In this post
, I've already touched upon the differences in gameplay between Mass Effect 1 and 2. After having completed Mass Effect 2 a second time (without importing a character this time), I can safely say that I don't have to go back on my words. Its Short Script is now available, and it manages to eclipse its predecessor's in length, but only just. It helps if you've read the Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2 strikes me as the streamlined version of the experiment its predecessor put forth, in terms of all its design aspects (story, gameplay and graphics). Being the middle entry in the series, the narrative has to make some concessions, as it must account for Mass Effect 3 wrapping up the story arc. However, Mass Effect 2 still manages to tell a story that both exists on its own and feeds into the overarching progression. This is best exemplified by the addition of the Collectors, who are essentially the Reapers' "Plan B". Now that they too have failed, the Reapers have decided to start the cycle of extinction on their on accord, setting the stage for Mass Effect 3.
My decisions during the final suicide mission ended up saving my entire team, but I ironically didn't make them with that specific outcome in mind. I chose Legion for the technical aspect of the mission not because he was ostensibly the best hacker, but because I saw him as expendable as opposed to Tali. I genuinly considered Legion more as an "it", a tool to be expended rather than an actual person to be sacrificed. Next I chose Mordin to escort the captured crew back to the Normandy not because I would need the best fighters to hold the line later on (which I didn't even know at the time), but because I thought of Mordin as an intriguing character and wanted him to survive on this playthrough so he'd still be around in Mass Effect 3.
In other news, I'm currently working on the BioShock 2 script, after having recently finished a second playthrough of the game.