Port Royale 4 is ambitious and delivers in most regards, leading to a well rounded and beautifully choreographed world. The green tropical islands seem to breathe with life and purpose, a purpose that you influence through a variety of means, whether through trade, nationalism or just blatant piracy.
I might have mentioned that Crusader Kings 2 was one of my favorite games. All I really want out of a game - any game - is to lose myself in a good story. Crusader Kings gives me that, fresh, every time I sit down to play. Crusader Kings 3 is at the start of its own story - I'm estimating we're going to see around 300 DLCs for this beast before it's all said and done - and already through its clarity of interface and intelligent design decisions I can see years of amazing "OH MY GOD, you'll never guess what happened in CK3" moments clogging up Felix's email inbox as I continue on my own journey with this wonderful, wonderful game.
Props to the small team for really doing a whole lot with a little graphically. The rain never seems to let up, and the neon glow of the noodle stands shimmer on the trash-strewn alleys, and the smoky canyons between the seemingly-endless skyscrapers adds a feeling of vastness to the city. Really though, when you get down to it, Cloudpunk seems more like a straightforward interactive novel than it does a really fleshed-out game. It takes the first part of the 'go anywhere, do anything' sandbox model and does it very well. It just doesn't really deliver on the 'do anything' part all that well.
I know it seems like a paradox to say that on the one hand, it's a well-oiled, impeccably balanced sci-fi empire building game with all the elements that make a great wargame; and on the other hand it feels a smidgen like they phoned it in, but there you are. That's precisely how it feels.
Despite all of this griping, and all of these complaints, Tropico 6 is still sort of fun. Partly it's just watching the numbers going up. When the freighter arrives in port and your first shipment of electronics goes to market, netting you enough money to build a new stadium, it's like a little pat on the head that can be weirdly addictive. There are certainly some bugs that probably shouldn't exist on the fourth (fifth? sixth?) iteration of essentially the same game, but the special sauce that has allowed them to actually get away with making six Tropico games is still there.
What it comes down to is that Paradox is just amazing at listening to their community and developing their games long after release. Now that ships are done, I expect that the air force will follow not too far behind. Then, who knows? Of course, they could release a DLC of nothing but National Focii for everyone from Bulgaria to Tannu Tuva and many fans would be ecstatic. If more companies were like Paradox, the world would be a better place.