I like this game, I really do. I won't explain why because that's not something I'm good at. I'm much better at describing what's wrong with something than what's right with it; and there are plenty of positive reviews that capture what's good about starbound you could read to see what's good about it. That said, there is a lot wrong with starbound, both with the game itself and with its developers (Which is just as important, especially for an early access game.), and I can't in good conscience reccomend it thanks to that.
I'll start off with the developers, and development in general. First and foremost, development is far too slow. We were promised, and I quote, "Lightning fast updates" in the early beta stages (Which if this isn't early beta I don't know what is). To be fair, they've been better about this recently, but it wasn't that long ago that we were waiting months for an update for the game, and getting nothing we could actually play. Plenty of promises that they were working, with unrelated updates about things such as the new office puppy that seemed to contradict that in between, but were never actually given anything tangible for all this work. When we finally did get an update it overhauled the game massively, changing progression and combat entirely at the least, if not more. Personally, I thought it was for the better; but plenty of people dislike the new update. Some people don't even like the game anymore, and I don't think this is the end of updates like this so be warned that the game could change drastically (again) before release.
Speaking of the recent update, one of my biggest complaints about the developers came about just before it when they were revealing ship AI's. Most of them were good, but the Glitch AI.... well, it was an abomination. It was a horse with breasts. Human breasts. Naturally, a lot of people hated it. But despite all the criticism the devs refused to change it, or rather said they wouldn't. Later they revealed they were trolling us all, which wouldn't have been so bad if not for what happened before that was revealed (Though personally devs trolling their fans, if they were indeed trolling and not just covering for their bad customer relations, already doesn't sit well with me.) Now, I never personally saw this because I don't go to the Starbound forums much personally, but I hear from quite a few people that there were people banned from the forums for criticizing it. Peacefully mind you, not "OMG DA HORSE AI ♥♥♥♥ING SUX CHANG IT OR ELS", but rather people making fair points about how terrible it looked. Again, I never personally saw it happen, but I'm inclined to believe it because I did
see threats to ban anyone who criticized it anymore in the main thread about it if memory serves correctly. So these were people not just banned over fairly criticizing a design choice. They were banned over criticizing a design choice that was never even going to be implemented because the devs were just trolling us.
I don't think I have to explain how bad that is. Also, this is more of a minor gripe; but there were several monsters (Among other things I believe) that were picked to be in the game because they were winners from a community monster creation contest. As of now, not a single trace of any of them is to be seen in game despite how long development has taken so far, which bugs me personally. And on the topic of how long Starbound's development has taken, the answer for how long would definitely be "Too long". As an example, Terraria was, to my knowledge, not even in development for a year before it fully released in a polished state, and further polishing was done after release. Starbound on the other hand has been in development in some form or another for years and is in a quite unfinished state that, in my opinion, is nowhere near as polished as Terraria was in months. From everything I know the development teams of both games were of a comparable size and they had comparable budgets, if starbounds wasn't possibly higher due to people who liked Terraria gaining interest in it when Terraria officially "stopped updating". If I'm wrong about that though, please say so. Starbounds development is surely slow, but no need to accuse it of being slower than it is.
Speaking of Terraria, Starbound is comparatively bland at least world wise. Planets have very little depth and, provided they're the same biome, are all pretty much the same. Biomes themselves don't have the depth they did in Terraria either. No unique enemies (Possibly because, excluding bosses and enemies in certain missions there ARE no unique enemies. More on that later), barely anything different about them resource wise except that Erchius Fuel can only be found on moons, or bought in the outpost (Relatively cheaply I believe) which is much less of a hassle than buying it, and oil is mainly, or possibly exclusively found in deserts, and no unique music. It would basically be what would happen if you took all the unique elements out of Terraria biomes, made it so the tiles could be a different color for each world, and made it so that instead of walking to them you teleport to them. This makes exploration rather dull.
Monsters are all randomly generated. Their parts, their attacks, everything. While this sounds like it would be interesting, it really isn't. The best way to explain why I think would be a comparison. Take Terraria (I know, I like using it as a comparison. It's the most similar game I know of though, so bear with me) where all the enemies are designed to work together. Zombies distract you while demon eyes swoop to hit you, or vice versa. The Demon Eye distracts you with how hard it is to hit to let the zombies hit you. In goblin invasions warriors attack you head on, archers support them, mages teleport inside to attack your NPC's, forcing you to divert your attention, or goblin thieves open the doors to let projectiles fly inside while they take your stored gear. There's a lot of synergy purposefully designed in. With randomly generated monsters this is extremely unlikely to happen. They have random attacks that are placed randomly, the chance that two monsters on the same planet have complimentary abilities are near zero. Crafted weapons (Beyond some of the early tiers) are clearly superior to found weapons, you'll never find yourself using a weapon you looted; which while a small gripe tend to have ridiculous names as well. Ever wanted a sniper rifle called Miss Dudebro? No? Well too bad, that's one of the possible randomly generated weapon names. Compare this to, again, Terraria, where looted gear tends to be clearly superior, as it's unique and you had to search for it, often the looted gear also has unique abilities with crafted gear only becoming superior in late game, and often requiring looted gear to craft it. The latter is true in Starbound, but having my sword shoot a projectile is not worth the 20 or so DPS it trades.
The factions and races in game also really aren't that well fleshed out. Only Apex, Florans and Glitch have settlements. Humans only have a couple of dungeons, and the Hylotl and Novakid have nothing that I know of. Understandable for the Novakid, they were only just added in. But the Hylotl have been around for a while. Speaking of the Novakid, they really look nothing like the star-people they're meant to be. They look more like goo-girls. I'm not complaining though, personally I like Goo-girls and was actually pretty excited when I realized that, but I'm sure not everyone agrees with that.
I believe I've hit all the main points here. Again, I'm not saying it's a bad game, I do like it. Just be warned, it definitely has its issues. If you want to see what's good about it I reccomend you browse the positive reccomendations.