I've been waiting for this, hello.
Been a Mass Effect fan for quite some time. Yeah, I heard all the bad press, rather unavoidable when excited for a game, but I bought it day one anyway.
So first, let me be completely honest. The animations are as bad as they say. The game has bugs, absolutely. What game, and certainly what game of this size, does not?
However, let me also say - The game is extremely fun. The writing can be goofy, but I rather think it works with the more youthful feel your crew is intended to have. Ryder is generally far more likeable than Shepard, depending on how you play him. Mine's a smug, goofy idiot who shit talks his enemies and leaves no man behind. It's fun.
The combat? Oh, hell yes. Fun as all get out. Dashing around, jumping up and hovering to finish off some Kett hiding behind cover, it's a blast. It's everything good about the trilogy's combat, with plenty of new toys and tricks to make it feel like new. Hell, I've even been playing around with the other skill trees. I've never played Tech in the trilogy, and even Tech is fun in this one.
Some people will complain about the squad, which of course depends on the person. In my opinion - Your worst squad members are better than the Trilogy's worst. Cora's... Dull, at best, but she's a far step above Ashley. Vetra's even better than Garrus, and Drack surpasses both Wrex and Grunt by far, he's fantastic. Liam's your buddy cop, Jaal's happy to help, and Peebee... Well, you get used to her. Not to mention the new crew.
Some will also say the Squad you bring with you is useless, but seriously, use your squad commands and watch. They will do their job, you just need to let them. (sometimes you don't even need that, Drack has stolen so many of my kills)
All in all? It's a space adventure. A little fun, a little goofy, sometimes serious. I love it. If you can look back some bad animations and a bit of a slow start, trust me, it picks up, and it picks up hard.
And do yourself a favor. Explore. Seriously. These maps are bigger than you think. I've beaten the game and been playing for over a week, and I'm still finding new stuff on the first planet. Hop in your six-wheel and drive off into the sunset. Might see something fantastic, might kill some Kett, might meet a familiar face or two.
I had fun, and I think you'll have fun if you're willing to give it a shot.