2016.06.01

Beer crawl exploration St Archer San Diego
Camp'n'crawl day two


Last year some League of Sporters undertook an incredible journey, one that proved too strenuous for a single weekend. But like any semi-casual athlete, giving up just isn't in our nature. To celebrate Dave finishing his master's, we completed the second leg of the Camp'n'crawl.
Tropico 5

Tropico sunset view

Since J was on vacation - meaning Warframe just wouldn't be as fun - I decided to try the PS+ May game. It turned out to be one that I had considered before finally settling on Cities: Skylines.

Tropico port container ships

Tropico 5's premise is that you're a colonial-period governor who leads his island through independence, world wars, the Cold War, and finally modern times. It's SimCity without quite so much infrastructure management (e.g. there's no traffic) and Civilization without so many diplomacy, research, and strategic dimensions. In contrast to Cities: Skylines, Tropico gives you large and small objectives that provide a distinct purpose and finite victory condition at the cost of sandboxiness.

Tropico trade export natural gas

Resources are gathered, processed, and sold as the main method of generating income. Income is then invested in businesses and policies. So you don't have to worry about fabricating bricks to build a guard tower, but if you want to sell cars to Russia you need bauxite + steel (iron + coal + smelter). It's a reasonable level of complexity, although you do need to frequently check trade offers for sweet new deals.

Tropico screenshot Textile Mill

There is a tech tree, but it's fairly flat. It just gives you progressive unlockables to keep with the ever-changing times. Technology permits new policies, new buildings, and new building upgrades. Building upgrades are a nice way to keep old construction relevant, but can be a pain to navigate. Thankfully there is an "upgrade all of this type" option, if you can afford the undertaking.


Tropico constitution Police State Happy Childhood Immigrants Nation

Like Civ, Tropico lets you choose how to run your country. You can be the elected leader of a free society, or you can be the autocrat pulling the strings of your banana republic. Tropico seems to want you to choose the latter, and this is where it really stands apart. The game is brutally hilarious. The load screens mock historical dictators, government policies are deliciously propagandized, and basically all the lore text pokes fun at something.



Tropico screenshot battle rum

Maybe it's because I went with the dictatorial path (elections are so hard to win), but I had a tough time keeping my islanders from rioting and my military from couping. The situation reports the game provides are a bit tough to parse, and there's not too much motivation to learn since you can generally get by without.



Of course there are disasters, but nothing so bad its worth ragequitting over.

Warframe


J and I have played a bit more Warframe. There were a few things I knew I was working toward:

Warframe Mag moon ship

New mission locations.



Bosses.


Warframe screenshot Nyx kubrow Atomos

New warframe suits.


Warframe kubrow pats Stug

Adopting a kubrow.


But there were a few 'whoa' moments:


Orokin locations.


Warframe Mag archwing space debris Odonata

Combat in open space.


And, well, figuring out the inventory, upgrade, and loot systems.