The question is how much the difference in impressions stems from the fact that in the newest demo they were showing a very different combat character build then the last year. Previously they were showcasing Fast Solo type of character, which relied heavily on mobility and aggressive playstyle, in comparison to Strong Solo build they show this year, which sounded much more static, since he's able to soak some damage and takes enemies down without much in the way of finesse. That could be the reason why the gunplay impressed them much less then in the last year's demo. Plus it's definitely far from consensus on the quality of gunplay in the last demo, since I read varying opinions, including ones that stated gunplay looked pretty good. The same kind of varying opinions seems to be on driving as well, with some outlets calling it stiff, while other claiming it looked great.the problem is that journalists say that this time shooting looked worse than the old one. The old one had a very good looking shooting, not perfect, but I'd be very happy with that.
All in all, I think this kind of combat, relying on different skills, tools and the way you build character definitely is something that feels much better when you play it on your own, then when you watch it. It sounds like all the right ingredients for a good action RPG style combat are all there, now they only needs to polish it all around the edges (so things like animations, the way character stats impact the gameplay and AI).