The addition of numerous scenarios and awesome graphics make this game one of the year's best. I recommend that you purchase this game and get playing online for some of the best multiplayer action to hit the RTS genre in a long time.
The fact that players must watch their units and stockpiles carefully is an extra, and welcome, dose of realism. Nothing is worse than having a mutiny on your hands or losing your structures to your enemy.
Although based on the AoE formula, enough new gameplay ideas to keep the jaded real-time strategy gamer and history buff alike playing for a good long time to come. If you have the patience and time, I suggest you check out this game.
It's also almost exactly like "Age of Empires II" with a facelift and a few new perks. It fails to really innovate in any area; instead offering a few new perks and a few things that'll have you saying, "That's kind of cool!"
Suffers from Y.A.T.W. syndrome (Yours Against the World). ... at least give the computer opponents some pretense of fighting with one another instead of having some secret alliance to focus almost entirely on your units.
The resources might have been ripped off from "Settlers," but they're perfectly balanced and you get a genuine sense of achievement as you build a thriving town from a few sticks and a couple of peasants.