This title follows in the vein of the other games in the series (the second one aside), as it puts you behind the beard of El Presidente, the big cheese in charge of a handful of tropical islands. The look of the game is similar to Tropico 3, only with some slight graphical improvements and a much wider scope.
Your main character is customizable, but one thing remains the same: this guy gets what he wants. Of course, that's one of the perks of the job when you're a dictator, so it should really come as no surprise. Your job is to seize controls of different islands as you complete missions and ultimately try to set the proper environment for a successful and profitable economy. You're trade of choice is the import/export business, both of which can now be monitored and controlled. You can also appoint different people to power, the results varying based on how good they are for the job.
What's been improved?
Angry politicos aside, your biggest opponent in this game is the earth itself. The natural disasters in this game are bigger and more disastrous than ever. From tsunamis to volcanic eruptions, your islands are at the mercy of Mother Nature more than ever in this iteration. Outside of the campaign you're actually able to raise or lower the frequency of these disasters.
The islands in Tropico 4 are also up to four times larger than in any previous version. The ability to basically dictate what model of government your islands follow is also quite interesting. Your choices are reflected in how the main political superpowers perceive and respond to you, and it makes for a fascinating experiment in communism or democracy. Though the game is meant to be taken lightly, it's still an interesting political playground to mess around with. Throw in some random objectives and you've got the makings of a title with some serious lasting appeal.
When does Tropico 4 come out? How's it looking?
If you liked Tropico 3, Tropico 4 should definitely make it to your wish list. It's got everything that defined the previous titles, only more and better. The title is dropping this August, so keep an eye on IGN for more info on Tropico 4 as it comes out.