In no particular order or importance, here are some of my impressions from playing the game this afternoon:
Hooray! The Sentinels have a video game! This is awesome.
Once you get to the Plaza, make sure you visit the Training Center and configure all of everyone's abilities to your liking. Make sure you think about how to organize your stances: not every stance is going to do everything you want, and managing how you switch between them is a big part of the strategy. I found that the initial set-up stances for the core characters really did not do what I wanted, and a little customization paid off quickly. Especially with Tachyon and Unity; I decided after totally failing a mission with Unity to give her one SP-harvesting stance and one bot-building stance on each mission, and that works GREAT, compared to my initial attempt to have the bot-focused stances include at least some SP-harvesting.
The initiative and vigilance mechanics really changed my thinking from XCOM. (By the way: Xcommunicated is a hilarious achievement, whoever wrote that.) It's cool to have such a fresh take on the genre. Enemy squads like to gang up on a hero, running in to all hit them once before dodging back into cover. Forcing them into chokepoints and responding with your own vigilance moves is big.
Having voice actors playing the core heroes is really neat! But, after hearing them in-mission, I immediately missed the voiceover in comic panels. I wish the comic presentation was a little more dynamic - remember the moving-drawings cutscenes from Homeworld? That would have been extremely cool here.
I keep wondering how they'll handle flying characters. Isn't Beacon supposed to be in this? I haven't met her yet. I'll keep looking forward to it as the plot goes on.
As much information as the game presents me, I keep finding myself wishing it provided *more*. For instance, if I put a move cursor near a goon, I'd love for their vigilance circle to pop up so I can see its radius. I'd also like to preview which enemies are visible from a potential move location. Or I'd like to be able to select my inactive heroes, to remind myself what their attack types are, so I can plan and prioritize which goons my active hero will attack. But in the flip side, I have yet to figure out some of what the game is telling me, like the #/#/# indicators in the attack description text.
"What about the 'and Stuff?'"
Do the Lieutenants actually run the squads of minions? I tried to focus on taking them down, but it didn't seem to mess up the squad. Maybe they are just more powerful minions with area buffs.
For a game where facing is so important, why isn't there a control to face a particular direction after you move? I hate to dodge into cover with my back hanging out.
Brainstorm is amazing. Zap so many guys! Sparks!
As you can see, I'm engaged and enjoying things. The stuff I'm not comfortable with, I'm confident I'll figure out, and the game does a lot really well. I can't wait to bring a few new heroes into the fold, and I'm looking forward to foiling some super villains. And, again, it's just super exciting to have these characters brought to life with voices and animation.