REVIEW: Tropico 6: The Llama of Wall Street

Feb
17

REVIEW: Tropico 6: The Llama of Wall Street

Hello Tropico! El Presidente demands your attention for this important message so pay attention or else! It would really hurt El Presidente’s feelings to have to cause harm to his fellow Tropicans!

Steam: Released
Type: Single-player, Multiplayer
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Developer: Limbic Entertainment
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Franchise: Tropico
Release Date: 6 Dec, 2019

Presidente’s Note

My fellow Tropicans, I bring you dire news. Tropico is under attack. Our enemies are jealous of our prosperity and have sought to prevent us from releasing this review of El Presidente’s glorious new downloadable content The Llama of Wall Street. The one computer in Tropico was brought low by those who fear our technological superiority. Tropico is resilient and strong. Penultimo has been sent to the Spider Cave with Tropico’s second finest encyclopedia collection so our connection to the Information on the Web has been restored. The recent unexpected surplus of electricity in Tropico has just shown the world that Tropico has a bright future ahead of it. These are days of wonder! Of astounding achievements! Do you wonder what we’ve achieved? Why, our exciting new technology will tell us precisely what we’ve achieved! This is the future! So vote El Presidente for the future that you deserve! All of you! Viva Tropico! El Presidente would not want you to suffer the dire consequences of not voting for El Presidente.

What is it?

My people, do you feel you have nothing to look forward to, are you bored? Let Presidente entertain you! Is nothing you attempt fun anymore? Let Presidente be all the fun you need! Do you find life humdrum and no longer enjoy it? Let Presidente perk it up and enjoy it for you! I have heard it said that Tropico is no fun. Well, soon it will be twice as entertaining as it already was and half as boring too! That’s four times the amusement for everyone! The Llama of Wall Street is the first real downloadable content for Tropico 6 other than the Edition-ally tied minor DLC El Prez.

This DLC is not an expansion pack by any means. Tropico 4, which is still the best Tropico in my mind, released both DLC and expansion packs. DLC were usually one new building, one new trait/element an outfit, and a map that used it. It wasn’t usually that terribly expensive but kind of got expensive by the sheer volume of DLC. They also released large expansion packs which had campaigns and new buildings galore. The Llama of Wall Street is more like these old DLCs. It costs roughly three times as much as those old DLCs but it does give you three new buildings and some other new things but only one new story mission. Comparing it to Waterborne for Tropico 5 shows just how much value Waterborne gave us for the money that it makes the Llama of Wall Street look bad in comparison.

What’s New?

There is a new edict, traits and customization options are nice to have but are never really the main focus of these DLCs. The new costume is nice to have but there are plenty of other costumes to keep you looking like a sharp dresser. The new edict, “Made in Tropico” helps with your export prices and the traits likely help too but to be honest, I am not even sure what the new traits are. I did try to look them up but even the description of the Steam page and the Kalypso site are kind of sparse on the details on which ones they were. The main issue being the delay between when I played Tropico 6 and when I got to play the Llama of Wall Street coupled with the free content update that was also pushed around the same time that added the Warehouse and other things to the game just muddies the otherwise beautiful Tropico waters. New traits are always good for El Presidente customization though.

The main things that come in these DLCs are the new buildings and story mission. Starting off with the buildings there are three noteworthy mentions and a dishonorable mention. The Trade Institute, the Toy Workshop and the Smart Furniture Studio were added in the DLC and there is also the Warehouse from the free patch.

The Trade Institute allows you to manipulate the markets. You can spur certain resources to increase or decrease in value depending on how you poke the bull or bear. This can be useful when needing to make money by exporting or saving money when importing goods. Your interactions with the various powers that be will also cause fluctuations in the markets. You can also store materials to artificially increase their value then throw the market to the bulls and reap the rewards. In theory that is how it works, in reality I never really seemed to get the hang of it. The Toy Workshop is the main story element industry that the mission sort of revolves around. Smart Furniture is also a new industry that plays a minor role in the story. Both of the Industries just blend into the background of your other already available industries so once they are set up you can pretty much forget about them. The Toy Workshop does allow you to make fancier toys as you progress through the ages though so it is worth revisiting as new materials become available for you to use. Here is where I can either be positive or negative, but El Presidente doesn’t look at which side is correct, the only one who is ever correct is El Presidente and you can be positive about that. Negativity about that will lead to your arrest, fair trial and execution, not necessarily in that order. It’s always a glorious day in Tropico when El Presidente allows new industries into the island nation. It matters not that they compete for resources with already existing structures nor does it matter that it causes the need for more teamsters… all that matters is that it helps Tropico prosper and helps line El Presidente’s Swiss Bank Account! The last building to note is the warehouse. It isn’t technically part of this DLC, but it is worth mentioning anyway. I do not care for this building at this time. It allows you to store materials in it in order to help manipulate the market or to prevent items you need from being exported so they can be better used in industry… but it doesn’t seem to do either properly. In addition, the stuff stored in the warehouse may even suffer the misfortune of getting ruined! One of the missions I had was to fill it with a bunch of steel (something my industries needed too) so I imported steel as per the mission requirements. I imported far more than I needed to fill the warehouses (which were both set to store steel) but this mission still took several decades to complete. I had one warehouse that could hold 15,000 units on its own set to just store the steel and to not allow any to be removed and I set the other one to store steel but allow it to be used for the industries that needed it. I then allowed time to advance and sat back to watch the counter… not really moving at all. I then switched them both to store only. I also noticed that my totally not illegal weapons factory and vehicle manufacturing plant were crying out that they had no materials. My contract to export weapons and cars was stalled as well. I had two steel mills pumping out steel and had imports coming in as well. I built another steel mill and checked the status of my three import contracts for steel. Two of them were already complete and the third one was just about finished as well. I noticed there was steel in my shipyard but I assumed that was just it being imported and was waiting on a teamster to pick it up to take it the warehouse. Then another ship arrived and it was gone. I was exporting steel at alarming rates. I checked the configuration on the warehouses and exporting was banned on them both and neither one had gained much steel. With the third mill my one factory had steel again intermittently and a very slow trickle started going towards my mission goal, but it was still being exported almost as fast as I could make it. I then remembered that I could disable steel exporting in my shipyard but even after that it still seemed to fill slowly. Now here is where the second problem occurred. Materials stored in the warehouse are not safe by any means, reality is harsh and stored goods can get damaged or stolen. This leads to wastage of what could otherwise have been used or exported. Plus, they seem to take a long time to empty even if there are shortages on the island of the very goods stored in them and they are set to not just store. I doubt they will see a place in my normal Tropico games, but the Toy Factory and Smart Furniture factory will although more likely the Toy Factory due to it being available in more eras. The Trade Institute likely would be useful if I better understood the Warehouses because I could stock up on an item, make the export prices of it soar and then unload the warehouse quickly to take advantage. Right now, creating either bull or bear market doesn’t really seem to be all that needed because the market has enough swing that you can usually find something with a good return to use one of your limited contracts on.

The story mission itself is an interesting one. It has its usual Tropican chicanery mixed into a pretty standard Tropican package. You don’t have to deal with Tourists unless you want to. Tourists and I tend to have a love/hate relationship. I love their money but they hate my island. I always tend to do more poorly when Tourism is important. Getting back on topic, the final task the Llama of Wall Street gives you is actually very difficult on its own and is further compounded by a bug that punishes you for playing too long. Mind you maybe it isn’t a bug and could be seen as a health/safety feature. If you play Tropico 6 for too long your overall Job Happiness drops and you can’t really recover from it no matter how good you make it for your workers. If you save the game, exit and then launch the game again and load your save your Job Happiness will shoot up back to a more normal level but then begin to slowly go down again uncontrollably. The mission requires you to have a minimum 80 overall happiness on in your Island Nation but the best I ever got to was 79. After spending hours of improving what I could, building better everything, and maxing out everything that gives me a positive gain, I had a 78 (and then 77) and my debt spiralling out of control. I figured I would restart and try again to see if I built with this goal in mind if I could do any better and ended up with an 82… and very bankrupt long before I even made it to that mission. When I play it again, I am sure I will succeed! This time I will just have accidents occur to anyone who is unhappy until I have gloriously prosperous and happy Tropico. Ignoring that problem which I will take to be on me (other than that Job Happiness bug that it would be lovely if they could fix) the overall mission was enjoyable enough.

There is really only one choice point in the game that allows for any variation in gameplay and even then it is more or less a pointless choice ultimately. I didn’t notice any real difference in the game itself after that task was completed. The other choices in the game revolve around what tasks you want to take on, what you want to dismiss, which faction to support, and what reward you want for completing it. It’s pretty much the same as it was in the base game so I won’t waste your time here discussing that any further.

The graphics, audio, user interface and controls are all the same as they were in the base game. There have been no improvements or other changes that are recognizable beyond just the bug fixes released outside of the DLC. For the most part the game runs smooth and there were no crashes.

Verdict

So, should you pick up the “The Llama of Wall Street” DLC? I’m on the fence here honestly. If you are a true Tropico fan you will want to pick it up to give yourself that little bit of extra freshness and a new voiced story mission. You might even already have it due to it being given out to people who preordered the game. If you were not overly wowed by Tropico 6 then The Llama of Wall Street isn’t really going to do anything to draw you in. It doesn’t really offer enough to change anyone’s opinion on the game. The story mission, while fun on its own, didn’t really feel like it deserved its own special DLC. There were main game story missions in my opinion that were more interesting. If there had been a new story mission for at the very least both new factories and have the Trade Institute factored into both, I think this DLC would have been more popular. Currently, people are comparing against the lower-priced Tropico 5: Waterborne DLC’s contents and saying that The Llama of Wall Street is a poor value. I do have to admit that I agree that this is one that I would be disappointed if I paid full price for but if I got it on sale or as part of a DLC bundle I would have welcomed it even more. Ignoring that element though as I judged it based on the content not based just on the price of it, I think The Llama of Wall Street is one you should Save for Later.

About Psygineer

I'm a Professor. When I am not teaching people random things I am writing about random things, mostly reviews. I'm into Role-Playing Games, Real-Time Strategy, Open World Action-Adventure games to name a few. I'm generally willing to try anything that is different from the norm as well. I'm also selling these fine leather jackets.

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