Citadelum takes urban planning and strategy to mythological heights

It’s been a few months since Abylight spoke exclusively with Gamereactor about their next project in the halls of Gamescom 2023 in Cologne. At that time, Citadelum had not even determined the official name, but the head of marketing, David Martinez, has already left us some very interesting key points about the design of the title, in which we will take the management and systems of city builders to impose ourselves in this title based on ancient Rome, in a time before the constitution of the empire. By the way, the full Gamescom interview can be found below with subtitles.

And now that we are already in 2024, the planned window for the game’s release, we had the opportunity to attend a presentation of the game, this time accompanied by Miguel García Corchero, Creative Director. In it we were able to learn more about the design of Citadelum, which is structured in three different layers, each dedicated to a game system, and how they complement each other to create a perfect formation.

The first layer of gameplay in Citadelum would be that of a deep and varied city builder, the fruit of the studio’s experience (this will be the third game of the genre to be developed in a row), in which we must build and expand a small Roman village from a few houses to become the epicenter of power in the region. From basic systems such as water and food (building aqueducts and farms) to production buildings and services that meet the needs of the population, whether medicine, culture, religion or of course military development, we will have to develop the basic systems such as water and food.
But we should not only focus on our city, as Corchero further explained that the second layer of the game is based on management through a world map overlooking other cities and settlements. With those who are neutral, we will be able to establish trade routes to exchange resources. With those who have an enemy flag, all that remains is war.

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For these battles, we will have to train and maintain our legions and then send them into battles. There will be a number of types of units, and their arrangement on the battlefield, as well as their training and the orders they receive in battle, will be crucial to victory.

But even if you have economic and military power, you cannot lose sight of the gods’ favor. For here, the gods of the Roman pantheon are very real and can grant their favor or incur their wrath either on a whim or because of our decisions in the game. The third layer of of theCitadelum third layer is based on this system in which we try to control the interference of the gods so that they favor us in our goals. To do this, we will have to seek and retrieve relics from all over the world, which we will then sacrifice on the altar of the god we want their favor. Of course, while one god may feel honored and loved, another may feel wronged and forgotten. And it is not wise to tempt the wrath of the gods.

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Corchero also left us with some important information to know what to expect in Citadelum, and the most important would be its scope. We are talking about a title that will be “10 times bigger than One Military Camp,” the studio’s previous work. It will feature three campaigns spread across the territories of Italy, Hispania and Africa, and will continue to have strong community support. Abylight boasts one of the best relationships with its player base, and with them in mind, Citadelum will include modding tools that allow fans to design their own scenarios and campaigns. These tools are the same as those used by developers in development, so the possibilities will be endless.

Although Citadelum is still scheduled for a 2024 release, the studio is holding off on giving a firm date for now (development is ongoing). They are working on getting Steam Deck verification and are hopeful about developing a console version, although this will depend on the reception of PC players.

Along with the presentation we were also offered Citadelum’s first official trailer, where you can get a first look at the systems, as well as a gallery of images which you can find below.

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