ‘Twas weird. There are also brand new buildings to play with as well like the MASSIVE office building that employs 50 workers. You have to move across the island and pan down just to see the top of it! I know there are more new buildings as I saw an achievement for one called the Ziggurat (a massive housing building). Here’s a list of the buildings in Tropico 4 (some require specific DLCs to open).
Speaking of achievements … I played a 50 year game last night and earned quite a few of them. WOOT! I adore earning achievements, especially on Steam or Raptr as you can “show them off” so to speak. Badges of honor, people. When I was done and ready to go to bed I decided to look in my Steam Library and take a moment to bask in my glorious achievement glow. I figured I had close to 20 of them unlocked and was shocked to see this.
Raptr was telling me the exact same thing, that I’d only earned one achievement, the one for finishing the tutorial. I was UP_SET. I decided to open Tropico this morning and take screenshots of all the achievements I HAD earned as proof and post them here. Because, I R VAIN like that. When I started the game up a TON of achievements started popping up in the bottom right hand corner as it loaded. I waited until they were done and went back to Steam to verify.
Raptr also updated and gave me credit for my 17
gold medals achievements. I feel so much better now! Woohoo! I think I’m going to start in on the campaigns when I play next. I’m going to miss Jaunito’s rather constant and cheesy chatter as I play them. I issued the edict to kill him during one of my sessions in Tropico 3 because DUDE GETS ON YOUR NERVES HARD. It wasn’t long before I felt super bad for having him shot and, I’ll admit it, lonely because he wasn’t there to tell me all his cheesy stories anymore. He’s still around in Tropico 4 but, so far, I haven’t heard much from him.