It's been very difficult for me to get into 4x games. I tried Galactic civ 2 a little while ago and got confused as anything, tried to play a bit of Sins of a solar empire but was completely overwhelmed with how much was involved in playing. Then I picked up Endless space, which I'm really wanting to get into but the learning curve again is huge for me.
The only 4x I've enjoyed and have found easy to play but not spent a great deal of time on is Civ 5, which I plan on going back to sometime but for some reason I'm set on learning how to play a SPACE 4x.
With Stardrive, I think I've found my 4x space training wheels. I've not found it as complex as the others, not turn based and for me, it's easing me into how 4x games essentially work.
I can't say much about the negativity surrounding the game because I'm only new to the genre but as a game, I'm finding that it functions great so far.
Graphically I can not complain, the music and sounds are nice. I'm sure as I play more, I'm going to find things I don't like and once I get used to the genre I'll start playing other 4x space games then look back on this and make comparisons but for now, this seems like a great entry level game to the genre.