A Half-Baked Review of Imperator: Rome

Imperator: Rome has been poorly received by the majority of people in the Paradox games community. I wouldn’t call myself a part of that community but I have found myself getting interested in their games since the start of the year. Imperator: Rome is the game I wish I had when I jumped in.

Paradox has a habit of releasing a game that is pretty barebones, but then over several years adds more to it through DLC until there is hundreds of pounds worth of the stuff. People who have been playing these games for a long time really shouldn’t be surprised with the product they got to be honest. Not saying that excuses anything but there should have been no surprise.

As I say, these games get supported for years. Europa Universalis IV was released way back in August 2013 and yet its latest DLC was released in December 2018. Honestly, I think Imperator: Rome has an audience, being fresh off the presses.

Have you been interested in Grand Strategy games for a while but been too intimidated by their complexity? Imperator: Rome is a great jumping off point. Being barebones as it is, it is quite easy to pick up and learn the basics of how these games work. The game uses 4 types of power points (also known as mana in the community), as well as gold, for you to use to make decisions, buy buildings, armies and technologies and the core community hates this. But it does make things remarkably simple to understand.

I played the tutorial for roughly 5 hours on stream, which gives you a bit of a leg up and actually teaches you the basics of the game, something that previous games have been bad at (The Crusader Kings 2 tutorial isn’t worth the 5 minutes it takes, you learn nothing).

I honestly enjoyed the time I played it, and will be playing more of it because of its simplicity. It’s a lot more chilled out than the likes of Europa Universalis 4 and Hearts of Iron 4 so creating Rome was a relaxing time.

The game does need to go in one of two directions though. They need to either minimize the number of different power points (or mana) or double down and make the power points more relevant to things. Religious points are only used for omens as far as I could tell, which means you end up with thousands of points in reserve and nothing to use them on. Oratory points was something else I also seemed to have a stockpile of.

I can see why established members of the Paradox community dislike the game, but honestly, I have so far enjoyed it, but I can see it getting boring in its current state. Other than invading other nations and growing your nation there isn’t a lot else to it and I hope down the line it gets more in-depth. But for newcomers, it is a great entry point.

And to be fair, who doesn’t like a good invasion?