It's pretty much Age of Empires. It feels like a cross between AoE2 and AoE3. You have a capital city that you continue to upgrade and change. Then you have the maps that you can play that come from "quests". The first few quests show you how to play the game. The graphics are cartoony and remind me of Warcraft 2 and 3. I haven't played anybody yet. I'm still doing quests when I can. I'm level 7 right now. What I'm missing right now is the ability to create my own maps and just skirmish. I think that if you don't buy anything you will probably only be able to play one or two races. If it cost $5.00 per general, they can forget it. Myabe a civilization or a unit/general pack. But not for one thing. The hot keys seem to be working too.
Right now, I'm enjoying it. But without the ability to change any of the maps, or game types... it's going to get old quick. I also haven't played very long, so I might see those in future changes.