"The Future is Now, Presidente!"
Welcome back to your island, Presidente! Things have changed much since you've been away! Why, your little island has evolved much! We have all sorts of new things here these days. Modern buildings have dominated those old suburbs you built, while organic farms have replaced those ancient sugar cane fields. And of course with the evolution of technology comes the evolution of modern thought! Why, Presidente, your little island sure has grown up – and that means you have plenty of new enemies too! But please, come with me and let me introduce you to your new space program!
Ah, Tropico – a series many have discovered as one of the most relaxed yet unique resource and city management games out there. Tropico 4, published by Kalyspo games, takes us back to the Cuba-styled island where taking on the role of El Presidente you strive to build the place up from poor and weak to strong and powerful. However, Tropico 4 is so much more than a simple game of planning the best way to get good exporting and importing out your island. It's also about keeping your people happy, or at least forcing them to be happy. Picking either the campaign or free-mode (or the wonderful and in-depth tutorial mode), you'll enter a world of 1950s campiness where you'll focus on the building of resources and the building of new structures to shape your island into your own dream / paradise.
However, Tropico 4's technology originally hit the wall in 1950. Even if you played past the 50s, your island didn't look any different, nor were there new things to gain. This is where the Modern Times expansion comes into play. With an additional 12 new campaigns and 30 new structures, you'll be building contemporary skyscrapers to enhance both business and tourism along with new types of farms and new ways for your working class citizens to commute. In fact, the new metro system instigated in Tropico 4: Modern Times makes the entire game a much, much more pleasurable experience to play, eliminating the commute times of your Tropicans which had been a hassle in the past. You'll also be able to eventually build a space program and launch space shuttles. ¡Excelente!
The greatest thing is that these modern buildings will slowly come available to you as in-game years pass. As you build your island up from tiny little old apartments into high rises, it's awesome to see the progression of your island. You'll have those brand new, high end areas, and those old, low income slums. You'll see a timeline which shows you when these new modern buildings will become available to you too. The entire pacing of bringing the new buildings into the game works very well. Whether you are a player beginning Tropico 4 for the first time or an experienced Tropico 4 fan, you will find it very easy to take up Modern Times and ease into it.
Of course, with modern times come modern problems. You'll face the War on Terror, the invention of the internet, and in typical Tropico fashion, a campy story involving the illuminati. You'll have to deal with all this while still managing your island and managing your people. Whether you're interested in a police state or a true paradise, the route is up to you – and this is what makes Tropico 4: Modern Times so much fun.
Tropico 4: Modern Times' graphics are simple and gorgeous, with slowly swaying palms, plenty of great-looking buildings, wonderful artwork, and most importantly, a killer UI. The menus and interface are all easy to learn, yet in-depth. Tropico 4: Modern Times will test your resource management skills, but it won't overwhelm you. If you are looking for something that will challenge your old resource management blood, you may look elsewhere, but for most people, Modern Times is a great mix of fun along with an easy-breezy attitude that will still take plenty of thinking and strategy. Also, you better like Latin music, because there is plenty of it… and in fact, that's about all there is. While it fits the game perfectly and I absolutely love it, some may tire of it after a couple hours of gameplay.
Tropico 4: Modern Times is one of the better expansions I've encountered in a resource management game. It meshes with the original game so perfectly, and is such a creative piece of work that I can't help but smile as I sit down to get my island moving and grooving into the future.
GameDynamo's Score for Tropico 4: Modern Times (X360)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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