I bought this game for my Xbox One S on 11/09/2017, almost eight months after its release. I paid $10 for it, brand new, on sale (marked down from $20). I have version 1.10. All the glitches and bugs that people mentioned in the early days/weeks of its release were and are still everpresent on the one I have; and perhaps more. I have played five times in a row. I started on Normal in my first game and ended up switching it to Easy after 8-12 hours of playing based on the chaotic setup of everything and the overall lack of Tutorials. There are Tutorials; they're just lacking in any real useful information (for Xbox One, I read that PC had too many tutorials, I don't know about PS4). On my second playthrough I finally played strictly on Normal. First two playthroughs were as Sarah Ryder. I heard and read people complaining about the default female Ryder but one can make her look like anyone one wants. It takes about 20 minutes +/- of time. So, I have no problem in that area. The third game I played as Scott Ryder (took me two games to get him to look the way I wanted), and I played on Normal. Fourth game I played on Hardcore, and fifth game I played on Insanity; both those games as Sarah Ryder. When I started playing Hardcore I was player level 132 (the highest I could go). Enemies were just as easy to kill in Easy/Normal; even the Architect; didn't really take longer to kill them, either. So, what was hard or insane? When I went into a Kett base, there were less Kett to fight but the main antagonist was slightly harder to kill (but not hard to kill). When going to a small area such as a debris field or drill platform then instead of the normal 2-10 to fight it became 30-50 to fight. I remember on Voeld coming to a crashed shuttle, which usually has 2-7 there, and it had 32 Kett there. Going and fighting straight up is nearly impossible to do, so I kept at a relative distance and shot them one by one with my sniper rifle. Didn't take long, headshots killed them. Funny enough: my most advanced sniper rifle (with headshot capability) on Easy or Normal took 3-4 shots (or more) to kill a Kett or Raider but on Hardcore/Insanity one shot usually did it. What kills you on Hardcore/Insanity is the atmosphere. Not bad guys but the environment. You have barely enough time to get to a safe zone. It's like everything is backwards in regard to difficulty or that's how they designed it and if so...what a waste.
The good things about the game, in my opinion: the gun selection. There are multitudes of guns you can use. You can even make guns to your own specification. I mainly used three guns: Kett shotgun, Dhan X. N7 Piranha X shotgun (with sticky grenades), Widow X, and assault rifle Sandstorm X (with rapid fire). One can carry two shotguns etc., at once. I carried two shotguns, assault rifle, and sniper rifle. Pistols are unnecessary when you have such options. However, by Hardcore/Insanity I just had two differently modified Sandstorms, Dhan, and Piranha; no need for anything else. There's also multitude of options on 'powers' for Combat/Biotic/Tech. I stuck with mainly three: Throw, Charge, and Shockwave. While some Combat (omni-grenade) and Tech (incinerate/remnant v.i.):were good, minus Remnant V.I., it would run out too quickly; I found in this game ammo wasn't really a huge concern as finding additional health was; so trying to locate health made me, at least, forget about resupplying ammo.
There are many armor options. You can even make your own armor. To me that's the only good thing about armor in this game, and the fact you could wear different armor simultaneously. Bad thing about armor: You can't change your teammates armor like in the previous two games and basically it's just there for aesthetics. It doesn't help you in any way except for the environment (atmosphere). In battle, it does nothing. I tried so many variations and modulators but nothing helped. Your shields come down quickly and you're focused on your health the whole time. One of the consumables was backup life support which does not work for combat. Who came up with that idea? It's just for the environment; if you're playing on Easy/Normal, it's useless. You don't need it. But it would be very useful in combat but it's unusable in combat. The thing I didn't really care for on mods was that they would take away considerable necessities on your weapons for no reason but to mess with you or to get you to choose what the gamemakers want you to pick which actually makes it less free choice (open world) and more dictatorial.
The Nomad is pretty cool; especially the various paint jobs you can have. For the first two games I played, I mainly stuck with N7 but ended up using primarily Blood Pack. On Voeld I recommend Platinum because it's going to be covered in ice and snow anyway. The Paramour was alright. I only did three: Peebee, Suvi, and Cora. Suvi is a lot of work with no return in the end. Many options on hetero/homosexual relations; though I stuck with hetero (in the sense I'm a man playing as a girl so I chose a girl; minus Cora where I played the male roll; I tried homosexual in the 3rd Mass Effect game but I just couldn't do it; if I did here, though, I think I would choose Gil but I don't think he has that option). I also liked the fact that I could be an atheist, as in real life I am one. The option is also there to be a theist and/or spiritual.
My favorite shipmates are Gil (though not really much dialogue overall), Peebee, and Drack. I mainly used Drack, Peebee, and Cora (Cora primarily for her shield assistance). Rarely used Vetra and Jaal. Jaal complained a lot and I found it annoying; only used him where needed. Vetra was conversationally uninteresting. I liked her sister Sid more, she was fun. By the second Normal game I stopped using Liam as much for one reason only: in battle, after killing anyone he'd then omni-grenade them. Also, the only character he gets along with is Jaal; the conversations in the Nomad was Liam pissing everyone off. It was annoying. Cora was nice to look at but all I found her good for was her shield assist. Drack was cool all around.
What I felt really did this game in was all the glitches and bugs; which are everpresent, and the expressionless features of all the characters. Except Peebee, she seems to be the only one with expressions and sometimes Reyes has expressions but mainly everyone else: blank stare as they speak. A lot of the Asari look and sound the same; just wearing different outfits. I found having black Asari a bit racist. I'll explain why. Asari are all blue. Now, in the first three games I think there was a green Asari and that one turned a bit grayish later but that was explained as to why. That Asari was blue but turned green from that plant creature having control over her. So, where did the black Asari come from? Why no other colors? No peach Asari (white people), no brown Asari (Middle Eastern/Indian/Hispanic/Latino), no Asian Asari? And why do all the black Asari have the same face? It's copy/paste face. How about if you want more diversity in games then you have more of non-whites in leadership roles. Instead of having, human-wise, all the main crew being white people and just having a token black guy (Liam) and stop creating primarily white people? Don't change alien creatures into black people because, to me, it seems you think that they're not even human, or deserving to be. I know it's not true but if you keep playing in the stereotype then that's how you'll come off. As an aside: what's up with the Loyalty Missions? They're not 'loyal' anything. No matter what choice you make they stay loyal. I never really cared about that in the second game. My thought is: if you're not loyal, then bye. I mean, if they played with it and had one or two betray you, that would have been fine but otherwise: who needs unloyal people watching your back in a fire fight?
This game has way too many tasks. It took me to the fourth game (Hardcore) to complete every single task. By then I skipped all unnecessary dialogue. If it wasn't a person who gave me a task, or needed information (for future tasks), I skipped talking to them. I only had one incomplete in the third game "Aid Apex". I thought that had to do with Strike teams apparently it had nothing really to do with that but scanning bad guys for Apex. I had 18/20 by the end of the third game. By the beginning of my fourth game (Habitat 7 to Nexus to Eos to Aya to Havarl to Voeld) I had 16/20. Didn't get the last one until Kadara. It was an Outsider with a yellow bar. Forget if the Turian or Krogan. I disliked that all animals (including bugs) were bad guys all the time. So, you're driving along, you pass by an animal or bug and you have to stop and kill it or you'll forever be in "Combat mode" unless you find someone to fight near by. It was stupid and time consuming, a waste of ammo, and health. Especially on planets like Voeld and Eos where it would drain your life support and/or health. It was ridiculous. Also, way too many puzzles in vaults; and I'm not talking about the Soduku-like puzzles. By the time you find the armor you like, and the weapons and powers etc., you're just collecting things to sell. By the end of my fifth game I had close to a million credits. New Game+ became boring after the second playthrough. While there are multitudes of things to do the game is just too tedious in many sections throughout where you don't seem to care anymore; at least for me that's the way it was.
When making your first Outpost, just choose science. Military is the same people, same tasks, and all science. The only things I saw different was some of them had officer ranks and some had camouflage but it was all science. It barely changes any dialogue. Also, when you can post an Outpost, do it. Nothing changes. There's dialogue of someone being upset but nothing happens. This game is very tedious....(review was longer, rest cut off.)