This is an interesting mix of everything that you might expect to see in a space exploration RPG and a pretty good model of what I would like to see in future attempts at this game type.
-Large degree of customization, especially once you access some of the larger ships.
-Crafting is component-based but the game will queue up construction for you if you have the requisite recipes. You can craft items for every slot and it's the main way to have good ammo consistently.
-Open gameplay. Once you get past the tutorials, you can gain experience/resources in a large number of ways, from easy-to complete (and sometimes humorous) side quests, mining, crafting, and the classic warping to a zone and shooting it up.
-The soundtrack is fun. The game chooses music based on where you are in the plot, often to humorous or chilling effect.
-Your ship can have multiple modules running SIMULTANEOUSLY. This is a feature that has been lacking in other space sims/rpgs that this game does well. You can be mining one asteroid while prospecting the next and collecting the resources from the one you just melted. You can be tractoring in a pickup while simultaneously running and gunning.
-The story quests have a lot of fun interactions and the developers did some things I just didn't expect with the graphics. I wish I could reveal more without spoilers.
-There are a LOT of great jokes in the game but the game also occasionally takes itself seriously, making it an odd combination that might rub you the wrong way.
-Many of the quests are innovative, requiring more thinking than just "Kill this guy" or "pick up stuff." You will do plenty of those two however.
-Combat can be hard. Sometimes fighting in this game is like solving a puzzle: What combination of weapons will work? What kind of defenses should you equip? Sometimes, however, you will just hold down the spacebar and dodge.
-The learning curve is somewhat steep. If you don't take a little time to experiment, you may be overwhelmed by the challenge.
-Consequences for death are minimal and hardly worth worrying about on the default settings.
-The quests are given to you in real time, so by the time you can read them, you sometimes have an alien up your rear end.
-The tutorial is incomplete. I played very inefficiently before I figured out how to read item descriptions thoroughly.
-The menus, while full of information, are not always clipped correctly and it's sometimes hard to find the information that you need, like how much money you have in a store, which should honestly be visible when you're in the store since it is of pivotal importance.
With a user mod that automates some of the more boring processes(macros?), pause the game on quest receipt or polish up the UI, this game would be a 5 to me. It really hits the spot in so many other ways. The developers loved the game and it shows.