Alright, my 10-hour free trial access is already over, lol. Damn it!
I played a handful of multiplayer matches and also a few hours of single-player story mode. Here are my thoughts so far, from only playing with it for 10 hours (no spoilers):
a) Multiplayer's controls are a little worse than they used to be. They're not nearly as intuitive and some of the changes they made to the game controls are, frankly, dumb. So, rather than going straight from ME3's great multi straight to this with no problem, there is a bit of a learning curve. That doesn't necessarily bother me, but the learning curve was totally unnecessary, imo, because the control changes were totally unnecessary. However, after a little while, you get used to them and it becomes better.
b) The menu system is a lot clunkier and less user-friendly now than it is in ME3's MP. Not sure why they changed it so drastically, other than this being another example of "let's change stuff just for the sake of changing it." If something is already awesome, why mess with it? Why fix it if it's not broken?
c) It takes a weirdly long amount of time for each wave to start. It will say "Wave 2" or something like that, but then there is at least a 10 second pause after that before the objective is announced or any enemies appear. That doesn't happen in ME3 MP, where the waves start and the objectives and enemies immediately appear.
Also, it's often tough to even find the enemies. The maps on ME:A are definitely larger and more vertical than ME3's, but I found myself wasting so much time just running around the map just trying to find something to shoot. It was weird.
d) This is just an aesthetic gripe, but almost none of the human MP characters have helmets anymore. They're certainly more racially diverse, because there are several different races/ethnicities for male and female characters. But, to me, it seems wholly unnecessary. I actually LIKED that my characters in ME3's MP had helmets, because not only did the helmets look cool, I could imagine their faces any way that I wanted to.
Also, what the hell kind of soldier goes into space battle without a helmet, especially on environments that are hazardous to human survival? It's not a big issue, but I wish there were an option to put helmets on them, because those helmets look really cool. I mean, I get it, not having helmets allows Bioware to show the world how diverse they're trying to be, but the "no helmet" decision makes no practical sense. It's space battle. I want to see cool space armor and space helmets.
e) As cool as some of the armor sets look, they also all look very similar, so every character winds up looking pretty much the same, no matter their class and skills. ME3's MP had a very visually diverse group of character designs, with different body types and very different armors. This one has diverse faces, but all the bodies look almost exactly the same. Maybe that's why they decided to remove the helmets. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to tell any of the characters apart.
A minor quibble, but still kind of annoying.
a) Once I got used to the new, somewhat clunky controls, and started to really get the hang of it, it got more fun.
b) The graphics are awesome and the level designs are creative.
c) It takes longer to level up now (almost too long), but the enemies are more challenging in a good way. The AI seems like it's a bit better, and the enemies will flank you and move around more dynamically on the map. Seems like the difficulty has been ramped up in the game, both in SP and MP, so that's a good thing.
d) Even as great as ME3's MP was, it also had a slow start and there were kinks to work out. So, I'm confident that they'll work out those kinks and the MP will continue to improve and get even better.
Overall, despite my gripes, it was fun and I will continue playing it once I get the real game next week.
a) The facial animations for humans are horrible. Bioware is getting mercilessly criticized for this online right now, and they deserve every bit of it. There is simply no excuse for a game on current-gen consoles, using one of the most visually impressive game engines available, to have animations this horrendous. Especially after 10 years of working on this franchise. The facial animations on Dragon Age: Inquisition weren't awesome, but they were much better than what's in this game. I doubt any patch will fix this.
b) The "Character Creator" at the beginning of the game (where you should be able to customize your character's appearance) is utter dog shit. For some unfathomable reason, they've removed most of the customization options from previous games. You can no longer choose from different noses, different types of eyes, different types of eyebrowns, different types of mouths, etc. You have to choose from a list of 10 present heads and then can only make what is already on the pre-set head bigger or smaller.
But, hey, they added an entire make-up option for the ladies. So...um...progress, I guess?
The quality of the CC is really, really stupid. One of the most inexplicably stupid decisions they made with this game. I know that a lot of people won't care, because they'll just stick with the prerendered Ryder character, but both of them (male and female) are so ugly and "uncanny Valley-ish" that I wanted to change mine, only to find out how severely limited my options were.
c) The opening few hours are slow and not very engaging from a dramatic/writing standpoint.
a) The graphics and environments are awesome (despite the facial animations).
b) The gameplay and fighting is much improved.
c) Even though it gets off to a slow start, that doesn't really bother me so much. ME1 also got off to a slow start, and that turned out to be a great game. Witcher 3 also had a very boring first few hours, and it turned out to be my favorite RPG in a long time. So, given how deep this game supposedly is and how much content there is, I'm confident that the story that is yet to come will be very rewarding.
Overall, I'm still getting the full game on Tuesday and I doubt I'll regret it.