Rome: Total War is a PC strategy game developed by The Creative Assembly and released on 22 September 2004 by Activision. The game is the third title in The Creative Assembly's Total War series.
The game's main campaign is set during the rule of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire (270 BC – AD 14), with the player assuming control of one of three Roman families; eight other factions are playable outside the main campaign. Gameplay consists of real-time tactical battles framed within a turn-based strategic campaign, taking place across Europe, North Africa and the Near East. On the large strategic scale, players spend each turn managing diplomacy, developing infrastructure, moving armies, and managing the population's growth and orderliness through taxes and gladiatorial games, among other tasks. On the smaller scale, real-time battles against enemy armies take place within or between cities, with the player commanding forces which can contain thousands of individual soldiers.