I'm not sure what the "meaningless behind-the-scenes stat games" refers to. There are no combat character stats in ME - it's all twitch-based. I can only assume it is some reference to the scaling damage of powers and weapons, as there is nothing else you could really term a "stat".
The ME system is already about as bare-boned as it can be without being a pure shooter in the vein of Gears of War. I can't see how on the one hand you can say you are bringing back RPG elements that were stripped out in ME2, yet on the other hand say you're are streamlining elements out.