Played two games so far, three main things I like are tech trees, ai and ascension.
Tech trees seem to make the races play genuinelly differently, played as the Drengin and Altarians so far
AI, not sure exactly how different it is but seemed to be playing pretty nice and human, seemed to keep upto pace ok and, best of all, the *spoilers* 'we are going to give you a tech for being such a good friend..... Not really!' *spoilers* message was hilarious first time
. Also seemed to deal reasonably with the race-specific techs and new features, which was good.
Finally the ascension crystals really spurred me into being more agressive, hardly ever go for conquest normally, was just happily building defenses while turtling then suddenly the Torians caught several crystals.... ended up getting a conquest victory!
Had the odd crash i've reported but nothing that can't be patched i hope.
So, overall, a big thumbs up