Rise of Nations feels quite a bit like a Civilization game. There is a major emphasis placed on building your cities and developing your nation along many paths (military, commercial, etc.). I don't really see how you could be very successful by just focusing on one front; for instance, in order to develop better military units you need the right structures which require advances in other areas which means you have to pursue knowledge and so on. I like this because it seems to diminish the power of the early rush - unless you really neglect to build an army, which is possible. There are also quite a few options of game types. There is online multiplayer (something I've never tried in previous similar games) but the solo game is quite robust. You can set up a world of any size with any number of opposing nations, play a scenario where you attempt to reach a specific goal, or play the Risk-style Conquer the World.