I have read bad things, I have read good things... I'll give them benefit of doubt, for the sake of the first game.
Aaaand... I may have burned myself this time. I gave it 3 hours, and it seems the bad reviews were closer to the truth. The combat is highly confusing. I still have no idea why I have been constantly losing one battle (my threat level 5 vs enemy bandit TL 8), and winning another one. Forget about rogue galaxy tactical combat. If there is some tactics, it's well hidden. Different shield bars facing different directions so I could choose which side should get the heavy punishment? Nope. Get out of range of enemy weapons and lick my wounds? Not a chance. Default mode is top-down which shows maybe few meters around my ship. I could switch to cockpit view with RMB which is slightly better, but stil confusing. Tutorial suggests waiting until enemy ships are reloading - I never saw such opportunity yet (maybe because the awareness of overal combat situation is awful) So far the best method to combat I found is to mark each enemy in turn as a target, let my ship+fighters throw everything at it automatically and hope for the best. I'll try to reread the tutorial again, and see if I understand this time how reloading and various boosts are supposed to work together to have some control over combat result.
Aside from combat, there isn't really much else to do. Fly around, pick scraps, scan for bits of history that complement the story of original SPAZ. Edit
: after few more hours the combat is starting to make sense. Critical part of combat awareness is the mouse wheel which doesn't zoom, it both zooms and changes perspective between top-down and behind-the-tail. Somewhere between the two extremes is a position that usually works well enough. TL is pretty critical measure - TL10 vs TL11 and I couldn't get any damage through enemy shields (though I have few ideas what I could try).
It doesn't look like it will be fantastic game, but it's not completely wasted money.