Luckily, the new 3D engine helps out on all fronts, giving instant feedback on the state of your city. Houses smoking, burning and collapsing? That's a sign you need more engineers. But if your city is a success you'll see buildings upgrading of their own accord, as prosperity spreads across the land.
As it turns out, though, building an empire involves more than just cobbling streets, and there's more to threaten your city than your own incompetence. The military side of the series has been lacklustre in previous instalments, but after years of complaints from gamers Tilted Mill are promising a complete overhaul.
With that in mind, you'd better set your people to work crafting weapons, especially when sudden demands from Rome might require you to ship them everything you have.
Above: Warehouses visibly fill up as goods are added