Abylight Barcelona, the studio that offered us last July the full version of its military camp management simulator in One Military Camp, now moves its game system to a new project: Citadelum. It is a title of strategy and construction and management of cities based on ancient Rome and its mythology, with references and inspiration from classical works such as Virgil's Aeneid or Ovid's Metamorphosis.
In Citadelum we will have to build and expand our settlement taking advantage of the resources of the environment and making it progress to become the first power of the Peninsula. By exploring the map and using your Roman Legions, pacify the barbarians and establish trade routes to escalate the economy. But be careful, because the gods are capricious.
The main highlight that makes Citadelum unique is how the Roman Pantheon gods are integrated into its management to gain their favor. By building temples and making offerings, you will get gifts. But make sure that each deity is taken care of, because there is nothing worse than the jealousy of a god.
When we learned about it in a exclusive behind closed doors session at Gamescom it didn't even have a title, but now we know it's called Citadelum and, other than showing us some very early concept art, head of marketing David Martínez was glad to share a comprehensive explanation of the whole game and its systems with the Gamereactor viewers in the interview below:
The symbiosis between milotogy and history
"You people at Gamereactor are probably one of the first in the world watching what's new for Abylight Studios, so yeah This is our third base building game in a row, a city building game, which is very special. Right now for the first time it has a historical setting, it is set in ancient Rome in times of the Republic before the Empire, and it is a game based on classic works such as Aeneid by Virgil or Metamorphoses by Ovid. That means we have myths and gods and heroes in our game"
"The idea is having strategy in different levels, I would say in different speeds at the same time. So you have the first layer is classic city building style, gathering resources, refining resources, building and also recruiting people for your settlement, which eventually will become a huge city".
Send your legions to pacify the territory
"Then over that basic layer you have to build walls and design patrols and, you know, have sentries because those barbarian hordes can come to your city and attack you and, you know, you don't want to lose anything you've been building so far".
"So we have these two basic layers, then over this we have this strategy layer. So imagine you are watching the whole peninsula, and you have at your disposal one of the biggest armies of the era, which is the Roman Legion. So you will be able to design strategies, it is closer to an RTS, it is not purely a strategy. It is real-time, and you will be able to, you know, explore and then after that attack or defend different villages and once you have freed those villages you will also be able to set commercial routes between them".
Do not incur the wrath of the gods
"So there's military expansion and at the same time economic expansion. Seems a lot, but then over everything we have the final layer, which is the gods. You will be able to see the Roman Pantheon with the six main gods, including Jupiter and Mars and Ceres, Apollo, everyone. So they in some way play with the humans. They are jealous, they are passionate, they are playful. Yeah, they behave the same way we have seen in classic works. So the idea is build a temple to your god, worship him, make sacrifice for him, and then he will grant you gifts. But on the other side, if you got a favor from Jupiter, you may have a jealous Pluto who is punishing you because you are, you know, worshipping his brother. So you will have to keep like this balance, and you will be able to watch the most spectacular actions for a base-building game, which is volcanoes and earthquakes, and fires and armies becoming invincible because they have the favor of the gods".
Watch the full video for more on what or who is the player, the different classes, or the historical accuracy. Citadelum is planned to release on PC (and optimized for Steam Deck) in 2024, and console versions are yet to be confirmed.