Absolutely, only do as much exploration as seems fun to you. I'm with Hammett, the exploration of the first game was a huge draw to me. I loved the wide open spaces and didn't mind that a lot of it was kind of empty and samey - that actually added to the realism to me, though of course not everyone is into that kind of realism. I really missed all that in the second two games. But then again, I thought the ending of ME3 was fine so my opinion is probably suspect.