I really like how the global-warming setting and the whole melting of the icecaps-stuff creates a scenario where I don´t question the factions´ decisions to settle on super-small islands all the time, it´s simply all that´s left
Now, I´ve never played the Anno-games very extensively but this feels at the same time a bit slimlined and more user-friendly but I can´t really say why...I guess it´s because of EVE, the AI telling you what´s wrong all the time, giving advice and managing the massive encyclopedia-function of the game.
Gameplaywise it seems to be how I remember Anno. Build houses, satisfy demands to level up your population and get access to more buildings.
It all just feels cooler this time around. Sure, I plant rice fields in the beginning to create booze for my Tychoons (stupid name btw) but later on, I built outposts on neighbouring islands to drill for oil, process and manufacture it into plastics on-site to ship it back to my main island.
It´s just plain fun to watch all the buildings operate as this game is really really pretty, no matter if you build a nice and green Eco-Island or some dense, smoggy Tychoon-Settlement. I haven´t tried out the military aspect so I can´t comment on that yet.
And hey, even the campaign is fun so far