Claim the mantle of Alexander as one of the dozens of states left in the wake of his sudden death in Magna Graecia, or just revisit an old friend in the wake of the massive changes brought to Imperator: Rome by the Archimedes, 1.4 update.
It doesn’t seem it, but almost a year has passed since Paradox released Imperator: Rome into the wild. It was a project that had been a long time coming, and the Magna Graecia Content Pack — alongside the 1.4 Archimedes update — brings it closer to the general expectation than ever before.
When Imperator: Rome launched in April 2019 everybody was abuzz — abuzz I say. It had been hard to move around the Paradox Plaza (the developer-publisher’s forum) for the previous years without seeing people chattering about potential upcoming projects: Rome 2, Victoria 3, Crusader Kings 3, and so when the big announcement came that the game was coming, people exploded with joy. Personally, I really enjoyed the core game release, writing that it was “a very good game, especially if you have patience and a good head for numbers.” over on The Indie Game Website where I reviewed it. Others found it to be paltry, light, and nearly hollow when compared to Paradox’ other releases.
I’ll mention some of the changes that come with the 1.4 Archimedes update while talking about the content pack, but if you want a bigger explanation of the changes it brings then you can head over to our article we’ve made specifically for that.
The long and short of the Magna Graecia content pack comes down to the missions and deities which are added to the Greek city-states, although it should also be added that all of the states within the area have different starting heritages. This means that even if you don’t play as one of the nations which have been given
A lot of these missions are about consolidating power after being shattered down to smaller states. Syracusae seek to grab power from their neighbours and expand onto the continent, while Sparta — for example — has a series of missions which takes them on to regain their power over the Peloponnese Peninsula.
But how does it all play?
I’ve had a couple of runs with the new expansion and update in place, but the most memorable run was my second run. Having relearned a lot of the controls I decided to dive into a playthrough as Sparta. As with Heart of Iron IV, the missions really add direction to what would otherwise be an endurance sandbox. Sparta’s missions feel like a tutorial about expanding carefully — and the location is perfectly located to do so.
In fact, the biggest issues for Sparta come when you have grown to fill up the peninsula, by then you’ll have already juggled alliances with the empires who share the area with you, and something has to give.
Most of my enjoyment came from the revisions added by the 1.4 update — for which this content pack ties perfectly. I jiggled around my pantheon on a regular basis, tweaking the omens I had available based on how I saw my next few years coming. I also used the ‘favouriting’ features in order to keep an eye on those who had only recently pivoted from being disloyal.
All while doing this I ensured that the territorial holdings, which have been limited (to their benefit, in my opinion) shifted evenly through families. 1.4’s quality of life features really allow you to quickly streamline your nation before periods of expansion, and while the AI can still be fickle, the Greek-nation mission packs that come with the Magna Graecia pack really give a great sense of direction to those who have been interested in building up smaller nations into empires.
The Magna Graecia content pack, much like The Punic Wars one and like HOI‘s national missions, offers scenarios where there would otherwise be none. That might not suit players of Crusader Kings or Europa Universalis who are looking for deep sandbox experiences, but it does something that those two (Well, CKII has the Ruler Challenges now, which are great) fail to do, which is to make them feel linear for those who want them to feel linear. For those who can’t say ‘I want Charlamagne’s grandson to only control Indian provinces’ or simply don’t want to.
Is the Magna Graecia content pack worth it? Definitely. It’s a great way to get back into a game which you didn’t get along well with last time. Each of the mission packs push you through elements which you may otherwise not experience (especially if you don’t want to play as Rome), and that’s critical in a game with such an expansive world map.
And, of course, it fits perfectly with the 1.4 Archimedes update.
The Magna Graecia content pack will release on the 31st of March for PC, Mac and Linux.