I felt the same way the entire game, I never have hated a main character so much. I couldn't understand why Aiden was so upset with the consequences of his actions. He was a bad guy, and it finally caught up to him. Because of Aiden I pretty much hated Watch Dogs. It wasn't fun.
I agree, the Mass Effect series was by-far by favorite series for the last generation. I enjoyed everything about them, except maybe ME3's ending, but whatever. The games and universe BioWare created were something special that roped me in.
I agree with some of your points, the flow of content on Giant Bomb has really slowed the for the past year, but I believe that for certain reason that is why. I have told several friends that Giant Bomb (the site) feels stale, but every week I listen to the podcast and enjoy it tremendously. The personalities behind the site are still strong, they just need more hands to help them produce the content they are all extremely capable of doing.
And as for a subscription-wall, I think it is fine. I was a premium subscriber for over two years and enjoyed the content and believed that supporting this site was well worth the money. While I am not a subscriber anymore, I still think it is a valuable option to help these guys out. They are trying to build a new business model, and I believe Jeff when he says its the way of the future, not ads.