Paradox announce new grand strategy Imperator: Rome

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I think we’ve all been there. You’ve centralized power by taking over most of the known world. You’re feeling pretty chill about your choices and how you’ve bent the continent to your iron will. That’s when some of your buddies are like “nah brah” and you get super-stabbed to death. Not chill. Not chill at all. Well, now you can bring home all the fun of this highly relatable situation, via Paradox Interactive’s upcoming grand strategy title Imperator: Rome.

The folks behind such titles as Crusader Kings 2 have brought their eye for detail to that whole Ancient Rome thing. Cultural and political legacies that gave birth to Western Civilization are thrown into a bag and shaken up, as you’re given the chance to remake history in your own image. Be the next Alexander or Caesar, or etch out a tale even more terrible. Make the ancient world tremble under the ruthlessness of Kevin. Kevin the Terrible. Or just Kevin. Maybe one name is even scarier than explaining why it is scary? Kevin. Yeah. That feels right.

Paradox promises that this is the most complicated, intricate map and game they’ve ever built. Build your country from the base level of individual characters, each with their own skills, on to the high level of dictating government styles for all of your subjects. You’re meant to balance your factions and keep your generals happy, but that might be easier said than done.

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The Mediterranean will never be the same. Not after Kevin.

Check out the trailer below:

You can follow along with the game’s development on Steam. Or follow along via the game’s official site.

Imperator: Rome is scheduled for a 2019 release. We’ll have more announcements and coverage from PDXCON 2018 as the weekend goes on.

44 Comments

  1. TillEulenspiegel says:

    It’s not a setting that’s ever captured my imagination, but at least Paradox mostly doesn’t follow a formula. They’re all quite different games, never a reskin and tweak. So I’m hopeful that they can do something new and interesting that we haven’t already seen with CK2 or EU4 (or HoI4 or Stellaris).

    • Xerophyte says:

      … or EU: Rome?

      Edit: to be clear, I’m expecting this to be a pretty big improvement on EU: Rome but it’s definitely a well Paradox have visited before.

    • LexW1 says:

      Yeah I find myself curiously unmoved by the setting. The trouble is literally everything really interesting or worthwhile or memorable that happened in the Roman era was either done by non-Romans (often TO the Romans).

      I mean, I focus on the Romans for both my ancient history A-level and degree, but they were never particularly enthralling, perhaps because they’re almost too like us, but in largely dull and shitty way. I get that some people love the fascist imagery (literally, because later fascists borrowed liberally from it – I mean the name comes from the Roman symbol of power, the fasces) but meh.

      I suspect that if they follow the usual pattern of Paradox games and expand the fuck out of it, though, and it becomes sort of “BC to early AD Europe simulator”, then it’ll be a game worth being excited about.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Huh I always found the Romans truely fascinating, and not because of any visuals. More because of their amazing ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

        For example as I’m sure you know in the battle of Cannae rome lost a stupid proportion of it’s male inhabitants, yet they still managed to adapt and win the public wars. To me that’s fascinating beyond measure.

        But honestly I suspect if you look at anything long enough it will become common place XD

      • Reiver says:

        I find the idea that the Romans were dull baffling. The power struggles and politics defy belief. The barbarism and carnality combined with a very relatable veneer of civilisation and rule of law is fascinating. Plus I want the option to feed people to my eels!

      • dsch says:

        The trouble is literally everything really interesting or worthwhile or memorable that happened in the Roman era was either done by non-Romans (often TO the Romans).

        Why is this a bad thing in the context of a Paradox game in which you will be able to play those non-Romans?

    • Zenicetus says:

      “They’re all quite different games, never a reskin and tweak”

      Not literal re-skins, but they can come close. My least favorite part of Stellaris is how much it feels like parts of the game are re-worked mechanics from their historical games. Like Vassals, and the entire framework of Casus Belli and War Goals, which just feel like arbitrary impositions in a space 4X game.

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        calcifer says:

        Like Vassals, and the entire framework of Casus Belli and War Goals, which just feel like arbitrary impositions in a space 4X game.

        They have spent literally months explaining how these changes have happened and, most importantly, why they must have happened. The quickest TLDR I can give is that when it comes to a choice between roleplay (“space doesn’t work like that”) and game balance (“without hyperlanes defense becomes impossible”), they will always choose the latter.

        • Zenicetus says:

          The recent change to hyperlane-only in Stellaris makes sense to me, for game balance reasons. If nothing else, it has to be easier to program AI for a single (mostly) mode of travel.

          I’m not buying that Casus Belli, War Goals, and related things like enforced 10 year waiting periods before finishing off an adversary, are the only way to balance a space 4X game. If balance is required, then bury it deeper in the game systems so it doesn’t feel like arbitrary Space Cop stepping into the game and saying “No, you can’t do that!”

          Just a different opinion here, I know there are counter-arguments.

          • Someoldguy says:

            Mandatory 10 year peace deals have always been complete rubbish that are all about enforced game limitations to prevent the player blobbing out of control and not about historicity. I really do want Paradox to come up with a better answer one of these days.

            Making the start of Stellaris tediously slow has killed the game stone dead for me. Not something Paradox has ever managed before with their other titles.

  2. Morte66 says:

    The 64000 sestertius question: do you play the person (like CK2), or the country?

    • brucethemoose says:

      The emperor turnover rate in ancient rome is too high to play as a person/dynasty, right?

      Then again, it sounds like rulers are the way to customize your start (as opposed to picking a country like other Paradox games, as playing anyone other than Rome doesnt seem feasable).

      • Xerophyte says:

        It sounds like the pitch is “Europa Universalis: Rome 2: Crusader Emperors”. I expect that you will almost certainly be able to play as any little piss-ant country on the map that you want, from the various Romans to migratory tribes to Greek city-states. The official site specifies “Different Government Types: Manage the senate in a Republic, hold your court together in a monarchy, answer to the clans in a tribal system” which seems like a big huge waste if you can’t.

        Besides, Paradox knows that about half their customers will immediately want nothing more than to do a Macedonian world conquest.

        • batraz says:

          A mercenary hiring mechanic would be fitting too… That and a system reflecting the moral effect of superstition (quite like in the US today in fact, although on different subjects) and belief in prodigies and omens.

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        While they had unstable periods with lots of turn over there were also long reigns. I’d argue that a large part of Rome turning to rule by emperors was just down to Augustus living so damn long.

        • batraz says:

          And maybe because the republican regime had become so unstable that the country spent the last 100 years before Augustus on the verge of civil war, when not in civil war. Besides, half of the history of Rome is one of a growing city state with a republican regime, not of an imperialistic superpower ; and what we call « empire » in fact created the concept of state used nowadays by every free country with an open society. Quite far from fascism it appears…
          anyways, I’d buy a Crusader Kings with Hannibal and Caesar without an hesitation.

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            I don’t disagree, but I’d suggest there were potentially other ways the Romans could have reformed the late republic without adopting the model that evolved into the imperial state and they pretty much stumbled into it as a result of Agustus being so dominant for so long that by the time he died alternatives were more or less ruled out by default because no one wanted to risk a return to civil conflict – ironic really as it didn’t actually create a sustainable resolution just shifted the competition to the professional military as opposed to the Republic’s amateur military and as a result emperors were increasingly drawn from outside the city of Rome.

            The what-ifs are even more interesting if you take Caesar as a starting point. While he’s usually painted as the dictator attempting to overthrow the Republic if you look at his actions and reforms it seems to me he had a genuine ambition to make the Republic work – whether that would have gone the same way as his nephew is an open question though undoubtedly he wouldn’t have ruled for as long.

  3. brucethemoose says:

    Dang. I was sure Paradox’s next grand strategy game would be a fantasy one, but this makes sense. Stellaris already fills the current “fiction” vein, and history is Paradox’s bread and butter.

    • LexW1 says:

      Hopefully they are working on that, because they could do a hell of a job.

    • Werthead says:

      They did look into doing a Game of Thrones game (a year or two before the TV show, so based on the books) but the licensing costs were too high. They also realised that if they made Crusader Kings II, someone would create a GoT mod within about ten minutes of release, and so they did.

  4. DoctorDaddy says:

    I’ll be excited to try this one, but damn, I was really hoping for Victoria III.

  5. shauneyboy68 says:

    I’m still hoping for the day we get a near-future global cyberpunk grand strategy game set in a Syndicate or (Fantasy Flight Game’s) Android universe (or something close to it) with solar system exploration/exploitation

  6. Rindan says:

    I am very excited for this. I love Paradox’s unique take on strategy games, and I freaking love this setting. I’m really curious to see what kind of lens they use to explore this setting. I hope that it is something substantially different from CK2 and their other games. Paradox does a pretty solid job at coming at settings from a unique perspective, so I’m hoping they do something innovative here.

    My only misgivings is that Paradox pretty much always releases broken garbage on their first go. It generally turns into something magical, but being excited for a game the day it is released is the path to disappointment with Paradox. Paradox games take time and patience to appreciate.

    • klops says:

      That broken carbage is tied to older Paradox games and Hearts of Irons. CK2 wasn’t broken carbage on the first go. STellaris wasn’t. EUIV might not have been?

      The lens they use to explore this setting is likely similar to Europa Universalis: Rome, I assume.

  7. Seyda Neen says:

    Looking forward to seeing Adam’s work in this!

  8. Darth Gangrel says:

    The person to the right is all like “talk all you want, I’m gonna show my butt to the camera, while pretending to hold this pillar up”.

    • Joriath says:

      To be fair Rome is all about the arses. My photos of the statues in Piazza Navona consist entirely of statues’ bare arses (and Bernini’s warped depiction of dolphins). Nothing to do with my photograhy skills, of course.

  9. FurryLippedSquid says:

    These Romans are crazy.

  10. Hunchback says:

    Here’s to hoping they’ll invest in some decent UI engineers. IYKWIM

  11. Reblosch says:

    You mean, Cævinus

  12. Lord of Beer says:

    So was this built on a new Clausewitz 3.0 engine or still the clunky decade-old 32bit Clausewitz 2.5 one?

    • RedViv says:

      There are no numbered versions any more, so each new game can take the basic bleeding edge engine built and fork it.
      They felt the previous system was too restrictive for developers and led to far too high confusion among players as to what the versions actually implied.

  13. shauneyboy68 says:

    Trojan war dlc?

  14. Landiss says:

    It’s really weird that no one commented on the fact the map includes lots of Asia. That suggest way bigger scope than just Rome and most likely also an Alexander the Great starting point. I wonder how they will deal with the big movement of nomadic tribes from Asia to Europe over centuries. I hope they will manage to get some more fluid simulations of those processes and the effect they had on Europe, and not just be happy with some scripted events.

    • Flavour Beans says:

      If you look at the promotional material, they talk about Alexander and his aftermath, the successor states out in the East, and even mention things like what if Alexander’s empire held together (at least in the West) and managed to snuff out Rome before it managed to build up in Italy. Despite the name, it’s clear that this is going to be much more expansive than just Rome.

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