I’m also on the tentatively hype train, mostly because I go between really loving the ME series and asking myself “am I wrong about Mass Effect and it’s actually bad?” I know about an equal number of people who don’t like Mass Effect at all as I do people who love it. Also, I’m not super psyched that most of the cast in ME4 we’ve seen so far are humans. I’m sure there will be more aliens, but it’s a fear of mine that it will be mostly humans with humans, doing human things and you can only date humans.
One of my favorite moments takes place in Mass Effect 2 on the Citadel, where you can persuade shopkeepers to give you a discount. At the souvenir store, you can accuse the asari of being a classist. The first time I saw that I went, “there’s no way they’d write that and have people act out this option” but they did, and I still find it funny despite it probably being in poor taste.
The second (of many) that comes to is something I only saw on a very recent playthrough of ME1. Again, on the Citadel, though this one was an entirely human interaction. You meet a representative of the Terra Firma party and if Ashley is in your party, she really gets heated about it. I like the scene because it builds Ash’s character a bit, but also gives some in-game world building and a peek into the politics of the galaxy instead of having to read codex entries for it.
One of the things I liked most about the first Mass Effect game was the establishment of inter-species relations, why some species don’t get along, and an underlying element of the Council having a lot of favoritism to certain races over others (elcor and volus are treated pretty poorly by the Council and didn’t have an actual Council member representing their species).