Review: Tropico 5: Waterborne (DLC)

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Title: Tropico 5: Waterborne
Format: PlayStation Network Download (114 MB)
Release Date: June 17, 2015
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Haemimont Games
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US), €19.99 (EU), £15.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 16
Tropico 5 is also available on Xbox 360, PC, Mac, and Linux.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Review of the Original Game:
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Gaming has always been such a big part of my life. I used them to explore magical lands, to do the impossible, and to escape from reality. I couldn’t afford many games so I would have to choose my purchases very wisely. Part of the reason why I liked SimCity on the SNES was that a single game lasted ages.

I definitely got my money’s worth out of it by creating a city of my own design. Years later Tropico 5 now happily fills that gap in my game library. My one fear with Tropico 5: Waterborne is that this DLC might not have enough depth (pun intended) to keep me going.

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Gameplay:
A few things Tropico 5 taught me is that size apparently doesn’t in fact matter. You can’t build on or even near a hill. Most importantly, you can still be a good Presidente when you’re siphoning a few thousand here and there into a secret Swiss account. Just like the filesize of Tropico 5 this expansion is small, 114 MB to be exact. Don’t let that number fool you because size doesn’t matter and it’ll seem big once you start playing with it. Aside from the innuendo it’s true.

The DLC has a substantial new Campaign and an assortment of aquatic based buildings that also can be used in any other mode. The level of humor found in the main game continues into this new content as does the progression format. That being said, the new campaign builds on an existing base game where it only changes the reasoning behind performing certain tasks or building a particular business.

… I still feel a little short-changed and would have liked more content …

I did find the advisors now guided me along a path I wouldn’t usually take. One scenario had a main goal of causing global warming, so I built a swathe of polluting factories and a couple of power plants. The clouds of noxious gases being produced weren’t making my citizens very happy and so I had to build their homes further away and offset the negative effects with more parks and a few swimming pools.

All of the extra revenue from the factories allowed me to expand a lot quicker than I usually would. In turn I could afford to deposit even more funds into my precious Swiss bank account, which was lucky as I had to use some of it to grease the wheels in a few situations, a new component in this expansion.

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As this focuses on the oceanic part of these huge maps it allows for an even bigger city to grow. You can build some things almost anywhere on the expansive ocean surrounding the island, as long as they aren’t in a shipping lane. I had quite a few floating properties and no sign of a limitation meant my sea could become reasonably cluttered if I wanted.

There is a whole new water themed properties tab but I still feel a little short-changed and would have liked more content throughout the entire game, one or two land based properties for example. Maybe even a water themed park, an actual fire station, forest fire service, and a pond are but a few things just off the top of my head.

The Waterborne DLC does give Tropico 5 some added longevity and variety but does come at a high price and in some ways the new campaign only feels substantial due to the slow pace of the game itself.

… one advisor by the name of Penultimo seems to speak very quietly …

Visuals:
The new content is based solely on and/or next to that inviting tranquil ocean with Oyster Farms, Fishing Trawlers, Smuggler’s Docks, and even things such as a Submarine and a Tidal Power Plant later on in the game. They all retain the signature Tropico style and look.

There are two new campaign maps that seem to allow buildings to be built slightly closer to the shore and the tree density coincides with the overlay a little better than many other generated maps I’ve played on. I also noticed some sea turtles messing around on the beach and a few more fish in the water, which I think are new additions.

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Audio:
We are treated to some new music and a quest for the Black Pearl. Your advisors once again tell stories and give their guidance which helps keep the campaign moving. Sadly one advisor by the name of Penultimo seems to speak very quietly on random occasions and is somewhat off-putting, a minor bug that could easily be fixed I’m sure.

Online/Multiplayer:
This expansion does not alter anything in the multiplayer department and I could see no option to turn DLC on or off before playing.

… I do like this new content and had fun playing …

Conclusion:
Tropico 5: Waterborne is a nice addition to a great game, however my cash strapped younger self would not have been happy after spending so much money for this new content. The high price drags this enjoyable but limited expansion into murky waters where many people will find it hard to see the fun that can be had.

Aside from those issues I do like this new content and had fun playing the campaign. I feel that only the diehard Tropico fans should dive in straight away and everyone else should wait for a sail sale. Sorry I couldn’t help myself.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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