When Tropico News Rains, It Pours
9:08 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
As the Tropico beta release makes the rounds of the PC news sites, a tropical downpour of information has begun. Intelligamer recently got their hands on a build of Tropico, PopTop's upcoming island nation management sim, and posted a in-depth preview on the subject.
Though many details have already previously been revealed, some intriguing clarifications have been added. One such clarification is that the player's persona, though highly customizable, will be restricted to the male gender. Also, in what seems to be a dose of wry humor, flatuelnce can be selected as one of the player's negative traits, which results in having to double the salaries of the palace guards.
There will be several political factions that will crop up during the course of the game, including the communists, military, intellectuals, capitalists, and environmentalists. Each one will have different goals and traits, and thus the player will need a different way of dealing with each one while maintaining a balance with all of them.
Individual citizens on the island can be examined as well, right down to their personal thoughts. One of the more amusing thoughts Intelligamer encountered was "I wish we had a bobsled team." This should create an interesting way for players to monitor their populace and adjust their gameplay accordingly.
More information on the graphics capabilities of Tropico are also revealed:
Tropico uses a modified version of the graphics engine from Railroad Tycoon II as anyone who played that game will be able to tell immediately. However, rather than fixed resolutions, the game supports from 640x480 to pretty much what your video card can handle. In addition to the various resolutions there are 7 zoom levels that allow to see more or less of your island paradise at once.For the rest of the details, be sure to read the entire preview. Tropico is scheduled for release on the Mac sometime after April 2001.
The graphics and animation are excellent, with nice looking buildings, people that move and work and fidget. And while the performance can bog down a bit with too much detail turned on, there are enough options to play with that you can find a good compromise between visual splendor and frame rate. The video segments available so far are solid though sparingly used, basically an intro (that is quiet funny) and a win and lose video.
Tropico Preview at Daily Radar
If that's just not enough Tropico news for you then you can find more previews on Daily Radar and The Mushroom, a developer diary on GameSpot and a piece on Tropico's artwork on GameSpy.
Tropico Preview at The Mushroom
Tropico Developer Diary at GameSpot
Tropico's Artwork on GameSpy
Intelligamer - Tropico Preview
Tropico Official Site
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