I'm only a few missions in playing on Veteran (one level down from the hardest setting) and I've already run into a few spikes in terms of the difficulty. When you start out you and your squad have limited abilities and gear, and then suddenly you're thrown up against raging mutons and sectopods!
I've started to level up my squad a bit now and with the new gear and abilities it's getting a bit better, but the AI of your squadmates is so bad it makes the game a chore to play at times. Seems they can't take care of themselves at all unless you give them an order, and even then they'll do moronic things like run straight over a mine while moving from point A to point B. I'm trying to like this game but it sure is making it difficult!
Oh, and apparently even aliens think that grenade spamming is an effective combat tactic! Maybe we're not so different after all...
I guess there aren't many people playing this game. I finished it and ended up enjoying it despite its flaws. It's clunky and rough around the edges for sure, but the Mass Effect-ish combat gets pretty fun once you level up and you and your squad get better abilities and gear. You just have to persevere through the beginning part. The AI of your squadmates is a real downer though. Still might be worth picking up on sale for those who think it looks interesting.