Uncovering History and Strategy: Xbox Series X’s Ubisoft (Anno 117: Pax Romana)

Zenovia Toloudi is an architect, anthropologist and the director of the CDT Laboratory at the National Technical University of Athens.

Ubisoft has teased audiences all around the world, announcing new games and expansions at the Forward event recently. One of the highlights was ‘Anno 117: Pax Romana’ where the game was announced with the tagline ‘Be the Empire’ because the game will allow you to go back to the zenith of the Roman Empire and create a blend of governance and strategy with the quest for power as part of a ‘strategy-driven sandbox experience’. That game will be a part of the Xbox Series X platform that will be servicing this journey back in time. But why is this upcoming game so much of an exciting prospect for strategy gamers and Xbox Series X owners alike? Let’s dive into the game of empire-building called Anno 117: Pax Romana.

The Allure of Ancient Rome on XBOX SERIES X

And what time period could better suit the next entry in the Anno series than the splendid apogee and unparalleled complexity of the Roman Empire? Ubisoft’s tease has framed the announcement of ‘Anno 117: Pax Romana’ to reflect that essentially the golden age of Rome will be among the oppressive grandeur of the imperial project. Sure, strategy gamers will also benefit from the living simulation of a long, eventful Roman civil society, which the game also promises. However, the console’s specifications point to a meaningful and immersive experience for players, including the vivid reproduction of detailed encounters on an expressive game world. If Anno 1800 was set in the decisive moment of modernisation, it’s hard not to imagine the narrative arc of Anno 117 centring around the momentous events of 117 A D.

Choose Your Path: Governance and Strategy on XBOX SERIES X

At the core of ‘Anno 117: Pax Romana’, players assume role of governor of key provinces including Latium and Albion, setting the gears in motion for whether the Roman Empire will continue to prosper economically or through imperial might. The decision engine that defines the way the game progresses and presents players with choice-based forks in the overall narrative is core to the game, and a key characteristic of the Xbox Series X intended to showcase is the potential for games to contain complex systems and branching narratives.

Unity or Rebellion: A Test of Leadership on XBOX SERIES X

The description on the Ubisoft Store adds further details: players must walk ‘the fine line between upholding the honour of the Roman state, and listening to the needs of those who whisper of rebellion’. The player of the Xbox Series X version is encouraged to ‘bridge divides within a diverse empire, or shatter it apart’. This can be taken as just a promise of gameplay immersion, the sheer amount of drama to be experienced, but I believe it’s also a sign of immersion on a different level, of what it means to play on the Xbox Series X, which will have the graphical power to render such narratives.

A New Chapter in Strategy Gaming on XBOX SERIES X

But with ‘Anno 117: Pax Romana’, Ubisoft isn’t just pushing the Anno series, it’s pushing the boundaries of what strategy games can be on consoles such as the Xbox Series X. The mix of historical accuracy, strategic depth, and narrative choices will set a new bar for the console genre.

Embrace the Future with XBOX SERIES X

If you’ve been waiting to see how it all transpires, the Xbox Series X is ready to immerse you in the game. Built with the aim of delivering a unique Anno gaming experience, the console hardware has been designed to leverage A117: Pax Romana’s remarkable visuals and lightning-fast game loading speeds, to deliver a truly immersive playing experience that will keep you glued to your screen.

Anticipation Builds for 2025 on XBOX SERIES X

While the wait until 2025 seems like forever away, the promise of ‘Anno 117: Pax Romana’ merely highlights the optimism for the future of next-gen gaming (on consoles such as the Xbox Series X) and how far ahead of the game Ubisoft is in terms of its forward-thinking ways and its persistence in continuing to shape the future of gaming.

Understanding the XBOX SERIES X

Behind the hype for games like Anno 117: Pax Romana is the box that will take the experience into players’ homes: the Xbox Series X, announced alongside the next generation of gaming consoles. Touted as the most powerful and responsive console ever, it promises players the ultimate gaming experience through a custom processor, high-speed SSD and powerful graphics. The Xbox Series X will allow future games to be played in a way that players have never experienced before. With the realistic simulations of Anno 117: Pax Romana, it will excel in bringing the complexities of a finely detailed re-creation of the Roman Empire into the home for people to play.


But Anno 117: Pax Romana is above all proof of Ubisoft’s ambition, and of what the Xbox Series X can already do in 2022. What we’re looking forward to in 2025 is a game that is much more than a trip to ancient Rome. What we’re looking forward to is what next-generation gaming could look like. For Xbox Series X owners and strategy gaming fans, the time for war is nigh. We leave 107 A.D. in 2022. Now it’s time to discover 117 A.D.

Jun 11, 2024
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