Armada 2526 is described by it's developers as "Master of Orion meets Total War" and while that might be something that intrigues you a thing to keep in mind is that merging two genre's does not always mean bringing over only their qualities.
Armada is, in it's basic form, true to the developers claims. Half of the game takes place in a turn based galaxy view where you conduct research, engage in diplomacy, move your fleets around and designate construction and production on the various planets in your empire. The other half of the game happens when your fleets collide with those of your enemy and battle ensues, you are then transported into a real time battle field where you must find victory.
The 4X portions of the game are decent without being impressive, the main feature of the game being population management where you you must manage immigration and emigration in order to maximize the tax efficiency and productivity of your colonies. This is an interesting feature that builds upon the general population dependency that is found in most other 4X games. Unfortunately it is also an extremely repetitive task and as your empire grows you will find yourself tempted to leave this aspect for the AI to manage which unfortunately removes a lot of the uniqueness from the experience. A below average UI does not to help the experience.
The Total War part of the game is unfortunately quite lacking, instead of commanding your ships around you are simply tasked with general orders issued to all ships and as such you do not fleet as though you are taking part in the battle as much as you should. A broken retreat system makes the battles far too definite and the victor is rarely anyone other than the biggest fleet.
Armada does have some good sides, a decent diplomacy system, interesting factions, an influenced based exploration/expansion system and space squids. There is nothing however that really makes it stand apart from the rest. In the world of 4X games it is easy to make a game that is simply everything we have seen before with a few new ideas thrown in the mix and that is exactly what Armada 2526 is.
All in all, Armada 2526 is a decent 4X game that tries a few new tricks but in the end only delivers what we have already seen before. It is a solid enough experience that can entertain you as a fan of the genre but it is nothing that cannot be experienced in better games and nothing that really moves the genre forward in a way you can expect to see in the future. A game only for the most diehard 4X fans.