Summary: Hugely micromanagement dependent game. The ai both helper and enemy are not up to the task. The ai is not allowed to help in some very tedious tasks. Interface is good but not good enough. The economy is solved with some algebra and the ship construction is not nearly fun enough to justify the grind.
The 3d is useless for gameplay and the battles are barely good enough to justify it. Thankfully the non-free-camera is easy enough to use.
Tutorial goes over every control in boring language not explaining a damn about game mechanics. Play a few games and gloss it or just skip. The -pedia does not explain anything in enough detail.
Economy is game breakingly retarded. Everything requires 3 resources to produce and every population point also requires 3 resources. There is a building for each one of these resources. The only rule for for deciding which of these buildings to build is " which resource do i have least of". The ai can't handle this and microing buildings is a huge pain.
I really cant imagine how multiplayer works.
To win get the "start with 25M tons of metal" perk. To save sanity play with the "no emotions" perk. When building ships put large engines and a repair tool outboard. Also get a muon blaster with the range subsystem and just outrange and outmaneuver the ai.
Actually, for one game i pulled through to the end. I called it a win in my favor because i ran amok on my enemies territory. Unfortunately i cant possibly finish the game because there are 250 star systems and for every planet i carpet bomb the enemy colonizes another one. Infact, before the wars started for real i had given up making colonize system orders. Too many stars.
And then i set star systems to 50, 4 enemies on hardest, changed buildings after they were built, and lead the galaxy in research and economy. I used 128 factor of ship size with only 6 fleets and it still got tedious fast. Then got the simplified economy mod and realized construction and fleet management are still a huge pain.