Plain out right, "A great game."
Firstly alone when customizing my own galaxy when I kept sliding the bar for a "galaxy size" I could select from 6 different choices ranging from tiny all the way to gigantic. I've never seen a game differentiate between tiny and small, large and huge before so that caught my eye. If thinking that was amazing get ready for looking at the difficulties 12 different settings are ridiculous, but all in all interesting that they have so many. Easy, simple, beginner, masochistic, suicidal are just a few of the choices so you can really fine tune what you want to do.
Graphics are decent besides being able to see many star systems and still have a good view of all you buttons most of the screen is black with white dots or stars, but there's a zoom feature. Now if you haven't played before you must be thinking why is there a zoom feature in space, well simply enough it's because ship upgrades and space station upgrades actually are visible. *Ship customization is also possible.* You can even zoom in when a ship is in a battle to see lasers and what not fly around, something like "Empires At War" the star wars game.
I like when games just keep giving you upgrades too. Just a massive tech tree but usually in games that have it they don't show it in the long-ways view that the more right you go the more advanced techs go. Most games include that view however but it isn't primary view which is stupid because I want to be able to see and prioritize researching! A feeling I kept getting as I played for numerous hours was that it really felt like Civilization 4 which to me is one of the best games ever made aside from hopefully the release of Civ 5. The only difference was that this game strides away mostly from the first person planet view minus the times when you build massive structures on the planets you inhabit. This game instead posts you into the final frontier when the entire planet for example earth is run by one power and all the population works for the greater good of humanity.
Like other games as well there are possibly outcast factions like barbarians, but that was changed a little bit here. The barbarians were actually just renamed as pirates but something else too, minor and major factions. Obviously the major factions have more to do with the game but minor factions can either be sided with, killed off by you or the other major races, or even using the propaganda station to fear them into surrendering to you. It's another little fun side event that gives more to do then just mess around with the strong groups.
Another small little idea that was add side missions or decisions that you must make which will align your people to good or bad, but it also gives you monetary value too. For instance you just colonized a new planet and you run into these creatures that live in giant bubbles on the bottoms of the world's oceans. Now you can either let them be, clear some of them out to perform research in the bubbles, or get rid of them all and use them all for personal things. Each outcome comes with different benefits from nothing and knowing you left a species live, or gain a percentage of research increase and killed them all. Its small things like this that can really add more depth to game play and overall reveal what kind of player you really are…or person!
This is definitely a great game to play if player in space and colonizing or destroying different worlds is a fun time for you.