"I was really excited when I finished installing Age Of Empires 2 onto my hard drive. I had played the original and had thought it was (although not as good as some other RTS games) a pretty enjoyable game."
"I was really excited when I clicked onto the Age of Empires 2 shortcut on my desktop. I had played the original and new that it had solid, tactical gameplay, with no nonsense and unneeded stuff."
"I was really excited when I started up my first game of it. I had played the original and..... hang on", I thought, "am I playing the original now?"
You see, this game has a major fault from the offset. Its just too much like the original. Now, this wouldn't be a very bad thing... If it was free. But you are actually just paying for a game that is exactly like another, much cheaper game, only it has a few new levels, buildings and units.
This truly should have just been an expansion pack.
So, the basics of this game: In each campaign mission, you are given a set of objectives which need completing. (this is one of the best aspects of the game as the objectives are actually quite varied) You either start out with a small village or a small army. Starting with a village is easier as it allows you to choose your play style. Being given an army is more restrictive but is still fun and disturbingly addictive. (If you keep dying of course)
There is little more that can be said really, especially now that AoE 3 is out alongside other brilliant RTS games. If your looking for a cheap game, that'll occupy you for a long time (put it on the hardest difficulty) then this is an okay buy. But if looking for something better than the original.... well then, you won't find it here.