I'm on normal, but have died a number of times so far. I'm still only possessed of the silenced pistol, is anyone else finding this?
Yeah, it was rough. I played through ME3 twice, and the second time on Insanity, and that was the save I used. Going in cold on Insanity in that section was not fun. Luckily I played as an Infiltrator, so I had tactical cloak which was a huge help. Rely on your powers more, since you don't have any weapons. But yeah, you're not crazy, it's really frustrating. Not quite as difficult as the hardest parts of the main game (god damn fucking Banshees on the last encounter on earth still pisses me off!), but it's up there.
What I found is that you have to hang back a lot more than you did in the main game, since it seems like you're significantly weaker without your armor and you have no guns. Move backwards and try take the mercs out one by one. Also, you know those little shield-destroying drones they send out? You don't have to kill them, when they get close they'll make a noise which means they're about to blow up. If you move away at that point (I think one or two dodge-rolls was enough), they'll explode without harming you. That helped me out a lot when I realized it.
Also, at a few points I think I just took off and ran through all the enemies while cloaked to get to the next checkpoint, but that probably only works if you have tactical cloak.
I finished it yesterday. Oh god, I loved it! Just. The whole thing. ~ Its not that hard. I had so many leading the guy's head with an assault rifle, headshot!- moments. I haven't had fun like that in a while. ~ It chugs a while and doesn't stop on PS3 though..
I played it on Hardcore the first time and did it early in the game, so yeah, it was a bit of a shock, until I went to the strategy of staying back and utilizing my power attacks to stay in cover and save ammo. Dominate is very handy.
Then once I thought everything was cool, the ending made me realize it's not the beginning that's tough. LOL