|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Haemimont Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Kalypso||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 4, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
In Your Spare Time
by Cole Smith
Imperium Romanum is an empire building sim that cuts to the chase with simple commands and lots of gameplay variety. It eschews the tedious micromanagement elements in favor of a more streamlined gameplay. It all adds up to a game that lets you spend less time fussing and more time ruling.
In Imperium Romanum, you are able to start with a small village in hopes of turning it into an empire. Of course this happens one step at a time, but Imperium Romanum has the right ingredients that make a game like this more accessible to newbies, while maintaining a level of depth that can be exploited by vets. It's a fast-paced game that gives you plenty of options, allowing you to create and manage the greatest empire the world has ever known. And you run it the way you want to run it. After all, you're the deity.
Ah yes, the glory days of the Roman Empire. Some of you may recall the game, Glory of the Roman Empire, which preceded Imperium Romanum by a couple of years. But don't be expecting a sequel or a continuation. Imperium Romanum is essentially a new entity unto itself. It shares the same streamlined interface and graphics, but from beginning to end, it's a stand-alone game that doesn't require any experience from the game that inspired it.
Maintaining as much historical accuracy as possible, Imperium Romanum includes popular battles, weapons, buildings, monuments, currency, food, and the government structure of the period. There is also a military component in which you will command units to attack and defend various installations and territories. It ventures into the RTS realm but not too deep, which is the game's only real fault. The combat could have a lot more depth to it without being overly complex. As it is, you just make a few simple choices from the menu and let it play out.
Select from one of four modes: Tutorial, History, Scenario, and Rome. In the tutorial you'll be shown around the menus and given a few exercises to strengthen your knowledge. Virtually all of the commands can be accessed by the interface, which is well positioned on the screen, allowing you a clear view of your empire. The key commands are almost the same as Glory of the Roman Empire. The Scenario and History modes are similar in that they offer various goals and objectives, although the History mode is more structured. Some of the tasks involve conquest, revenue generating, structure building, and resource gathering. In the Rome mode, you will be in charge of the already grand metropolis and the rest of the empire. The challenges here are more specific, mostly of a financial nature as you attempt to maintain the infrastructure while expanding the city. Regardless of how much money you have, how big your city is, how many resources are available, and how powerful your military is, the bottom line is that you have to use everything in such a way as to make the masses happy.