Imperator: Rome is a historical real-time grand strategy game developed by Paradox Interactive, released on 25 April 2019. It is a spiritual successor of sorts to Europa Universalis: Rome, taking place after the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire and during the rise of The Roman Republic, using an advanced version of the Clausewitz engine used since Europa Universalis III.
Unlike its predecessor, Imperator fleshes out the non-Roman states that ruled Eurasia during this time period, with a concave map that stretches from Iberia to India. The game begins in 450 A.U.C, with the Roman Republic as merely one power among many, and the player is challenged to either repeat Rome's ascendancy or guide another power to the greatness that Rome possessed in our timeline. The game itself combines mechanics from Europa Universalis, the Victoria series, and Crusader Kings, featuring population mechanics, with POPs divided by culture, religion, and class, trade mechanics and trade goods, and fleshed out characters and character interaction, allowing for the simulation of both economic growth and political intrigue. The map is the largest yet for a Paradox game, containing over 9000 provinces and numerous cultures, tribes, and states. The game launched with three political systems: Roman-style republics, authoritarian monarchies, and tribal clans.
The game was announced at ParadoxCon 2018 in a truly spectacular manner, with the founder of Paradox Interactive, Johan Andersson, himself donning a Roman toga and arriving with a procession of soldiers. The corresponding announcement trailer, a steam page an album of screenshots was released at the same time.
Imperator:Rome contains examples of:
- Ab Urbe Condita: Returns from EU:Rome as the Alternative Calendar used in game regardless of nation.
- Alternate History Wank: Arguably be the main point of the game, as the game challenges the player to emulate the rise of Rome as a great power, no matter the nation the player begins.
- Ancient Rome: As the name of the game implies, the Roman Republic will be a rising power, and the player will be able to recreate its conquests or wipe it off the map.
- Arranged Marriage: Like Crusader Kings, you can marry your leaders with other families to secure alliances and general politicking.
- Artistic License History:
- The promotional artwork depicts the famous, austere bare-marble Roman statues, but modern archaeology suggests that Roman statues were painted, and brightly and gaudily at that.
- BrotherSister Incest: Monarchies, not just Egypt, or Zoroastrians for that matter, have the opportunity to implement Egyptian Succession Laws, that allow the eldest child to inherit regardless of gender, and sibling intermarriage.
- Character Portrait: Governors, politicians, and generals have their own portraits, like in Crusader Kings.
- Civil Warcraft: Likely, considering the setting.
- Cosmetically Different Sides: Before the Pompey patch, every omen offered the same set of bonuses, with only the names of the god invoked changing. Units are also still basically the same, with traditions offering various buffs and debuffs to differentiate them.
- Dawn of an Era: The game takes place during the time period that saw the rise of Rome.
- End of an Era: Most of the Diadochi are approaching their old age by the time the game begins, with Seleucus I Nicator as the youngest. Highlighted by two events, the first grants every Diadoch a claim to ALL the former lands of Alexander's Empire, and the second removes them on that ruler's death.
- Fog of War: Will exist to hide far away or remote peoples and nations.
- Going Native: Playing as Ptolemaic Egypt has an event about the religious and cultural difference between the Hellenistic Ptolemies and their Egyptian subjects. The options are either keep to the Hellenistic gods, introduce the syncretic Greco-Egyptian cult of Serapis, or fully embrace Egyptian culture.
- Grave Robbing: There is an event chain involving a struggle for Alexander's body, should the Ptolemies lose control of Alexandria.
- Hegemonic Empire: Considering the setting, the rise of hegemonic empires such as the Hellenistic Kingdoms, Persia, Rome, or some other nation is virtually guaranteed.
- Heroic Lineage: Each of the Diadochi come with a trait that acknowledges their descent/role as generals in Alexander's Army. Even the Argead bloodline is represented in the person of Thessalonike, Alexander's half-sister and Cassander's wife. Her trait is also the only one that can be passed on matrilineally.
- Historical In-Joke: The province id for Byzantion, at this point a minor Greek city-state, is 1453.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: The first event for the Seleucid Empire is whether or not to continue the war with Chandragupta Maurya. Choosing not to gets you a few cohorts of war elephants in exchange for a few eastern provinces.
- Land of One City: The map is absolutely packed with minor tribes that are likely fated to be conquered by a greater power - unless they become a conqueror themselves.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The map has hundreds of playable states - most of them being primitive tribes. In turn, each of these states has about a dozen characters involved in running its day-to-day affairs, plus assorted generals, family members, and possibly assorted other characters.
- Rising Empire: One of the main themes of the game, as it takes place during the historical rise of Rome, with the player challenged to forge an empire of their own. Even the two sprawling empires on the map at the start of the game (the Seleucid and Maurya Empires) fit the theme, as both were established less than twenty years prior and are still ruled by their founding monarchs.
- Running Gag: Comets, as usual. They typically kill important figures who see them in the night sky and have a heart attack.
- Settling the Frontier: Once you have a city with at least 10 POPs adjacent to an uncolonized inhabitable province, you can move a POP into that province and claim it as your own, though the native POPs will retain their religion and culture. This is vital to shutting down barbarian strongholds, as they can only be shut down by bordering settled, civilized provinces and having civilization spread to them by those means.
- One event sees an influx of migrants arrive in a province due to increased trade. The option to accept them? "Strike the earth!"
- Several of the achievements, as usual.
- Using the dev console command "power [x]" with [x] being the number to increase all power values by will result in the console replying with "UNLIMITED POWER!!!" before adding the values.
- War Elephants: Available to anyone who can trade with a province that supplies elephants, which really means North Africa and India. They are also worth double the supply limit of any unit.
- Young Future Famous People: Icenia is one of the playable nation and the only one in Great Britain to have a unique heritage even though their most famous hour won't happen until around 3 centuries after the game's starting date. All other nations that have their own unique heritage are either from the deeds they have already done, or is set up to be performed by the players when the game starts.
- You Require More Vespene Gas: You can only recruit certain units in a province if you have the required resource, iron for heavy infantry, horses for all cavalry, etc. If not, you can recruit any unit to a particular army, but it will have to walk all the way from the nearest province with the needed resource. Thankfully, trade routes allow you to allocate surplus resources to different parts of your empire, cutting down the time to get there.
- Zerg Rush: The primary function of light infantry - they do low damage to all other unit types and take extra damage from them, but they're dirt cheap, recruit quickly, have no military tradition or resource requirements, and use only half the supply weight of most other units. The "Barbarian" military traditions double down on this with numerous bonuses to their light infantry and additional tactics that are particularly beneficial to light infantry.