Can we get an Ave in chat?
By George Kite
Paradox Interactive, a strategy game company, will be releasing their newest title “Imperator: Rome” on April 25th. This highly anticipated strategy game comes from a long line of other strategy games, like Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis 4, Stellaris, and Heart of Iron 4. As a fan and avid gamer of Paradox games, I can safely say that Imperator: Rome is something that I am extremely excited for, I hope you will be, too.
For those who are not fans of Paradox games, I should preface this article by saying that these games are not for the impatient and easily bored. Paradox games are intense strategy games; they’re really only fun when you learn them, which can take many hours. However, once you get past that learning curve, these kinds of games become incredibly fun and addicting. Like, seriously addicting, because with these games nothing is the same – they are practically replayable in every sense. Though some are in a sense “historical”, how your game goes and how the AI you compete against goes will create scenarios that are anything but history. Though the game has yet to be released, Paradox has divulged the contents of the game and showcased the game on Twitch streams, which I have viewed and studied in order to make accurate statements about the game.
Let me set the historical scene for Imperator: Rome. You start the game in 304 BC, 19 years after the death of Alexander the Great. Alexander’s generals rule his former empire, with Macedon, Phrygia, Egypt, and the Seleucid Empire all vying for Alexander’s greatness. The Celtic tribes of Gaul, Iberia, and Britannia feud against each other. The Phoenician Carthage has created a powerful and thriving trade empire. And on the river Tiber, a small state known as Rome set their sights on their longtime rival, Etruria. However, what might happen in the game can be anything but historical. Perhaps Rome will never become an empire, or Alexander’s empire becomes reunited. Anything and everything will happen.
You play in this time period as any nation you wish, whether it’s powerful Rome or Carthage, or a fledgling tribe on the borders of civilization. When you play as a country, you control its diplomacy, finances, military, and government. You, as a country, control provinces on the map. Each province has a population and resources specific to that province. Your power is determined by your size, wealth, armies, and population. You make your own alliances, declare your own wars, and spend your own money how you want.
Managing your country is a vital aspect of this game. Your country always has a leader, whether it’s a monarch, a consul, or a chief. You, as a country, have certain points that let you do things. For example, you have civic points that let you pass new reforms, diplomatic points to assert claims over neighbors, military points to appoint good generals, and religious points to give your blessings of Greek gods. You’re not alone in ruling your country – you have to have help, and there are certain positions in your government that need to be filled, like your advisors. You choose your advisors and generals from the ruling families in your country. Some families are more powerful than others and will try to take you down if they’re unhappy or if they grow too powerful.
Warfare is a major part of the game. War is played out by building units of military troops in your country. When you’re at war with someone, you control where your troops go, and you can either fight the enemy troops or take your enemies’ territory. Generals can determine whether you win or lose a battle. In addition, what kind of terrain you fight on also plays a big role, especially for who is attacking and who is defending. A major and new aspect of this game is the fact that what kind of troops you have is determined by your resources. Iron is needed for heavy infantry, horses are needed for cavalry, and so forth. The only way to build troops that require resources you don’t have is to trade for them.
This game is immense – in both its size, complexity, and versatility. It’s multiplayer too so you can enjoy it with friends. As a longtime fan of Paradox games, I can say that this might just be the crowning achievement of strategy games for a long time to come. It looks really well polished, but of course, I won’t set my expectations too high for launch – many Paradox games flopped on launch only to become great games with later updates and DLC to the game. The game itself comes out on April 25th. Since it’s a brand new game, don’t expect any sales, so you’ll have to shell out $40. But I’m certainly going to buy this game soon – I really cannot wait.