Well, I'd certainly argue that most media SciFi (TV, some Movies) tend to be rather soapy anyways, probably because the focus is usually on human drama, which can get soapy.
That being said, there was something about ME1 that got me all giddy with excitement. Maybe it is because it isn't common to see and RPG set in an SF setting. Maybe it was the dialog choices, but a lot of it hit the right spots for me. Unfortunately, I got stuck at one point, put the game aside, and haven't gotten back to it. I should at some point, but I found when I tried starting a new game with a FemShep that I was very rusty with the game.
Certainly all the blowback with ME3 (and to a lesser degree ME2) had taken some of the shine off the game, but I can understand the excitement about the game, since there are few games with that kind of setting.