This rich web of characters, stats, and events is undoubtedly where Imperator: Rome shines. Aside from an array of factors you need to keep an eye on, and consider when making decisions, the game will also throw you unexpected curveballs. Characters can not just become disloyal, but also age, rebel, or die unexpectedly. At one point, the game merrily informed me that one of my Roman consuls was now suffering from arthritis. Shortly after, he suddenly died, and I was forced to find someone else to appoint who wouldn’t do a terrible job. In this sense, I enjoyed that Imperator: Rome’s political system kept me on my toes. Even when I was focused on conquering territory in a completely different area on the map, the game still forced me to engage with its political system.
Imperator: Rome’s combat mechanics also have countless stats available. Depending on which nation you choose to play as, you can build a bunch of different units for your army, provided you have the resources to create them. As Rome for example, I had the option of creating infantry, chariots, and mounted elephants or camels. Each of these units has their own advantages that can be useful for aggressive or defensive tactics. By looking at your opponent’s stats and units in turn, you can scope which units and resources they have at their disposal, and what kind of strategy would be most useful. You are also able to pause the game in combat to consider your next move, which, similar to Paradox’s previous Europa Universalis games, is something the game’s interface seems to encourage players to do. Pausing the game also makes strategizing remarkably easier, as the notifications about character’s appointments, achievements, and sudden deaths will continue throughout the game.