Recently, I played through the original Mass Effect again - and it reminded me how much better a game than ME2 it was. Sure, the controls were clunkier, and the combat wasn't quite as smooth - but the RPG elements were solid, and the choices felt like they mattered.
After playing the ME3 demo, I'm disappointed. One of the gameplay options is to remove conversation completely, and have it all in cutscenes. That also means that leaving it in will be irrelevant, as the main story arc will be driven the same way, regardless of how you pick your responses. Instead, we have "Gears Effect".
And that's a problem. Why? Well, it's not that Gears of War is a bad game, it's that it's a different game. It's a 3rd person shooter, with excellent combat mechanics. It has a story, but it's linear - you're along for the ride, and you're there to shoot things. Mass Effect isn't supposed to be that way - it's supposed to be an RPG. Last time I looked, the video gaming space was big enough to have both shooters and RPGs in it - why did the "brilliant" EA marketing team decide that the world needed another Gears of War (with less fluid combat, I might add)?
The old BioWare is completely dead, and that's a sad thing. Some of us like story driven RPG games, and EA's marketing team has just gone out and destroyed that. Maybe some of the original BioWare staff can start up a new studio that's interested in the idea.