After 39 hours played I think I'm done with it, and as any 4x fan know 39 hours is nothing
I found it a little bland and doesn't really bring anything new to the genre.
I like the race customisation which allows a lot of flexibility and different play styles. Research has a huge tree but most research items are just improved versions from the previous tiers; some more diversification would have been nice. Empire building can become time consuming but I don't mind that, I did however have issues deciding what are effective planet upgrades or not and whether the cost vs benefit was worth building it. Some UI feed back in there somewhere would have helped.
With the combat I'm sitting on the fence, I can't tell sometimes if ships are focusing fire or shoot one for one which can lead to some wide ranging outcomes when two similarly powered fleets meet and play cards evenly. It seems that if you loose one ship then one of your ships then becomes the target of an additional ship and your fleet just dies in a cascading mess of carnage.
In any case once you field the best fleet then you can pretty much steam roll everyone else (a common problem with most strategy games). The AI's strategy tends along the lines of spamming you with endless fleets which for the most part are more annoying than effective.
Overall I think it is "just OK, but nothing special".