I don't like it when games forces me to make decisions about my character before I have any context to understand the effect of what I'm choosing. The decisions you make at the very beginning have long-lasting impacts that dictate how you'll be playing, when you don't have any grasp of how things work with this particular game. Several hours into some games, you might realize that you made a completely broken character, or you realize that certain playstyles are more fun than the one you chose. So I don't understand why games don't handle this aspect better.
Making these kinds of long-term decisions at the very beginning is like forcing a kindergartener to decide his career path and then making him commit to it for the rest of his life. At least you can start over in a video game, but it's not the solution to the problem. Morrowind was atrocious in this aspect; you had no idea how fast skills leveled-up until you'd spent a few hours playing, and by then you'd typically realize that you made some poor choices with your skills. At least Oblivion improved on this by giving you more of a chance to see things in action, and then giving you the option to respec if you didn't like it.
I just started a blind playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins, and they immediately forced class selection on me; I didn't know what I wanted to be without getting a chance to try each one. I have my usual class preferences, but you never know if a certain game will make one class more or less interesting than it usually is. Besides not even being able to decide my class, I didn't have a practical understanding of how the skills worked in gameplay, what race I preferred, the best way to use to my stats, so on and so on.
And so I wound up doing an hour's worth of research, reading forums and guides, just trying to get a feel for how different builds and playstyles ultimately function in this game.
I'm well accustomed to reading manuals before starting a game (Ultima straight up tells you to stop and RTFM). But even once you resign to researching the game, the guides and forum messages talk about things in terms of idiosyncratic game mechanics, which don't make a whole lot of sense until you've actually seen everything in action. You end up researching the research, or you just play the game to understand the research which you were doing to understand the gameplay. But it also detracts from the fun of discovering new game mechanics as you go along. Kind of ruins the mystique.
Which is why most games would improve by starting you out as a blank slate, developing your skills and playstyle as you go. This way, you get a chance to see how things function before allocating. You can see which skills are going to be used more often, which ones you'll be relying on most, which weapon styles are the most fun, and you give yourself room to change your playstyle. It gives the player a lot more freedom, and let's you focus on the gameplay instead of getting caught up in all of the preliminaries. Above all, it gets you straight into the game.
It's harder to do this with a game like Dragon Age, though, which wants to establish different, unique intro sequences based on your background. They could still do this better, however, without forcing so many statistical decisions. It's one thing to ask the player their race and class archetype at the start, but there's no reason to make you pick specific skills and stat points before you've done anything at all. That stuff could easily wait, and would make it a little less tedious to experiment with different initial combinations.
So that's one strike against DA:O, and several strikes against every other game that does this. It annoys me and I wish people had the sense to integrate the character creation / development with the actual gameplay more properly. Because it can really ruin the start of a great game.