Bioware has announced the "dark" second chapter in the Mass Effect series is in development, and will be on our shelves early next year.

The Mass Effect trilogy kicked off in 2007 when the first instalment introduced us to a sci-fi adventure filled with dangerous aliens and uncharted planets.

In Mass Effect 2, players find Saren’s evil army of Geth soldiers has just been defeated, but as you'd expect, all is not safe for the humans who now have a "greater peril" to face.

"We’re going to surpass the extraordinary gaming experience we brought our fans in Mass Effect by delivering intensified combat and expanded weapon options as well as increased depth of planet exploration, all while delivering a powerful, emotionally engaging story", said Dr. Ray Muzyka, BioWare's general manager and CEO.

"Mass Effect 2 is shaping up to be an unforgettable RPG-shooter experience, taking players on a non-stop roller-coaster ride filled with stunning plot twists and no-holds-barred action".

Mass Effect 2 is due for release for PC and Xbox 360 in early 2010. Head over to the Mass Effect website for a teaser trailer on what you can expect.