Imperator Romeby Mikhail May 26, 2021 | 1 Votes | 22 Played | 0 Reviews 10 rate Imperator Rome is Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy game putting you in the shoes of a faction years after Alexander the Great’s death. Manage your faction, forge alliances with other kingdoms, or play as Rome and guide the emerging republic to glory. Raise legions, fight bloody wars, and conquer your enemies. Play Now Similar Games Played
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Imperator Rome is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive (and exhausting) video games I’ve ever played. Compared to Paradox’s other games, where you simply paint the map, engage in breeding programs, and manage internal and external relations, it offers comprehensive population and culture management along with the elements mentioned above. In a way, it’s more a civilization builder than a dynasty management sim or country management game.
Imperator Rome is, without a doubt, a more extensive sandbox with tons of detail compared to its peers. Unfortunately, it poses a relatively long learning curve and comes with the usual nuance of “I have no idea what to do to fix this” when such situations arise. It takes time to learn the basics, plus dozens of hours to fully master it.
With all these in mind, is it something you’d want to try out? Let’s check out what it has to offer first:
(Note: We reviewed the game after the Marius Update with DLCs Heirs of Alexander and Magna Graecia)
Imperator Rome is set 20 years (303 BC) after the death of Alexander III Agiad, better known as Alexander the Great, whose empire stretched from modern-day Greece to Pakistan. After his death, several successor states ruled by his generals, like Egypt ruled by Ptolemy, the Seleucid Empire, Macedon, Antigonate Kingdom sprang forth and waged war. Simultaneously, the Roman Republic started to emerge as a growing power, and the same can be said about Epirus. Meanwhile, Carthage was doing its thing in Iberia and North Africa, while Massilia, a Greek colony in modern-day Marseille, thrived.
You can choose to play one of these factions or opt to dive in as a tribal faction in Gaul, Britannia, or further east. It’s a turbulent period in history, with countless events, so you’re guaranteed to have event-based mechanics to dive into.
Instead of a typical map-painter and territory consolidator, Imperator Rome feels more like a civilization-builder. Although you’ll likely wage war half the time, a great deal of gameplay focuses on population management, especially since there are countless cultures and social statuses (slaves, tribesmen, freemen, citizens, nobles). You have to manage their happiness levels by constructing certain buildings and providing vital trade goods.
Imperator Rome’s army and military aspects are undoubtedly the most comprehensive among its peers under the Paradox umbrella. Each region you conquer produces levies which you can call to war. However, their troop composition may differ. For example, a levy raised in Crete may be primarily composed of archers, while one raised in Rome will mainly have heavy infantry.
If you have the right laws and researched technologies, you can also create legions. These are standing armies, and you can decide their overall composition. For example, you can create one full of shock infantry and another primarily consisting of horse archers. It’s also important to note that you can decide their battle tactics, and their effectiveness will depend on their troop composition. As a cherry on top of a cupcake, every legion can be named and have its traditions and history, which you can read on the menu.
Buildings work a little differently in Imperator Rome. Although they present direct benefits, you have to consider what they can do to your entire civilization and the pops residing in the area. Wonders, like the Statue of Zeus in Olympia and the Colossus of Rhodes, provide exemplary benefits, and you can design your own if you have the needed DLC.
Although Imperator Rome’s comprehensiveness appeals to many grand strategy fans, it has an extremely tough learning curve. As someone who spent 600 hours playing EU4 and 500+ on CK2 and CK3 combined, I found Imperator to be highly challenging. A lot can go wrong in a playthrough, like a rogue governor, a rebellious family, and an expanding faction. This isn’t a bad thing, but for people who want a laid-back grand strategy experience, this is far from ideal.
Imperator Rome has a large community, and you can easily find multiplayer games. Besides, you can also learn the game thanks to the content creators on YouTube and user-crafted guides on the Steam community and Reddit.
Imperator Rome looks impressive. The map looks like a beautifully crafted Roman mosaic, while the in-game environments and weather effects look nothing short of fantastic. Meanwhile, the character portraits are a notch below CK3 but are varied and look good nonetheless. The user interface overhaul after the Marius Update makes it more pleasing to look at and somehow increases the size of the entire play area.
Overall, Imperator Rome is a deep and immersive game, perfect for all grand strategy fans and those who love Rome and the Diadochi. However, it has a steep learning curve, and it’ll take a dozen hours to fully grasp the basics. Regardless, after the Marius Update, it’s a classic, well-crafted Paradox strategy title that will definitely give you hundreds of hours of gameplay.