"a lot more intelligent".
The focus is on how the battlefield 'evolves' around you, and not just "aiming, shooting and using powers." Difficulty alters enemy behaviour and abilities.
"...we want to make it so that when the player's fighting in the moment they feel like they have more options than just aiming, shooting and using powers. We really want to make mobility a factor - like, "am I in the right position on the battlefield?" said Christina Norman.
"Where are my enemies? How am I going to get from point A to point B? How are they going to get from point A to point B?" So the player is never thinking, "I'm walking into this safe place with great cover, I'll stay there and fight" but more "how am I going to move through the battlefield as the enemies move through the battlefield against me?" continued the game designer from BioWare. Shephard has to keep on the move in Mass Effect 3.
"We do an AI overhaul pretty much every day! If there's one thing the programmers always want to do better it's definitely the AI, so we've done a lot of work on that," said Norman.
"We still have some more work to go, but we want you to feel that the enemies you're fighting are more complex, that they have multiple behaviours, and that they're reacting to what's going on."
Fellow gameplay designer Corey Gaspur added: "And enemies like the Cerberus Troopers are elites. 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."
"And 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," explained 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, but which won't work for an easier one."
Mass Effect 3 releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in March 2012.