Review of the Modern Times expansion pack for Tropico 4

Author: ElMundo
Date: 2012-04-11 07:09:00
The review was based on the PC version.

The cold war in the shadow of tropical palms is an ancient relic. The fourth part of the highly-regarded and unique humorous strategy, allowing one-man island dictatorship, has been fully expanded, bringing us into the realities of deep capitalism, economic crises and new technologies. Our head is that the introduction of civilization innovations on the sandy ground proceed relatively painless not only for the local community, but also the state of the private account in a Swiss bank.

The return from the annual holiday for our El Presidente results in a brutal collision with a changed reality - great superpowers are getting ready for the arms race, the world's largest economies are experiencing a deep recession, and living standards have definitely risen. Subjects accustomed to dirty tenements and work in the mine swallow all foreign innovations like young pelicans, and in addition we enter the parade a mysterious organization known as The Conclave, inciting the inhabitants and draining our treasury strongly. Although our primary task is to track down and eliminate unexpected enemies, let us not forget that the burden of developing an island enclave also rests on our shoulders.

As one would expect, Modern times do not change anything in the basic structure of the game. Our goal is still to earn as much money as possible using cheap labor (read: islanders), and then to meet the challenges ahead and stay on the dictatorial stool at all costs. The add-on introduces tropical rule into a new reality mainly through a changed and expanded set of buildings. Old wooden farms and imminent collapsing mines, which are the basic source of income for the economy, have been replaced by modern, ecological buildings that more effectively use appropriate natural conditions and resources. Old-fashioned apartment blocks are slowly being replaced by tall, luxurious apartment buildings, while tourists are welcomed by monumental and impressive skyscrapers. New technologies also allow for easier electrification of the island using solar energy, and transport from one end of our property to the other improves the metro. Dynamic development means access to many new amenities - residents are starting to use the Internet, telephones and luxury goods imported from abroad and sold in supermarkets. In the final stage of the game, the streets of our "banana republic" are filled with office buildings and modern communication centers - in a word: technical wonders came to the tropics. However, this does not mean that El Presidente greets them with open hands.

Restricting civil liberties is a basic element needed to maintain order - with the help of special edicts we will eliminate the problem of reduced productivity of employees by blocking access to Facebook, and the Internet will serve as a base for eliminating all manifestations of terrorist and rebel activity. In the absence of hands to work, we can attract a hundred Chinese able to harness a banana and corn on the cob, and the raid of tourists will cause a rapid increase in the number of newborn members of a large island family. The range of diplomatic plays has also been widened - our actions are often the focus of major powers, and mission objectives often require skillful maneuvering between the interests of other states. An interesting addition turns out to be the timeline, presenting not only the new opportunities that the coming years will bring, but also the actual events that will affect the functioning of our small community. For example, the Cuban crisis will strongly affect the global economy and prices of most of our products, while the antics of the Argentine junta of the late seventies will cause a significant increase in crime related to illegal immigration. Any problems will be dealt with, however - money - the right account balance allows you to get out of any trouble.

In addition to the standard mission objectives, which are mainly based on accumulating the required amount of cash or concluding an alliance and supporting a specific power (which unfortunately turns out to be somewhat repetitive and monotonous in the long run), we also have a lot of humorous side quests. What do you say at the start with a bunch of religious zombies that will disappear after the construction of the new cathedral and the announcement of the appropriate edict, or the blockade of the mine by the party of environmentalists? The addition to the fourth Tropico contains a lot of caricatured events that make fun of the trivial problems of modern times. The statements of the characters were often characterized by abstract humor, involuntarily causing a smile during play, which in this case lasts extremely long by today's standards of paid extras. Modern times contain a completely new campaign consisting of 12 extensive scenarios, giving a total of about 30 hours of gameplay with double the acceleration of time (only then we get the proper fluidity of the game) for a really low price - with us the supplement costs about PLN 40 and as if it was not enough, is available in Polish.

Tropico 4: Modern times is a very good extension that significantly increases the possibilities offered by the basic version of the title. The long, elaborate story mode allows you to take full advantage of a completely changed set of buildings, edicts and new solutions introduced thanks to technological progress, and facing the problems of today's world on a sandy micro scale gives you a lot of satisfaction. It is also another confirmation of the old, tropical maxim that certain mechanisms do not age at all and that despite the passage of years they still work perfectly, and modern times add color to the unique island dictatorship.