Last night I ushered Mass Effect 2 into my 1000 Club, which is just a snooty way of saying that I got all of the achievements.

Mass Effect 2 is an improvement over the first in every way, and that includes the achievements. Instead of requiring several playthroughs, you could theoretically get all 1000 points in a single go-round. It took two for me – one playthrough on the normal difficulty in which I didn't pay attention to the achievements at all, and a second on Insanity where I was careful to use every opportunity to nab them. Most of the non-story achievements are super-easy, requiring you to use different abilities in particular situations a set number of times. The only rough one is Insanity, which requires a full playthrough on the Insanity difficulty setting.

If you're interested in giving that a try, let me give you a piece of advice so you can avoid making the same mistake I made: do NOT use your new game+ character on your Insanity run. Start over from scratch by re-importing your ME1 Shepard. See, when you do new game+ with your old character, you retain your level (it was 30 for me) and weapons, but you lose all of the upgrades, research, and minerals from your previous playthrough. So, while you're technically a high-level character, you are actually weaker than you were at the end of your first playthrough. This is a problem because encounters are balanced according to your you'll be fighting high-level enemies without your array of weapon upgrades, which will make the first half of the game more brutal than it needs to be (I found things evened out after Horizon). By starting fresh, combat will be more manageable from the start, and you'll actually have a leg up on the competition because of the money/mineral bonuses. Once I got past the early sections, which were frustrating, I found Insanity very enjoyable. There's actually an element of risk and danger to the encounters, and though it's challenging, it only feels cheap in a few places (stupid husks). I'd recommend it to any hardcore ME fan.

[Mass Effect 2 achievements, via]