Taking An Island Vacation With Tropico 3

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Posted by Jeff (3478 posts) -

If I ran my own island, I'd run it with an iron fist! 
Running a Caribbean island through the storm of the Cold War probably ain't easy, but that's your main task in Tropico 3, the upcoming sequel from Kalypso, who acquired the rights to Tropico from Take-Two awhile back. Kalypso has enlisted the development prowess of Bulgaria's own Haemimont Games, and the lot of them are getting together to make Tropico 3 a return to the setting and concepts found in the first game.

That means you'll be in charge of the SimCity-like task of building out a tropical island while balancing things like the happiness and safety of your people with the income your nation generates. You'll have to balance pollution against a desire to move into heavier industries to earn the big bucks. You'll have to decide if you want to develop in such a way that relations with the US improve, or perhaps you'll choose to side with the USSR. Almost every choice comes with its pros and cons, forcing you to constantly weigh things out. Also, your different choices will impact different parts of your citizenship differently. Communists will appreciate some activities that the religious faction might hate, for example. And depending on how you configure your on-island avatar, they may just build up a strong dislike for you.

The game will come with plenty of preset dictator-types that you can choose from, but you can also build your own. Building your character lets you determine its physical appearance, but more importantly, you'll also establish a series of traits that impact your starting statistics. You'll select a background and state how you rose to power. Backgrounds can be things like "booze baron" or "war hero." Your rise to power might be that you were installed by the CIA, or that you're an aging-but-beloved pop singer. You'll also choose qualities and flaws. Having "green thumb" as a quality makes you a bit better at the agriculture side of things, which in turn gains favor with the USSR. Flaws are things like "kleptomaniac" and "pompous." Being pompous means that you can't praise anyone but yourself during your election speeches, which is, well, pretty pompous.

Once you've built your character, you're dropped onto a fairly undeveloped island in January of 1950. From there you'll be able to lay roads, build structures, and generally tinker with the things on the island. You can lower wages on a specific building to save a little money, but its performance will likely suffer. You can build high schools and colleges in an attempt to produce a more-educated workforce, which can, in turn, work at more advanced structures. You can build beautiful gardens to increase the pleasantness of your island. Or you can build guard towers, prisons, and police stations to keep the ever-present rebels in check. Of course, being too oppressive results in more rebels attempting to take you down. And yes, it's possible that you might get taken out, as your character directly appears on the island, just like anyone else.

This island appears to be bustling. 
It's the dissident-smashing oppressive side of Tropico 3 that speaks to me. Being able to designate a building as a headquarters for your secret police and using them to ensure that faction leaders that aren't likely to vote for you in the next election have an "accident." Or, if you want to be more brazen, you can just order any person to be "eliminated." A soldier will eventually track down the target and open fire. It's a messier solution that leads right back to your cold, calculating hand, so expect the target's family to lose all respect for you as a leader. Hey, maybe you could just take care of them, too.

All of this happens from a fairly standard-looking real-time strategy sort of interface. You'll be able to pan and zoom the camera around the island, letting you get in close to see individual citizens or moving all the way back to get a feel for an entire area. The game is coming to the PC as well as the Xbox 360. We saw the 360 version, which seems to be applying the standard sort of "console version of a game built for mouse and keyboard" approach. It seems totally functional, but I get the feeling that choosy players will want that mouse and keyboard support. All in all, the game seems like it could be really cool on both platforms, with plenty of different ways to rule and a lot of sliders and other things to tweak when initally starting out. But even though you can schedule a papal visit, don't get any funny ideas... you won't be able to assassinate the Pope.

Tropico 3 is currently scheduled for release in September.
Staff
#1 Posted by Jeff (3478 posts) -

If I ran my own island, I'd run it with an iron fist! 
Running a Caribbean island through the storm of the Cold War probably ain't easy, but that's your main task in Tropico 3, the upcoming sequel from Kalypso, who acquired the rights to Tropico from Take-Two awhile back. Kalypso has enlisted the development prowess of Bulgaria's own Haemimont Games, and the lot of them are getting together to make Tropico 3 a return to the setting and concepts found in the first game.

That means you'll be in charge of the SimCity-like task of building out a tropical island while balancing things like the happiness and safety of your people with the income your nation generates. You'll have to balance pollution against a desire to move into heavier industries to earn the big bucks. You'll have to decide if you want to develop in such a way that relations with the US improve, or perhaps you'll choose to side with the USSR. Almost every choice comes with its pros and cons, forcing you to constantly weigh things out. Also, your different choices will impact different parts of your citizenship differently. Communists will appreciate some activities that the religious faction might hate, for example. And depending on how you configure your on-island avatar, they may just build up a strong dislike for you.

The game will come with plenty of preset dictator-types that you can choose from, but you can also build your own. Building your character lets you determine its physical appearance, but more importantly, you'll also establish a series of traits that impact your starting statistics. You'll select a background and state how you rose to power. Backgrounds can be things like "booze baron" or "war hero." Your rise to power might be that you were installed by the CIA, or that you're an aging-but-beloved pop singer. You'll also choose qualities and flaws. Having "green thumb" as a quality makes you a bit better at the agriculture side of things, which in turn gains favor with the USSR. Flaws are things like "kleptomaniac" and "pompous." Being pompous means that you can't praise anyone but yourself during your election speeches, which is, well, pretty pompous.

Once you've built your character, you're dropped onto a fairly undeveloped island in January of 1950. From there you'll be able to lay roads, build structures, and generally tinker with the things on the island. You can lower wages on a specific building to save a little money, but its performance will likely suffer. You can build high schools and colleges in an attempt to produce a more-educated workforce, which can, in turn, work at more advanced structures. You can build beautiful gardens to increase the pleasantness of your island. Or you can build guard towers, prisons, and police stations to keep the ever-present rebels in check. Of course, being too oppressive results in more rebels attempting to take you down. And yes, it's possible that you might get taken out, as your character directly appears on the island, just like anyone else.

This island appears to be bustling. 
It's the dissident-smashing oppressive side of Tropico 3 that speaks to me. Being able to designate a building as a headquarters for your secret police and using them to ensure that faction leaders that aren't likely to vote for you in the next election have an "accident." Or, if you want to be more brazen, you can just order any person to be "eliminated." A soldier will eventually track down the target and open fire. It's a messier solution that leads right back to your cold, calculating hand, so expect the target's family to lose all respect for you as a leader. Hey, maybe you could just take care of them, too.

All of this happens from a fairly standard-looking real-time strategy sort of interface. You'll be able to pan and zoom the camera around the island, letting you get in close to see individual citizens or moving all the way back to get a feel for an entire area. The game is coming to the PC as well as the Xbox 360. We saw the 360 version, which seems to be applying the standard sort of "console version of a game built for mouse and keyboard" approach. It seems totally functional, but I get the feeling that choosy players will want that mouse and keyboard support. All in all, the game seems like it could be really cool on both platforms, with plenty of different ways to rule and a lot of sliders and other things to tweak when initally starting out. But even though you can schedule a papal visit, don't get any funny ideas... you won't be able to assassinate the Pope.

Tropico 3 is currently scheduled for release in September.
Staff
#2 Posted by rjayb89 (7720 posts) -

Interesting...

Online
#3 Posted by PeasForFees (2411 posts) -

Looks great

#4 Posted by Coltonio7 (3156 posts) -

Seems like "Cuba Tycoon" to me.

#5 Posted by RedSox8933 (2428 posts) -

4X is the only kind of real-time strategy game that I enjoy playing. Civilization IV is one of my favorite games of all-time.
 
I haven't played any of the Tropico games, but I'm going to keep an eye on this one because the setting is awesome.

#6 Posted by Blood_for_the_blood_God (300 posts) -

Hopefully the CIA wont try to send assassins your way either...

#7 Posted by Blood_for_the_blood_God (300 posts) -
@Coltonio7: what was your first clue? The box art for instance?
#8 Posted by MatthewMeadows (588 posts) -

I like the cold war vibe

#9 Posted by BadSniper52 (607 posts) -

look great,it look like a sim city but in cuba.:P
#10 Posted by deaux (233 posts) -

It sounds very much like the original Tropico.  Apart from having an avatar for your character walking around (which is new) all the other info also describes features of Tropico 1.  What else is new?

#11 Posted by Kohe321 (3523 posts) -

Looks cool!

#12 Posted by Sharpshooter (884 posts) -

OK so no Pope assassination, can we at least hold him hostage to gain some favor with the USSR?

#13 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11588 posts) -

Fidel Castro: The Official Game of the Dictator? Sign me up!

#14 Posted by nick69 (625 posts) -

huh...I might have to play this

#15 Posted by Matfei90 (1288 posts) -

Damn... If I can't assassinate the Pope, how am I meant to solidify myself as a hard-line, anti-religious dictator?
 
Game sounds interesting though.

#16 Posted by ververdan0226 (1573 posts) -

Huh...

#17 Posted by empfeix (774 posts) -

having not played this game since tropico 1 - It will be nice if they just upgrade the graphics and maybe add some more mechanics, I'll gladly play it again if it can do that

#18 Posted by erinfizz (1048 posts) -

I really liked the first one, this is sounding good.

#19 Edited by Death_Burnout (3796 posts) -

Great, now whenever i see this game i immediately think of Ryan. Cus i can i see him

#20 Posted by buzz_clik (6962 posts) -

I'm not not interested.

Moderator
#21 Posted by Meliv (79 posts) -

As a diehard lover of the first Tropico I urge everyone to check this out. Being an evil dickhead is so much fun you won't believe
 
Your people want an election? Start one then kill the person who runs against you in a populated area. Watch their cries for elections become small whispers

#22 Posted by HeavyMental (117 posts) -

i've been keeping an eye out for this one
 
but still doubting it might be for me, if it's cheaper than 50$ i might go for it

#23 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3234 posts) -

They're saving that feature for their in-the-works "Pope assassination sim". It includes millions of varied paths for your Pope-assassinating mission. Also there's a secret ending where you don't kill the Pope.

#24 Edited by Phished0ne (2492 posts) -

The Tropico series has been a staple in my household since the original....My dad loves it..i'll probably get it for him as a present.....I've found that its actually really fun to play.  

#25 Posted by kwyee (234 posts) -

aww, i was hoping for some Papicide 

#26 Posted by sdauz (430 posts) -

seems to be a better background and setting than the usual sim city game

#27 Posted by MaddProdigy (1041 posts) -

Tropico is the shiznit. Imma get this cause bein a dictator is too much fun

#28 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Looking forward to this.

#29 Posted by RHCPfan24 (8609 posts) -

I will buy this for the box art alone.

#30 Posted by PureRok (4235 posts) -
@Meliv said:
" As a diehard lover of the first Tropico I urge everyone to check this out. Being an evil dickhead is so much fun you won't believe  Your people want an election? Start one then kill the person who runs against you in a populated area. Watch their cries for elections become small whispers "
I heard an evil cackle and thunder with a flash of lightning when I read that.
#31 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

I just hope we get to go to war vs the US if we side with the USSR. Burning me some Yankees is always fun ^_^

#32 Posted by Tordah (2476 posts) -

I've never played any of the previous Tropico games but I want to now.

#33 Posted by PeasForFees (2411 posts) -

Be like China and Smog everything

#34 Posted by SinGulaR (2282 posts) -

The first game was pure awesomeness.
#35 Posted by ExtremeJesus (72 posts) -

Been wanting to get a civilisation style strategy game for a while. The tone of this one and the inclusion of communists might make Tropico 3 the one.

#36 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4239 posts) -

Do the different factions have any appreciable differences, or are they just different colored flags?
 
Can you play both superpowers against each other, or does the middle road just make you an enemy to both?

#37 Posted by Asrahn (552 posts) -

I find myself looking forward to this game. Looks coozy enough!

#38 Posted by Nzwei (79 posts) -

The first Tropico was the reason for downfall of all my middleschool grades. It would be nice to play something more mellow once in a while ( now back to Dead Space :) ) .

#39 Posted by FrankCanada97 (4039 posts) -

Viva El-Presidente!

#40 Posted by bigbobo (6 posts) -

Tropico 1 is such an under-appreciated classic. It brang something new to city-building and it brang Humor and wit along. 
 
As to questions about US and Russia, the reason you would pick one is to appease your citizens who all align to different things. If the majority of your citizens are communist, then it would be smart to align with  Russia.

#41 Posted by Uberjannie (298 posts) -

I remember Tropico. Played it a lot. Didnt try Tropico 2 tho.

#42 Posted by CitizenKane (10506 posts) -

You can't assassinate the Pope?  Well there goes my dream.

#43 Posted by Media_Master (3283 posts) -

sounds boring

#44 Posted by MattyFTM (14364 posts) -

Looking good. Despite totally being my type of game, I managed to miss the first two Tropico's. I'll definitely be checking out Tropico 3 though.

Moderator
#45 Posted by Farmer (328 posts) -

Seems like it would be very easy for bugs to slip through in a game like this.

#46 Posted by Branthog (7476 posts) -

Civilization Revolution is a quite competent version of Civ IV on console, but I somehow suspect Tropico won't achieve the same level of accomplishment... I'll probably have to cave in and buy it for the PC. It has been so long since I've had a nice game of Tropico...

#47 Posted by Jimbo (9797 posts) -

Good year for city builders huh?  Anno 1404, Tropico 3, Cities XL and Haemimont's last game, Grand Ages: Rome.
 
The Kalypso / Haemimont partnership is promising for Tropico 3.  GA: Rome was extremely well made, looked stunning and had great attention to detail.

#48 Posted by ethan (776 posts) -

I loved Tropico.  I gave it to my litte sister after I was done.  But I'm pretty sure my step-mother didn't let her play it because she was afraid it would turn her into a communist.

#49 Posted by AuthenticM (3706 posts) -

Totally checking this out.

#50 Posted by chrisser665 (11 posts) -

I just wanna assassinate the pope... I can't believe another game comes out where you can't do this... I've been waiting for a game to shoot the pope since Headshots: Papal Edition.  We of the pope-assassinating-community are greatly disappointed.
;-P

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