Well that was certainly fun. They certainly fixed the problem of the battlefields being too much like shooting galleries. Several time I had to actually *think* about where I was in relation to the enemy and really work at protecting my flanks. If this was the new "normal" difficulty then they've defiantly stepping things up notch or two. It felt more like ME2's "hardcore" and in a good way. The enemy and squad AI was noticeably better and the enemies themselves were much more varied.
The new power upgrades look cool too. I've only played as a soldier so far but already I can see the drastic improvements. Not least of all 'concussive shot' has all of a sudden become *useful* and even better, it looks like a fully upgraded one would be devastating!
The weapons fell and sound a *lot* better! At one point I shot an enemy with a shotgun, at point blank range, with the cryo ammo activated, during an adrenaline rush and he *exploded* in a hail of tiny frozen pieces. My jaw. It dropped.
Nice to see more in-mission character banter; the bit between a certain Krogan and a certain Turian on the shuttle was priceless.
I do have a few (minor) complaints though. Firstly, while I do like the increased mobility, pressing 'space' to try and get out of cover tends to result in Shepard doing a jump-roll across the room. I think it's just a matter of getting used to pressing back ('s') instead to detach myself from a wall, but all that twitch muscle memory from ME2 is still pretty ingrained.
Secondly, I wasn't very happy the look of the custom faces. Like John Clark
I used a facecode to recreate one of my Shepards, but unlike JC mine just looked...off. Sure the skin and hair textures look better (*especially* the hair!) but there was something odd about the proportions that made the face look somehow smaller. Also, the eyes...they have this off-putting milky plastic look to them.