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Tropico 5 Waterborne Expansion DLC Review

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“…Waterborne offers new content that will keep Tropico fans going for many hours…”

As the first Tropico 5 DLC being tagged as an “expansion pack” for the game, the Waterborne DLC has a lot to live up to. Coming in at a higher price but with a greater offering that the standard, smaller DLC packs, Waterborne takes us on a new adventure onto the seas. El Presidente sees a future on the waters for the people of Tropico, and what El Presidente sees, El Presidente creates.

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The Waterborne DLC then contains a new, six-scenario campaign to follow which sees the people of Tropico starting up shop on the big blue. With nine new offshore buildings and vehicles to use across four maps during these missions, this is the closest we have come to any significant addition being made to the main game. The package also introduces new events, which can also crop up in Sandbox play, making this a genuine expansion which builds upon the dynamics of Tropico 5’s gameplay. New soundtracks and voice acting accompany the package to complete an all-round experience, and of course a few new dynasty items sweeten the deal.

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Waterborne covers all of the bases with its offshore alternatives to the traditional structure of Tropico. Housing is covered by floating apartments, food by oyster farms, power by tidal power plants and military by submarines, amongst other areas such as entertainment and tourism each having their own new structures. This allows you to almost exclusively sustain your civilisation on the seas – a surprisingly topical setting for a comedic Tropico story.

Just for a change, the wealth of content on offer and an extended storyline to support in make this DLC package feel far more worthwhile than some of the smaller ones which have come before it. All of the content included in the pack is also useable in Sandbox mode as well, where the new maps and dynamics come into play alongside the original Tropico 5 structure. This is the first DLC for the game yet which has a major impact on the overall gameplay that you will experience going forwards, and that is what fans have been pining for Tropico 5 to do. These new features include water traffic, new events and much larger coastal regions on the new maps to name a few, and each has an impact on how you can choose to play the game.

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For some time, Tropico 5 has needed a genuine expansion to justify its DLC structure. The smaller DLCs have been met with mixed responses by fans, and so a larger, more substantial and more effective package such as Waterborne is exactly what the doctor ordered. Certainly a package which is worth the asking price, Waterborne offers new content that will keep Tropico fans going for many hours of gameplay, and sticks to the ever exciting attitude of the game all the while. Perhaps the best DLC for Tropico 5 yet, one can only hope for more of this quality to continue the trend.

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The Good:

  • A wealth of new content in one substantial package is just what Tropico 5 has been waiting for.
  • The six-mission campaign offers an exciting and funny new Tropico story to keep you occupied for a few more hours.
  • Nine new buildings and vehicles which carry across to sandbox gameplay enhance your options when it comes to how you choose to play the game.
  • New in-game features and events refresh and enhance the possibilities of what can happen during gameplay.
  • A topical focus is given an interesting solution by the minds at Kalypso.

The Bad:

  • The DLC only focussed on one area of gameplay and does not offer any major overhaul.
  • Some features which are certainly more in need of enhancements have been overlooked.


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Nathan is a passionate gamer and writer, who has been producing content for Invision since his first year of University over five years ago. He enjoys the opportunity to make personal connections with the developers and publishers that he works with, and is often praised for the high-quality of work that he produces. Now working as a Senior Staff Writer for Invision, Nathan's continues to grow as a writer and administrator for the site, and continues to connect with the wider gaming industry.

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