I've been playing Mass Effect 2 recently. Overall, I really like the game, though it's not my usual milieu. Combat is sort of frustrating still, but it's getting easier as I figure out how to use my biotic powers. (I have been running around with an invisible pointy hat that says WIZZARD on it, relying on my actually competent teammates to shoot people while I act as a big shiny random-power-using distraction.) Aiming is...not one of my strengths. I generally end up gleefully shooting whatever the enemy is hiding behind. Or the floor, or the ceiling. Or random structural support beams. Or the air. I died a couple of times because I couldn't find my knee-high opponent who was chewing on me from behind.
I have a strong suspicion that the NPCs all think I'm an idiot. There was a battle I played through a few days ago that has a big frustrating monster at the end. (Horizon, for those who've played.) I died a couple of times, once because I was standing around facing the wrong way when it fell out of the sky onto my head. Then I was like, "Oh, wait! Didn't I pick up a BFG somewhere recently? ...how do I switch weapons again?"
Note that I am, oh, about 12 hours or so into the game and I haven't switched weapons since the tutorial in the first hour. (There's no in-game control reference, which is completely frustrating.) So I went hunting. It took me about three minutes to figure out that it was the left shoulder button that brought up the dialog to switch weaponry. I brought out the BFG and started shooting away.
Shepard (me): Look! Guys! This is AWESOME! I figured out how to take the very large gun off my back, put it in my hands, and FIRE it! WHEEEEEEEEE!
Garrus: I think they left out all of the competence when they rebuilt her.
Jack: Seriously? This woman saved the galaxy or something?
Shepard: WHEEEEEEEE! Plasma rifles* are FUN!
NPCs: Worst. Shepard. Ever.
*I think it's officially a particle accelerator rifle? Something like that.
In my hands, Shepard's competence is very much an Informed Ability
, because I'm not particularly a lot of use during battles. However, I really am having quite a lot of fun. I really like how they've handed the dialogue tree; it's nifty to get to hear my PC actually talking. And at this point, I'm high enough on the Paragon scale to start getting some of the options that result in awesome speeches.
I really want to go all President Roslin on Miranda, though. Out of the airlock with you, there isn't room for your damned ego on this ship! And Jack is about a million times more awesome than you, despite being psychotic.
Overall, I have to say that ME2 is an extremely solid game, even if you're completely hopeless at playing shooting games, like me. In comparison to Dragon Age, the setting feels larger (appropriate for a universe-spanning game!) but the dialogue trees feel significantly shallower. I think that's one of the reasons I enjoy fantasy settings more than SF settings in games; it's the difference between, say, a concert at a stadium and a house concert. I have a hard time caring about something as big and crazy as a whole universe. I prefer the intimacy of the smaller stage.
And I definitely prefer it when my foes are running towards me with swords bared than when they're hiding behind stuff, shooting at me. I do prefer being able to point my character at an opponent and say, "okay, go kill it till it's dead" and have them trundle off to do just that.
Still! Two thumbs up, definitely.