Within the realm of 2D6 Sci-Fi games, Cepheus Deluxe stands in an interesting position of being both an excellent restatement of the classsic core rules we've all loved and used since the late '70s as well as being interesting take on many of those rules that I haven't seen done before.
Probably the change I was most concerned about (but nevertheless very intrigued by) was the decision to replace the classic 2D6 SF character generation system with one that allows more player input. Having created a few characters of my own, and used the system with some of my players, I have to say I think this new character creation system works well. While the old SF character creation system is of course iconic in it's own way (who doesn't love dying in character creation!) I feel the decision to switch the character creation system to one that is more player driven was ultimately a positive one. The system is also quite a bit faster when it comes to using it with new players, as there is less need for each player to have a copy of their career's table for reference. Overall, I like the new system. It's similar but different in a good way, less random but still gives room for random events (and the optional ability to die in character creation like the good ol' days hehe.)
Speaking of character creation, an aspect I really enjoy about Cepheus Deluxe is the addition of the Traits system. While similar to the Feat system from that very popular Fantasy Role-Playing Game, the Traits system meshes surprisingly well with the 2d6 SF skeleton. None of the traits seem "broken" in a way that could cause serious issue, and given this game's high lethality I doubt it would be possible for any combat traits to be excessively unbalanced. What the Traits instead allow is more player choice, while not being overwhelming, as the Traits available are constrained by what skills and abilities the player character already has.
Other than the traits and the character creation system, much of the rest of the book is made up of rules which are all refinements to the already excellent Cepheus Light rules. The book also contains many optional rules allowing for more heroic Science Fiction campaigns if that is more your thing. There are plenty of random tables for GMs as well, something which I feel more modern 2D6 SF games should take advantage of. Formatting is very good, much improved from the first publication of Cepheus Light. Also of special note, as of writing this, this is only one of two 2D6 SF RPGs I own which has an Index.
Cepheus Deluxe is a great system, and for it's price it's price it is truly wonderful. I would say if you are looking for a 100% pure restatement of original 2D6 SF rules, you may be better served elsewhere, but if you are looking for an excellent RPG using those rules a base I can't recommend Cepheus Deluxe enough. Personally, I can't wait for a print copy.
[5 of 5 Stars!]