If being similar means that you also command batallions, then yes. But I find it completely different, except when it comes to the battles.
You can't see other players' cities in the map, only NPC towns. You can attack them opening the PvP window, though.
When you want to attack a NPC city, you gotta declare the war to them, and then press the siege buttom below the "enter city" one.
Yes, the only way to fight other players is that windows. The game engine will look for other player's armies or cities around, if there is none online then you won't be able to fight. You should move your army around the map to have higher chances to meet some.