Mass Effect 3 is supposed to be the culmination of Shepard's battle against the Reapers, and the team at BioWare wants to make you work for that final victory. A recent CVG interview with gameplay designers Christina Norman and Corey Gaspur outlined how the next installment will beef up the difficulty with more variable AI enemies.
Norman said that movement around the battlefield will be more complex as enemies take up different positions, rather than simply finding a safe spot and shooting from there. She also said the team does an AI overhaul "pretty much every day" and they're working to build in multiple behaviors. "In Mass Effect 3 it's not just that the game is harder on Insanity, it's that this creature actually behaves differently on higher difficulty levels," said Norman. "On those harder difficulty levels we can make the enemies exhibit specific behaviours more often, or even give them new behaviours that we think will work for a harder difficulty level."
Norman claims that the enemies are now being designed as a unit, to work together and fulfill individual roles for a more strategic approach. Gaspur pointed out that enemies themselves have a wider array of abilities. "Enemies like the Cerberus Troopers are elites," he said. "They can do everything that Shepard can do now as well, so you're fighting a force that's a lot more intelligent this time around, and a lot more punishing. The game is just intense even when you play it on Normal."