Originally I'd written up a big fleshed out piece for this, outlining the good and bad. But I'll summarise it a little more, as I don't think writing about it is worth that much effort. I'll put it this way instead.
I landed on a planet with a colony, which looked about the same as every other colony I'd seen - a small area with one or two buildings, one of which had a bunch of non-interactive NPCs inside. One NPC just upstairs decided to speak to me to give me a quest to take care of some pirates that were a threat to them.
Upon getting to the hideout of these pirates, I'm met with a laboratory that clearly experienced some sort of accident. Despite my interest in figuring out what had happened, there was no information to find at all, and instead it seemed it was simply dressing to provide the pirates somewhere to be.
When I'd finished clearing out the pirates, I headed back to the colony, got my reward and set off for another planet. Upon landing, I find a small building with nobody inside and then two NPCs standing around nearby outside - the first NPC begins to speak to me and gives me a quest to take care of some pirates.
Rolling my eyes, I decided to leave.
Upon getting back in my ship, Barrett tells me he's got something to give me. Unfortunately, at this point I'm occupied and decide I'll see what he's got for me later, and we take off for Neon (my current conclusion is that the only places to find interesting quests are the major cities).
Of course, following this, as the ship begins moving, Barrett notifies me that he now wants to talk about something while the cutscene is playing - so at this point he's absolutely going to have to wait.
We finally arrive at Neon, and once again Barrett reminds me that he's got something for me. Upon getting up, I ask him what it is and as expected it's nothing actually noteworthy, just something he could've probably just put into the ship's storage. Of course, following this we then talk, and I end up providing him more money to help track down what happened to his partner; all handled by some third party, so I feel no engagement with it whatsoever beyond throwing money at it until it's solved.
Stepping out of the ship at last and heading over to one of the quests I've been given on Neon leads to the leader of a gang. I've actually no interest in joining this gang, so I refuse to join, but to my dismay I've still got the quest. Seems my character doesn't get a choice?
Out of frustration, my quick and messy solution is to kill the individual in this gang that's offering me to work with them. After blasting an entire round of ammo into their head, they topple over onto their knees for a short while and then get back up again. Evidently, they're some god hanging amongst men and can't be killed.
I sigh, reload my save from earlier, and contemplate uninstalling the game.
So in summary, it's just not clicking for me. Many of the side quests don't seem to be that engaging, so far, and some others feel literally like fetch quests. It also feels like it's difficult trying to play my character how I'd like to, as indicated by the quest to join the Strikers gang on Neon, which it doesn't seem possible to abandon.