Abylight Barcelona, the studio that offered us the full version of its military camp management simulator last July in One Military Camp, now transfers its game system to a new project: Citadelum. It is a strategy, city construction and management title based on ancient Rome and its mythology, with references and inspiration from classic 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 surrounding resources and making it progress to become the first power on the Peninsula. Exploring the map and using your Roman legions, pacify the barbarians and establish trade routes to grow the economy. But be careful, because the gods are capricious.
What makes Citadelum unique is how the gods of the Roman Pantheon are integrated into its management to gain its favor. By building temples and making offerings, you will obtain gifts. But be sure to take care of each deity, because there is nothing worse than the jealousy of a god.
When we learned about it in an exclusive closed-door session at Gamescom it didn’t even have an official title, but now we know it’s called Citadelum and, apart from showing us some very early concept art, head of marketing David Martínez was happy to share an explanation comprehensive look at the entire game and its systems with Gamereactor viewers in the video interview below:
The symbiosis between mylotology and history
“You guys at Gamereactor are probably among the first in the world to see what’s new from Abylight Studios, so yes, this is our third base building game in a row, a classic 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 Virgil’s Aeneid or Ovid’s Metamorphoses. That means we have myths, gods and heroes in our game”.
“The idea is to keep the strategy at different levels, I would say at different speeds at the same time. So the first layer is the classic style of city building, collecting resources, refining them, building and recruiting people for your settlement, which with time will become a huge city.”
Send your legions to pacify the territory
“Then on top of that basic layer, you have to build walls and desEsports Extraspatrols and, you know, have sentinels because those barbarian hordes can come to your city and attack you and, you know, you don’t want to lose anything that you’ve been building so far.” “.
“So we have these two basic layers, and then on top of that we have this strategy layer. So imagine that you are guarding the entire peninsula, and you have at your disposal one of the largest armies of the time, which is the Roman Legion. So that you will be able to strategize, it is more like an RTS, it is not purely strategy. It is real time, and you will be able to, you know, explore and then attack or defend different villages and, once you have liberated those villages, you will also be able to establish routes trade between them.
Don’t provoke the wrath of the gods
“So there is military expansion and at the same time economic expansion. It seems like a lot, but then on top of 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, all of them. In some way, they play with humans. They are jealous, passionate, playful. Yes, they behave in the same way that we have seen in the classic works. So the idea is to build a temple to your god, worship him, make sacrifices for him, and then he will grant you gifts. But on the other hand, if you got a favor from Jupiter, you may have a jealous Pluto who is punishing you because you are, you know, worshiping his brother. So you will have to maintain this balance, and you will see the most spectacular actions for a base building game, which are volcanoes and earthquakes, and fires and armies that become invincible because they have the favor of the gods.
You can watch the full video above to learn more about what or who the player is, the different classes, or historical accuracy.
Citadelum is scheduled for release on PC (and optimized for Steam Deck) in 2024, with console versions still to be confirmed.