Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Wonderful polish
The game is very well designed from a UI standpoint. The layout is far better than any other Master of Orion game. There was some transparency problems in beta, but the design is well thought out.
Strangely the voice over work is very good. Rare to see outside of some AAA games.
Pro Feels like a living, breathing world
From the moment the player colonizes a planet, they can see people moving around that planet when managing resource production. While managing people is not as detailed as to micro-manage every person in a planet, the player can still put groups of them to work on a certain job (food production, research, infrastructure) and the impact is palpable.
Pro Great voice acting
While not directly related to gameplay, this is still one of the things that can push a game to new levels.
The ensemble cast of voice actors for Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars is top notch, surpassing even most AAA games.
Besides talent like Nolan North and Troy Baker, who are pretty popular in game-related voice acting nowadays, there are also actors of the caliber of Mark Hamill, Michael Dorn, John de Lancie and Alan Tudyk.
Con A lot of stuff didn't convert well from previous games
Holdovers from previous installments of this game have become obsolete. A lot of the neat tech toys and racial abilities have been rendered useless or downright crippling with new game mechanics. Systems are very hard to hold as large empires are very hard to defend against without huge tech advances that come in late game, all ships have unlimited range. This leads the player to rely on very tight borders and lucky system finds. Expanding isn't currently viable. So this all leads to the major problem: there's really only one way to play. To be successful you need to ignore your racial abilities and stick to the only strategy allowed.
A lot of the ship tech was kept, but tactical combat is very different, and almost pointless. In MoO2 there were neat little tricks you could pull to take ships intact or out maneuver slow ships when you couldn't out gun them. Tactical combat in the new game isn't really working. It's now really just is whomever has the bigger gun wins. It plays out combat like a CIV combat clone. There are some tricks you can do with missiles and augmented engines, but that's about it.
Spying is greatly improved, you have more control over what's going on with your spies - however currently it really feels overpowered.
Diplomacy is a bit of a mess. In the open beta it doesn't really work and there are buggy problems with it too (like you can't declare war on someone unless they want to meet with you).
Con Simplistic battle system
The battle system is one of the things that made a departure from previous titles in the series. It's not turn-based anymore and it feels like it takes a backseat to diplomacy and deterrence.