Tropico 4 is one of many upcoming games on display at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, and we had a chance to take an updated look at this Caribbean island simulator sequel. The game itself is practically done. Kalypso representatives suggest "It's about 90 percent done already--now [Kalypso] is just adding more polish."
Tropico already looks like a finished game, though it also bears a strong resemblance to Tropico 3's modeling of tiny capital cities full of tiny Tropicans going about their business. But this time around, Tropico 4 will have many new features, such as "more than a half-dozen" disasters--including oil tanker spills, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions--that will occur in certain spots during the campaign and randomly in the game's freeform sandbox mode (with the ability to set them to occur more or less frequently). Plus, the islands in Tropico will be "three to four times as big" as those in the previous game.
In addition, Tropico 4 will have many new buildings and improvements at the request of fans. These include tourist-attracting carnival rides; a firehouse; a nuclear power plant; a stock exchange; and the council of ministers, from which you may recruit educated (or not-so-educated) Tropicans to become special government advisors if you're a democratic sort. Then again, if you prefer to follow the lead of the mid-20th-century Soviet Union and go communist, you can convert the structure to become the "People's Committee," or you can just drop the facade and convert it to a full-on military junta. Of course, your nation's political leanings will earn you either favor or mistrust with the game's two mid-20th-century superpowers--the Soviets and the Americans--but once your game passes beyond the 1980s, the USSR's influence will diminish and new players will enter Tropico 4's world stage. China will appear as a commerce-minded superpower looking to set up trade deals; the Middle East will take great interest in any oil-related transactions you happen to make (particularly those that undercut its prices), and Europe will be strongly concerned with moral issues.
If that weren't enough, Tropico 4 is adding even more stuff to do in the form of random objectives, which will pop up periodically from various buildings, representatives, or foreign powers. These missions are entirely optional but often quite profitable, so they may be worth your while and will provide a change of pace from the usual maintenance on which you'll be focusing. And finally, Tropico 4's social media features have been implemented into the game. These let you take a screenshot of your island at any moment and upload it with a brief blurb to Facebook or Twitter. In addition, the game will use Facebook to assemble a rankings ladder that will let you compare your island's progress and your achievements against those of your friends. Tropico 4 will have everything you liked about Tropico 3 and more of it, along with tons of new stuff. The game will be released simultaneously on the PC and the Xbox 360 this August.