BioWare and EA said earlier today that Mass Effect 2 won't hit store shelves until next year. In the meantime, retailers across North America and Europe are offering pre-order incentives by providing codes for downloading special items such as special-ops armor and weaponry for Commander Shepard. These items will be usable when the game is eventually released.
According to GameStop, consumers who pre-order Mass Effect 2 will get Terminus Gear which includes the Terminus Assault Armor and the M-490 Blackstorm Heavy Weapon. BioWare's press release stated that the armor increases run speed and personal shields. It also augments weapons with an additional magazine of reserve ammo. The weapon, on the other hand, generates a cool high-powered localized gravity well.
Other retail outlets will supply the "potent" Inferno Armor, providing an increase in run speed and augmented damage from combat powers. BioWare said that this armor is typically used by officers to monitor battlefield conditions, recognizing heart rates and regulating sub-systems for greater response times.
So when does this game actually hit retail shelves? BioWare said that Mass Effect 2 lands the Xbox 360 and PC just after Christmas: January 26 here in the States and January 29 in Europe.