Banana republic (not the retail store, but the political science term) simulator Tropico 5 will be available in April 2014. Speaking with developer Today at Gamescom, Haemimont Games' CEO Gabriel Dobrev talked us through some of the changes in the game's latest installment.
Much like Tropico 4 was an evolution of Tropico 3, the latest installment is taking a similar visual route and streamlining the management of the island nation. Building support is now handled by one slider to designate investment and factories can have managers help out and dole out bonuses (like extra production or siphoning more to El Presidente's Swiss bank account).
Tropico 5 will also span the colonial era to the modern times, with El Presidente's heirs taking up the cigar once he's buried in the ground and feeding the tobacco crops. Players will be able to create a constitution for the island, choosing various bonuses depending on their style of rule. For example, players can keep foreigners out through a visa program or open the island to those yearning to be ruled for free.
Tropico 5 will also feature greater transparency in its trading mechanic, which has also received an overhaul. Although there will be standard cargo ships as always, picking up import and export goods from the island, players can also purchase vessels and create trade routes for bonus cash with specific nations for political capital.
The biggest addition to the series for the latest game will be cooperative and competitive multiplayer in the game's sandbox mode.
"If you're cooperating, you can be sharing money, share resources, share electricity. There are all kinds of direct communication and there's indirect actions because only one person can take a resource and pollution affects the entire island," said Dobrev.
The competitive mode works a little like modern Risk, with players receiving "agenda tasks." Players will have to earn a certain amount of money or obtain a certain population to receive an agenda point. After a task is complete, it is replaced with a new one. So, if you notice the other El Presidente is going to complete a task faster, you can shift to something else. The player to the designated point goal wins.
The general sandbox will also include tasks now, so there's objectives within the mode like in the regular campaign. Dobrev tells us it will take several times playing through sandbox mode to activate all the tasks.
Tropico 5 will launch on PC, Xbox 360, Mac and Linux in April 2014.