I Played the Tropico 3 Demo and I Liked It

Posted by WhenYourGodGivesYouLemons On 11:30 PM

With my download period almost finished for another month I decided to invest my remaining gigabytes into some demos. The one I had been wanting to play the most was the Cities XL demo. Cities XL is pretty much like SimCity as you can build a city from the ground up on a variety of maps and from the trailers I'd seen and previews I'd read it seemed like it would be a fun and challenging game to play. After having some trouble getting onto a server the 1 gigabyte download finally started and I was eagerly anticipating the moment I'd get to try it out, unfortunately that moment never arrived. You see the Cities XL demo, for some reason, required you to activate your demo and create an account with the game. This would have been no problem except for the fact that the Cities XL demo was only able to be activated during the month of September. Now why exactly would Monte Cristo, the studio behind Cities XL, want to limit the availability of it's demo? The reason people download demos is so they can try out a game before they buy which is exactly what I was going to do. I was concerned about how well my computer would handle what looks like a graphics intensive game but now I'll never know and probably won't buy the game.

As they say though when God closes a door he opens a window, or something to that affect, and something like that certainly happened this time. As I trawled through Steam to find a new demo to download I stumbled upon Tropico 3. Developed by Kalypso Media the Tropico series see you taking control of a small island of the coast of North/South America, called Tropico. In the demo you have access to two levels from the game entitled Bananas and Second Chance. When you start a mission you can either choose to play as a created avatar like Fidel Castro or Che or create yourself as El Presidente. You can choose from a range of traits which will affect what type of leader you are like how you came to power (imposed by the CIA or military coup) and your disadvantages like my guy had a gambling addiction which drained the nations treasury.

I jumped into the Bananas level where you must export 8000 units of fruit. First things first the game looks and runs great. I had all the settings set to the highest setting and their was no lag whilst the level of details was impressive. You could zoom in and see turtles on the beach and all the buildings were full of detail to make them look real. The game is set during the Cold War so it has a distinct 1950's feel which means building look dilapidated and relations between the USA and USSR are a key part of the game. Each nation sends you aid depending on how your strong your relationship is and keeping the superpowers happy isn't your only problem. Your island is filled with different types of people, from Communists to Capitalists to Environmentalists and Nationalists. Each decision you make will affect your popularity with that faction and that in turn cuts you off from making certain edicts like Nuclear Testing. While you have to balance the happiness of the different factions, if you choose, you must also balance the overall happiness of your populace. That means providing jobs, healthcare, food and sufficient housing or you'll notice a large portion of your population joining the Rebels to overthrow you. All this choice makes for one fun game as you can choose to run your nation anyway you choose ie military dictatorship or capitalist mecca. I personally chose to be a good leader, providing healthcare, welfare, adequate housing and ample jobs and education for my people. I was easily able to secure the 8000 units of food required to win the mission and I was disappointed when the mission finished as my island was really starting to come together with a college, high school, police station and plenty of cash to build up my island. I also tried my hardest to make myself independent of the Cold War superpowers which they didn't like and that's another thing about Tropico there is a constant threat of invasion.

So after spending sometime with this demo, which I'll definetley be playing again before the release in 3 weeks, I think I've decided that I'm going to purchase Tropico 3. It was just so much fun being the dictator of a small island nation and with it's impressive graphics and gameplay Tropico 3 has definetley got a new fan in me. So sorry Monte Cristo but my hard earned money is now going to Kalypso.



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