When reviewing the best moments that we lived in an era of Xbox 360 and PS3, one of the first franchises that come to mind is Mass Effect. The wonderful original trilogy, starring Commander Shepard, broke the mold regarding our ability to mark the destinies of the characters, explore impossible worlds and, ultimately, live a galactic epic like never before seen on console. Surely we have them burned into our memories, but in reality it has been 9 years since Mass Effect 3 arrived and, although Mass Effect Andromeda had many interesting aspects, we fan have a special place for the adventures of Normandy. Therefore, it is not surprising that Electronic Arts have decided to launch this Mass Effect Legendary Edition, a compilation of the 3 original games, along with more than 40 DLCs, with different visual and playable improvements.
A few days ago, we were able to participate in a streaming presentation in which those responsible for the project explained what these improvements consisted of. One aspect that has been emphasized is that Mass Effect Legendary Edition will not feature remakes of the games or very substantial changes. These are pure and tough remasters, with tweaks here and there, but without changes that affect the narrative, the script or the fighting.So what are those changes? Apart from the graphic changes, which we will see later, in Bioware they have focused on modernizing the experience based on the small details. The main example are the elevators that we have to take in facilities such as the Citadel. If you remember, those elevators took forever to reach their destination (in fact, the characters had some long dialogues to entertain us), but now they accomplish that task in a few seconds. The control of the Mako in Mass Effect 1, which was one of the most criticized aspects, has also been polished.
It is these small changes that have been in the minds of the developers, in such a way that they are “invisible” for the player and simply serve to give rise to a more comfortable and modern experience. In that sense, the game that seems to have been the most retouched is the first Mass Effect, as it was perhaps the most “rough” in its gaming experience. In it, the control system during combat and its interface have been tweaked to be more similar to what we saw in Mass Effect 2 and 3.These changes, which are often called “quality of life”, will also affect the AI of the enemies and our squadmates, who will move in a more logical and useful way. In addition, the weapon restrictions between characters have been removed, but they have a more varied arsenal.
The minigames have now been unified across all three games and their frequency and challenge will not be as demanding, so we focus more on the exploration that interests us.The creation of our commander Shepard has also been tweaked a lot so that, from the first game (you already know that we can “inherit” the character created in later games), we can customize it much more with the nuances that came in deliveries 2 and 3 .In that sense, the female version of Shepard (informally known as FemShep) is the one that has been improved the most, since in that first installment (and also in the second, to a large extent) there seemed to be a consensus that the “canonical” version It was the male one, but that changed in Mass Effect 3. Now, the whole character creation process will be more homogeneous and will have more nuances to design the hero to our liking.
But of course, the graphical improvements will go much further. For starters, the resolution will go up to 4K (the original Mass Effect 3 ran at a native 1280×720 resolution on consoles) and HDR. Also, on the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, PS5, and Xbox Series X versions, everything will move at 60 frames per second. On PC, it will be possible to set an aspect ratio of up to 21: 9 and the option to use a controller to play has been included.But not everything will be changes “in the rough”, because Bioware has done a titanic work by going to high resolution tens of thousands of textures (from the settings to the skin of the characters), they have improved the lighting, the depth field, shaders or environmental effects.
Thus, when in a battle we only saw a Reaper in the background and some smoke effect, now we will see flares and columns of smoke everywhere, while we go through more detailed scenarios, with more buildings in the background, rubble …The models of the characters have also been retouched (especially those of Mass Effect 1), so that the small details such as eyelashes, the expressiveness of the mouth or the detail of the hair are now more “believable”. The animations are the same as in the originals, but certain engine routines have been improved that could lead to graphical errors. For example, now the characters look more “intelligently” in conversations, so that they do not appear to roll their eyes or cross-eyed depending on where they look, something that led to quite a few memes in the trilogy.
Original From what we have seen in the videos they have shown us, Mass Effect Legendary Edition will notice the change, especially in the scenarios and special battles, where the highest level of detail and resolution guarantee us quite a show.The improvements in the character models are appreciated and noticeable when compared to the original, but of course they will still be “somewhat” dated, as they are based on the original animation routines. All in all, the visual set looks tremendous, which we are looking forward to seeing on the big screen.
In any case, as we say, beyond those changes we will have the same games as in the originals, so we will not be able to make different decisions than those that previously existed, or access new environments or endings. And speaking of endings, what will happen to the controversial closure of Mass Effect 3? In Bioware, they have not wanted to complicate it and the extended ending that came in the form of a patch will be considered canon (for those of you who do not know the story, fans complained because the original ending was very unclear and left little margin of choice and in Bioware, it altered with a later download), so the original ending will not be present.
Something that will not be present, by the way, will be the multiplayer mode … And that is something that has hurt us because we loved the multiplayer of Mass Effect 3! But hey, we will not have time to get bored, because all the weapons, armor, and accessories packs will be available from the beginning of the game, in addition to its immense collection of expansions for the story (and the corresponding extra characters for the squad that was included in them).
Replaying Leviathan or The Lair of the Shadow Broker is a small pleasure that also helps to understand this universe much better. As you can see, Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be a compilation that will play safe, but that will be a joy for those of us who marvel at the original games. We, of course, are looking forward to playing them again! And those who have not tried them yet will surely end up saying (when May 14 comes, and a little later to PS5 and Series X / S), that endearing resource of “I am Commander Shepard and this is my favorite trilogy of the Citadel”.