It looks like a minimal playthrough will be about 20 hours, 10 hours of which will be shooting, 5 hours will be driving and walking around, and 5 hours will be the story, dialogue and things contributing to the world building. (And so little time doing RPG build stuff that it isn’t worth counting.)
Yes, the writing and world building are tremendous, and especially coming straight from Starfield, the economy of expression is impressive. They do so much more with fewer words. But for every hour of that good content you need to play through three hours of outright bad gameplay.
It’s a price I’m willing to pay as an entry fee to playing ME2 and 3 the “right way”, but also a price I really want to minimize.
Had that same feel on my most recent playthrough; ME1 was a balance between fun and frustrating because I knew better was to come. PS - I don’t know if it will help, but I would also suggest playing a class which regularly uses biotics so you can at least mix in some variety to your combat.
If you think the shooting aspect is bad now, you should have played it when it first came out. Legendary Edition made some improvements to the guns and the interface (I believe). Though it’s still not great on that front.
I seem to recall it being better on ME2 for sure. Ultimately, 1 limps through the shooting and 2 makes it fun (albeit, not Gears of War level good).
Mass Effect is one of my favorite games of all time, but I doubt I’ll ever buy the legendary edition, and the main reason is their decision to leave the gameplay in ME1 as is. The combat gameplay is just not very good, and it detracts from what is otherwise a fantastic game - to the point that I know if I did buy the game, I’d never make it through the first game to actually replay the trilogy (for the Xth time).
Stick through it, though. As a series, it’s IMO the best CRPG ever.
Wish they had done an actual remake, streamlining the gameplay experience across all three games. I’d - quite seriously - have paid full pricex3 for that.
I wonder if there are people who play Madden and go, ‘Wait what? I have to play another football game? I just played like a half dozen of these damn things! And the players are just reskinned versions of the last team I played!’