Simon Priest of Strategy Informer writes: "Like the previous titles in the franchise you can choose from a number of nations across the known world, well the known world back in the day of Caesar anyway. After you've decided which empire or peoples shall be graced by your charismatic leadership you can then choose a time period which spans well over 200 years.
Of course you could try your hand at one of the many historical bookmarks that Paradox has included, these note some of the most well known and world changing points in human civilization like the Roman civil war between General Mark Antony and Consul Octavian Caesar. The years that followed led to the fall of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire. Decide if a similar fate should befall Rome or help keep the spirit of the Republic going. Then again perhaps you prefer to see Carthage get a better spotlight on the world stage and lead their armies to decimate and claim the Adriatic waters. The choice is always with the player but not all is so easy with dynasties reintroduced, barbarian hordes roaming the lands and the treacherous political ambition of friend and foe abroad."