BioWare showed GDC crowds two videos of Mass Effect 2 gameplay and unveiled the first details of the space opera sequel.
The first video depicted a blocked out level and focused on combat. Little appears to have changed, although IGN says the HUD has changed and the cross-hair looks different.
The second video showed the player and squad being briefed by a female Asari while en route in a flying car to a penthouse populated by mercenaries.
Neither clip showed commander Shepard - who's thought to have been "killed in action" - but rather a generic male model wearing N7 armour. During the conversation clip, the protagonist was never addressed personally and never replied.
Casey Hudson, talking to GTTV, went on to add further details of the plot.
"It's about what's happening with the Reapers, what happens to the human race," he said. "You'll be able to see the Elusive Man in Mass Effect 2."
"Romances will be as well done and as sophisticated in Mass Effect 2 as they were in Mass Effect 1. There's going to be more people that you can meet, that you can take with you on missions and stuff like that. So there are actually more romance options in Mass Effect 2," he added.
Hudson went on to say space combat is something BioWare wants to have in the Mass Effect trilogy, but that it won't feature in Mass Effect 2.
BioWare is also taking a different approach to developing Mass Effect 2: rather than write and build and then test late on in the process, the developer will go through numerous phases, and each of them will be playable. This will, BioWare hopes, allow issues to be addressed before it is too late.
Mass Effect 2, for PC and Xbox 360, was officially unveiled earlier this month. The RPG-shooter sequel will be out next year and will let players carry their saved games over.