The sequel to BioWare's popular action role-playing game will be with us on January 26, as Shacknews reports. The site says BioWare has settled on that date for Mass Effect 2's North American release
According to an older preview article from Shacknews, Mass Effect 2 will let players control the first game's protagonist, Commander Shepard, once again. You'll be able to carry over your saved games from the original, enabling choices made in that game to have repercussions in the sequel. Otherwise, BioWare has improved combat, added new weapon classes, and added elements marked with a spoiler warning in the preview—we won't repeat them here.
Incidentally, those who pre-order Mass Effect 2 will get bonus items inside the game. Pre-orders from GameStop will receive "Terminus Gear" including "the powerful Terminus Assault Armor and the M-490 Blackstorm Heavy Weapon." Meanwhile, pre-orders from other retailers will get Inferio Armor, which brings "a negotiation bonus for Commander Shepard and an increase in run speed and augmented damage from combat powers." Exciting stuff.
Until January 26 comes along, you can kill time by perusing Shacknews' screenshot gallery for images of Mass Effect 2 in all of its pixelated glory.