The game strikes perfect balance by being fairly simplistic(thus not putting casual gamers off) while still needing some time to get used to the way your perfect Roman city should work. For instance, catching fires was a major problem for me at first but, once I knew what caused them(i.e. mostly the lack of maintainance resources such as wood and clay) they were no longer an issue.
Graphics are brilliant, yet smoothly running, allowing for an option to zoom into the streets nearly at a first person camera view.
The character improvements after each mission and the variety of troops that could be recruited really gives this game an edge. Perhaps a small drawback is that, having spent quite a while with it, I find most of the first missions too easy now but this is something that can happen with most games when people get more skilled at them.