As if the mass exodus of delayed games into the early months of 2010 hadn't created enough of a clutter in the new year, EA has planted one of its most anticipated titles in the first month of next year, setting a January 26 US release date for the highly-anticipated Mass Effect 2.
The press release, reprinted below, also makes note of many pre-order armor and weapon bonuses, which seem to be GameStop exclusives. The release makes no distinction between the PC and Xbox 360 versions, but also neglects to mention a simultaneous release on both systems, that producers have promised (as reported by Destructoid), so we've sent a query to EA about the subject. The previous Mass Effect came out on the Xbox 360 six months before the PC version arrived.
BIOWARE ANNOUNCES JANUARY 26 LAUNCH DATE FOR MASS EFFECT 2 TOGETHER WITH EXCITING PRE-ORDER INCENTIVES
Unique Armor and Weaponry Available with Pre-Orders at Select Retailers Worldwide
Edmonton, Alberta (October 16, 2009) - Mark your calendar and lock in your copy of Mass Effect 2 now! Leading video game developer BioWare(tm), a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that the epic Shooter/RPG Mass Effect(tm) 2 will be on store shelves in North America on January 26, and on January 29 in Europe. With its larger-than-life hero Commander Shepard, intense shooter action, nuanced characters and a rich storyline, the much-anticipated sequel to the original award-winning opus is one of the most anticipated titles of 2010. In support of the launch, BioWare is releasing unique Mass Effect 2 pre-order incentives* at key retailers in North America and across Europe. Codes for downloading these items will be provided to players who have pre-ordered, usable when the game is released.
"Our fans are in for a genuine thrill in the New Year with Mass Effect 2 - the second installment in the trilogy will be of amazingly high quality," said Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder, BioWare and Group General Manager of the RPG/MMO Group of EA. "BioWare's fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting this epic sequel, and we couldn't be more excited to reward them for pre-ordering by delivering some awesome bonus content!"
In North America, pre-order bonuses* include special-ops armor and weaponry that are designed to boost Commander Shepard's skills and abilities. At GameStop, Terminus Gear is available with pre-orders, which includes the powerful Terminus Assault Armor and the M-490 Blackstorm Heavy Weapon:
--The Terminus Armor is designed for use in extreme planetary conditions, increasing run speed and personal shields, and augmenting weapons with an additional magazine of reserve ammo.
--The M-90 Blackstorm Heavy Weapon generates a high-powered localized gravity well, accelerating particles to near-infinite mass, and ultimately expanding the selection of heavy weapons available to players when they gear up for combat missions in Mass Effect 2.
Players that pre-order Mass Effect 2 at other retail outlets in North America will receive the potent Inferno Armor, which is used by officers to monitor battlefield conditions by recognizing elevated heart rates, and regulates sub-systems with extreme efficiency to allow for greater response times - together these abilities translate in-game into a negotiation bonus for Commander Shepard and an increase in run speed and augmented damage from combat powers.
The Mass Effect trilogy is an emotionally charged science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players will once again step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, commanding their crew of some of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a mission so challenging that it's potentially suicidal. Featuring intense shooter action, a rich futuristic storyline, space exploration and emotionally engaging character interaction, the game delivers an unparalleled cinematic experience.
Mass Effect 2 will be available on the Xbox 360(r) videogame and entertainment system and PC. Pre-order incentive assets are available at info.ea.com. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/masseffect2. For more information on Mass Effect 2, go to http://masseffect.bioware.com/.