Rome: Total War: Barbarian Invasion

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Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion
Rome Total War - Barbarian Invasion.jpg
Developer(s) Creative Assembly
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Michael M. Simpson
Designer(s) Robert T. Smith
Mike Brunton
Jamie Ferguson
Chris Gambold
James Russell
Series Total War
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, iOS
Release Microsoft Windows
  • EU: 25 September 2005
  • NA: 27 September 2005
  • JP: 28 September 2006
  • WW: March 28, 2017
Genre(s) Real-time tactics, Turn-based strategy
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer

Barbarian Invasion is the first expansion for the personal computer game Rome: Total War and takes the action forward to the period of the decline of the Western Roman Empire. The Rome Total War Gold Edition includes both the original game as well as the Barbarian Invasion expansion pack. The campaign begins in 363 and ends in 476. If the player has not achieved the campaign goals in 476, an option to quit or to continue the game is presented. The expansion includes a simulation of the religious tension of the period, as three major religions (Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Paganism) fought for dominance. Also depicted are the great migrations of the Germanic and steppe peoples (notably, the Huns) throughout Europe. All playable factions are playable from the start, but in the main game, only three factions are playable and the others have to be unlocked by either destroying them or winning the campaign.


As Barbarian Invasion takes place 349 years after the end of the original game, factions and provinces are very different. Although the Roman Senate still exists, it no longer has significant power, thus playing no role in the expansion. Rome has become an empire, grown and then split into Western and Eastern empires, ruled from Rome (although historically the Imperial Court was situated in Milan from 286 to 402 and, from then on, Ravenna) and Constantinople respectively. The majority of the known world is under the domain of the Roman Empire, from Britannia to Egypt. The subject regions of this empire represent the former factions of the original Rome: Total War game, all of which have been absorbed into the Empire. The Seleucid Empire has collapsed and has been absorbed by Rome and former Parthia; the Parthian dynasty itself has been overthrown and replaced with the Sassanid dynasty, which rules the lands beyond the Euphrates. Dacia has been conquered by the Goths and Numidia has been entirely replaced by Berbers. The Huns have invaded Europe and several major Germanic tribes have unified and strengthened to the point where they are now capable of invading the Empire itself.

Hordes are a new feature that has been introduced in Barbarian Invasion and is a privilege to some barbarian factions. When such a faction loses its last province (some factions, such as the Huns and Vandals, begin with no provinces), rather than being destroyed, it becomes a horde and is forced to settle elsewhere. Hordes are very large armies, representing an entire nation; however, they do not require upkeep. When a horde army successfully seizes a city, it is given the option of sacking the city (which does massive damage to the population and buildings of a city and gives the horde a large amount of money) or of settling in the city, which allows the horde to begin anew, with the new city as its capital; the faction is then able to conquer other provinces normally. When the horde settles, a portion of the horde army is disbanded and the population distributed into the city.

Horde factions do not "die out" unless defeated on the battlefield or all family members and generals die; when they have finally found a new homeland and it is conquered by an enemy, the whole faction becomes a horde again and flees, in order to seek a new home. With the concept of a horde, the developers tried to reflect the migrations of several "barbarian" peoples of that time—especially Huns, Goths, Vandals, Franks, Burgundians and Lombards (with the latter three playing a huge part in the formation of the Holy Roman Empire almost 450 years later). The only way to completely destroy these factions is by slaying all of their family members.

Victory conditions vary depending on which faction is played. Each playable faction has its own territory requirement, including specific named territories, adding a layer of strategic complexity. Each faction is listed with a difficulty level relative to the other factions (apart from the game settings difficulty selected by the user). The Western Roman Empire may start the game with a lot of military and economic might, but everybody wants a piece of them, they require the most territories to win, and one of those required territories is the most contested (Northern Italy or Rome). The Saxons start small and do not have access to advanced technology, but they have a much smaller territory requirement—though they still have to contend with neighbours to the south who are crowding north to meet territory requirements.


The playable factions are as follows:

Unplayable factions (playable in skirmish except for the basic Rebels faction):

Historical battles[edit]


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 82/100[1]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8/10[2]
Game Revolution B[3]
GameSpot 8.2/10[4]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[5]
IGN 8.8/10[6]
PC Format 88%[7]
PC Gamer (US) 86%[8]

The game received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Rome: Total Tar Barbarian Invasion for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Gillen, Kieron (30 September 2005). "Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion". Eurogamer. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Ferris, Duke (14 October 2005). "Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Ocampo, Jason (10 October 2005). "Rome: Total War Barbarian Invasion Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Kosak, Dave (6 October 2005). "GameSpy: Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion". GameSpy. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  6. ^ Butts, Steve (29 September 2005). "Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion". IGN. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  7. ^ "Rome: Total War: Barbarian Invasion". PC Format (180): 95. November 2005. 
  8. ^ "Rome: Total War: Barbarian Invasion". PC Gamer: 94. December 2005. 

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