I'm used to RTS games like Age of Empires... Boy is this HARD!
This is a good game, with plenty of little things to do, like merchant trade, spy missions, assignation attempts, and more, but if you don't know what you are doing, you would find it well to study a players guide and play your tutorials again, and again, and again.
CORYB87 gives Medieval II: Total War
8/10 for visuals (given the time of release)
6/10 for control (in-battle movement is surprisingly difficult and can seem as if your troops don't respond in tight quarters like towns)
9/10 for music (the main screen music is WONDERFUL)
6/10 for re-play value (I have a feeling that once you're done, you may just want to come back and ensure TOTAL conquest)
9/10 for in-game tutorials (they go into great detail on how to do something when it comes time to do it)
::::Overall score : 8/10::::