While a nice addition to the Cossacks series, if you're looking for the arcady feel of the old cossacks game this game is not for you. This game is great, but has a very distinctively different feel to the older games, so it's best not to go with too many preconcieved notions on how it should be.
That being said once you reach a certain mass you will still get the classic "realism" feel and the combat has a lot of nice touches to it even though the extremely "mechanical" aspect to it does kind of make it less fluid.
Both PRO & CON
+/- food and resources are based on strategic resource points
+/- there is a little more realism to the combat
- combat is a little more stiff then the older games (by design)
- the added weight to the combat doesn't seem to add too much depth to it over long games
+ buildings and towns look more realisticly proportioned (especially compared to the first games)
+ units are more realistic
+ campaign felt more interesting (from what I played of it)
+ the new combat mechanics creates nice situations sometimes