Definitely. There’s a ton wrong with DAI, but it is trying to do something different, and when it gets there, it’s pretty successful and engaging.
Personally after complaining about Stellaris I’ve been playing that a fair bit. It’s a flawed game, and horrifyingly RNG-y, and I finally realized why the latter stuck out so much. It’s basically a Paradox Grand Strategy game, but all the rest of them are primarily played in a NON-random mode - i.e. you know the rough disposition of the world, and can scan around seeing who lives where and is doing what. France isn’t randomly going to be replaced by Japan or something, and you aren’t going to find out that after you picked England, you’re starting in the middle of a continent surrounded by South American cultures or the like.
What Stellaris would massively benefit from, I suspect, is a proper, pre-built campaign set-up or three - it doesn’t have it because it’s aping a 4X, but you’re basically rolling a die to see if you’ll even get a fun or playable setup. You can do some things to help (don’t turn off cluster starts!), like avoiding playing it super-safe, but because it’s all RNG RNG RNG in terms of who is around and what they’re up to, it’s very variable.
For once I have a game that’s fun into the mid-game though (actually more fun in the mid-game than the early game now). I decided to take the Federation-analogue default culture and RP the Federation (from Star Trek). So, for example, no actual genetic engineering (so I can’t take any techs which would allow that - I guess I could take them but not use them but hmmmm), no breaking the Prime Directive and so on. My Klingons turned out to be an angry race of butterfly-people who started a massive war with me (war demands: all my planets and all those of the guy I was in a defensive pact with…), which actually was pretty exciting and I very nearly lost - only my managing to cut off their ability to get troop transports to support their doomstack allowed me to win. That’s the problem with a doomstack - if you aren’t willing to break some stuff off to defend the troop transports, they’re very vulnerable. I also systematically went through their empire and blew up every single mining or research station not in a system with an FTL inhibitor thing, which I’m pretty sure they were relying on economically.
They were forced to give up and offer a no-terms truce (despite still being stronger militarily), and now I’ve explored the galaxy and met all the other contestants, and I’m trying to form a proper Federation. It seems to be going pretty well but there are some huge blobs in other parts of the map, including Fanatical Purifiers, and one of them is expanding rapidly, so we shall see!