Tropico 5 On PC: Visual Analysis

Haemimont Games takes El Presidente’s Caribbean real serious this time!

Posted By | On 29th, May. 2014 Under Article, Editorials


Running in the not too long a line of CMS (construction and management) games, Tropico has enjoyed a rather favourable position amongst critics and ambitious gamers without much contention. With Tropico 5, things have taken on a heated outlook. Not just because the name carries the highest number after it, but because all of the bearded leader’s (i.e., you) corrupt policies and regimes would be available for you to experience through a number of eras. And what better to top all that beauteous political malignance with sweet and most exquisite graphics?

Tropico 5 has been purportedly built from scratch to make all that sweet time of our dictatorship look all the better. To lend credence to that fact, earlier had come some screenshots, no matter how few. Just how much did the people at Haemimont Games in Bulgaria put in the game to make it worth its name and more? Let’s have a look.

Tropico 5 (5)

"The draw distances in the game are really something worth bestowing your praises upon. The draw distances and details revealed in the pre-alpha screenshots last year itself were so good that you could weep over them. Textures look nice and sturdy although rock formations are something that leave a lot to be desired "

The game has a nice consistency to it. Benchmarks aside, the game looks splendid. As before, we are given a tropical island to ‘develop’ (see synonym: ravage) and establish our dictatorial mischief in. First look at the island and it’s gonna blow your mind away. With all those beautiful rock formations, tropical trees, sand and vegetation being lilted by the gentle breeze, you could just kick back and enjoy seeing the island ‘grow’ through the decades.

The progressively ‘benign future’ future comes with its own dose of sweet eye pleasers. Moving on from the wholly useless and unasked for maleficent use of inverted commas on words, the game has employed a number of graphical techniques to make the game look aesthetically pleasing.

In comparison to its forerunner, Tropico 5 has really stepped things up. It’s almost like looking at Captain America emerge from the ‘drug pumping box’ for humans (which they often call the procedure for making super-soldiers).

The draw distances in the game are really something worth bestowing your praises upon. The draw distances and details revealed in the pre-alpha screenshots last year itself were so good that you could weep over them. Textures look nice and sturdy although rock formations are something that leave a lot to be desired.

Not bad, but will still probably make you furrow your brow. Against the beautiful backdrop of the tropical foliage, the mountainous terrain somehow looks odd, but only when you’re having a close look at, which you’ll be doing often.

Tropico 5 (6)

"The textures of the game seem nicely rendered although the detailing of a certain few things might leave you wanting a tad more. If you do happen to bother looking at everything thoroughly, you’ll notice that some objects in the game seem bland and not upto the mark.  "

Shadow mapping in the game looks pretty good; ambient occlusion doesn’t seem to be in place, or at least not of the required degree but you won’t notice unless you’re up close with the objects strewn across the map and even then, it seems right. Even the smallest of the objects react nicely to light sources save a handful of objects. Even so, the shadows are nicely detailed and don’t seem out of place.

There isn’t any particular use of bloom or crepuscular rays, not like there is a great need for it either. The textures of the game seem nicely rendered although the detailing of a certain few things might leave you wanting a tad more. If you do happen to bother looking at everything thoroughly, you’ll notice that some objects in the game seem bland and not upto the mark. Buildings and trees are where a somewhat poor texture quality and an overall seemingly apparent lack of attention to details looks evident.

The buildings in the game sometimes just seem like made out of cardboard that your washing machine arrived in – only painted – while the trees seem to have toothpicks for trunks. But really, even with all of that, it doesn’t look bad.

Since most of your time would be spent hovering over your city, managing this, ousting citizens, maybe signing extradition treaties and placing your dear family members at eminent posts, you wouldn’t notice such differences and they most certainly do not sap out the experience from the game. All of it looks brilliant from afar and there will be only so many times when you’d pry closer with a keener eye. Hopefully that shouldn’t be a lot to complain about.

Tropico 5 (8)

"The developers have tried to inculcate the vastness and the blue’ness’ of the ocean, but after a couple of dozen metres from the coast, the ocean instead of seemingly getting deeper, seems to have been converted into a blueprint sheet, minus all the boxes. It’s just plain, bland, insipid blue; a weird blue sheet of paper. "

Water effects in the game are worth slobbering over. But it only gets so far. Quite literally so. As beauteous as the water effects (reflections, ripples, object interaction et al) may be, looking far is just downright disappointing. The developers have tried to inculcate the vastness and the blue’ness’ of the ocean, but after a couple of dozen metres from the coast, the ocean instead of seemingly getting deeper, seems to have been converted into a blueprint sheet, minus all the boxes. It’s just plain, bland, insipid blue; a weird blue sheet of paper.

The ocean is supposed to be a bit bland blue with its sprawling vastness, but it doesn’t seem tight in the game. What a bother. Your only solace being that it’s the island you’ll have to deal with, not the ocean. But there’s only so much you can look at cheerfully.

Anti-aliasing is in place too and from the looks of it, multisample and supersample anti-aliasing have been put to use, but that kind of ‘no jaggies’ experience would only come from maxing out the game’s graphics which would require a formidable rig.

Albeit, running the game shouldn’t pose a problem as the minimum system requirements of the game are fairly modest save RAM and CPU requirements but that shouldn’t really be a problem if you haven’t gotten rid of the Pentium 4 for the sake of loving pioneering technology.

tropico 5

" One thing that you’ll have to keep in mind is that the game necessitates the requirement of a Dx11 compatible graphics card. The RAM requirement stands a tad higher than expected at 4gigs, although latching in a RAM module or two for a couple of bucks would be worth it and not just for the game’s sake."

The game demands a dual core processor with 2 Ghz of clock speed. If you have bought low-mid range PC in the past 2 years, then your graphics requirements should hopefully be fulfilled automatically as the game can run on APUs (Intel HD 4000, Radeon HD 4000 etc). One thing that you’ll have to keep in mind is that the game necessitates the requirement of a Dx11 compatible graphics card.

The RAM requirement stands a tad higher than expected at 4gigs, although latching in a RAM module or two for a couple of bucks would be worth it and not just for the game’s sake. Although such a system would not run the game at its prime, it will still do you good because sometimes, graphics don’t mean squat if a game manages to enrapture you with its gameplay.

The game most certainly has shown a tremendous amount of progress since its predecessor and the visuals are something that the developers need to be praised for.

The whole feel of the game fits with the theme making it look aesthetically splendid. And as always, we have our dear old friend, El President to bring forth his delightful corruption to the beautiful land wreathed from scratch. Once more unto the breach before they dethrone me.

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