So, my review is that this game is not recommended. I'll say now, that some people may enjoy it, but personally I didn't. It's a time-sink, but not a particularly fun one. I'll begin with the pros.
Good tech tree. It's interesting, useful, and well-made. It goes quickly, while still lasting quite a while.
Customization. You can build ships, create custom races, all of that. I spent most of my time simply re-inacting my books, and seeing how different races of mine would react to those of other universes.
Battle screen. If you have two fleets that are in battle, you get a more detailed video of the battle. Though not particularly useful itself, it is enjoyable to watch.
Now, for the cons. These are the reasons why I wouldn't recommend this to most people.
Slow start. The beginning feels boring and long-running. Every game begins the same: You have your system, you colonize the one other habitable planet, then you move to the next. And even once you meet another race, you don't have diplomatic incidents to worry about. The worst you could do is sell something important to them by accident. Until you go to war, it's a very tedious and repetetive task.
Tactics are useless. Aside from wanting to attack THIS planet instead of THAT one, you don't really need to use tactics. If your ships are strong enough, you just win.
Lack of diplomacy. You can't use diplomacy at all. You can pay other races to ally with you, or to declare war on somebody, but that's it.
Finally, the game just doesn't fit the role I expected from it. Instead, I got a time sink that I probably won't play for months on end. If you want something that will bring tactics into the game, I'd recommend Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. For those who enjoy a more basic game when it comes to fleet tactics and diplomacy, you may enjoy this. It has it's ups.