Still better than Age of Empires 2
Strike one for imperialism.
Looks nice, sounds nice, cannons are a great feature, has a working online service, trading cards, steam hours counting, *breathes*, all the DLC you might have missed in the old days, great 3-tiered base campaign which follows a families lineage.
Takes place in the times of exploration, which is a nice departure from ancient times.
The simplification of some game features were hit or miss, some were niceties, others just are too simple. An example of one that was a miss was the removal of individual farm squares, and collection buildings, although it can be assumed that it is automated, it still seems too simple.
Has a nice variety of units, although, the crossbowmen seem kind of weaksauce when I got Janissaries with guns and cannons so big they can be used for artillery. Its let hack and slash, blow for blow of some other strategy games, and more so the style of "you mess up, you just might die".
Price is a little on the high side however, and if you can get it cheaper than $40, I would whole heartidly recommend it.