Like most Paradox Interactive games, Imperator: Rome too has taken its sweet time to mature. The game hasn’t yet attained a similar following as games like Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings or Hearts of Iron. This is understandable, as those three games are series that have been running for two decades already.
Imperator: Rome on the other hand was released in 2019. The game has already undergone a few changes, which have slowly made it grow in popularity. As always, the company listens to its customers and keeps on churning out patches year after year.
So what’s in store for the future?
A whole new military system
Perhaps the most interesting of upcoming changes to Imperator: Rome is the way the military is going to be handled. This is nothing sort of a total conversion from the current method.
Levies – The new backbone of all armies, raised from provinces in times of war.
Legions – The tool of war for advanced states, professional forces raised from provinces and tied to governors and generals.
You no longer recruit units, instead, they are raised from provinces. At the start of the game almost no state is going to have a standing army, and those that do have a very small one. The sort of centralised recruitment that doesn’t really fit the era is completely gone.
Whilst all nations can raise levies, the raising of legions (which represent all professional armies) are tied to technological and political advances.
Levies are raised from all non-slave populations and tend towards light troops, not allowing much in the way of customisation. Only pops that are part of your integrated cultures can be called upon to fight in your wars. Pops that are mobilised this way are naturally not contributing to your economy, and thus cause a drain in wealth and functionality of your nation. Pops lost in battles can lead to population losses in the province.
The legions are way more customisable, and it’s up to you how you build them. They do have some limitations, and they are always tied to a province and its population. Professionals cost money, but that might be a worthy investment in the end. Supply trains and engineers can be attached to legions, unlike to levies. These units will track their history throughout the game, as well as their allegiances. The latter is something that is present in the current version of the game, but will be fleshed out a lot more in the upcoming Marius update.
Technology and Politics
The above system comes with significant changes to the way technology, military experience and politics work. The reforms you implement, and the political system you choose or upkeep will influence what your nation will be capable of, what sort of armies it can levy, amongst other things.
Probably the biggest changes are coming to military experience and technology. These will be greatly expanded, and no longer work as simply something you activate with your extra cash. Military traditions become more versatile, and you’re not tied to a single tree here, though that will still bestow the biggest benefits and bonuses.
The technological tree is extended to such a fashion that it’s impossible to simply research everything. Instead, you’ll be looking to specialise in certain things, whilst following your needs and wants in others. The system is not yet finalized, but it looks quite promising.
A new interface for Imperator: Rome
A much-needed change that will make managing your empire a lot easier. Basically, everything has been changed, and that doesn’t just mean the location of the buttons. The interface update, like much of the upcoming Imperator: Rome update, is a total rework of how things work…or in this case, how they look.
In this case, pictures are going to speak a lot louder than words. Still, we can tell you that the nation overview has been updated to make it more apparent what is actually going on and what decisions you can take.
Same applies to the religion and culture overviews, which make it that much easier to manage masses of populations as well as all the religious treasures you’ve amassed.
The macro builder too has received a worthy facelift, making it that much more useful. For example, you can finally remove buildings, and also receive an overview of what has been built and where.
All of this alone is enough to warrant a patch of its own.
More missions and content
Together with the update we’ll receive new DLC content. Like in many other Paradox Interactive games the add-ons are starting to concentrate more on content. This means that all the game mechanics are updated for free, and if you want a bit of extra you can pay for it.
This time around the upcoming content concentrates on the Diadochi nations, which are the states that sprung up after the death of Alexander the Great. This not only means more missions for each of these states but also more mechanics. You can now concentrate on nations beyond Rome as well, and expect an interesting playthrough.
All of this means that we really need to update our Imperator: Rome review soon. And that if the game is on sale, you should definitely get it before Paradox decides to raise the price thanks to the interest this grand strategy title is sure to get.
Take a look at some of the development diaries here: