For a moment lets look past the terrible DRM (digital rights management for those in the know). The DRM doesn't make the game, as games like Bioshock have shown us, which was bundled with a series of copy protection measures similar to the DRM we see here. So, here is a micro review of the game for those deciding whether to slap down the cash!
The single player offering is without a doubt the BEST Anno offering so far. The gameplay is sometimes slightly derivative to 1701, but there are enough improvements that going back to it would be difficult.
Beautifully rendered, fantastic animation. Occaisonal fps drops but that might be down my PC or the old drivers I'm running.
A pointless security measure that sounds like a last minute rush job to compensate for the other major negative which would have been a far more reliable copyright security measure.
At the last moment multiplayer was completely removed. For most, including me this reduces the game down in size majorly. Bots can only achieve so much!
Personally I regret buying this title whilst it was £25 considering the multiplayer was removed, but this all comes down to preference. If you're looking for a solid single player experience then the custom games in Anno 1404 are the way to go. If like me you were expecting to LAN this with friends for some good 12 hour games, then prepare to be dissappointed until the expansion/patch comes out to appease the major part of the Anno fan base.