Mass Effect is a great fantasy adventure and a landmark in the gaming industry. This is a successful combination of role-playing game and third-person shooter. The pinnacle of the creative potential of the BioWare studio, after which the developers have seen a certain decline. After the news about the development of the remastered version, we all eagerly awaited information about the project. The other day, Electronic Arts presented a full trailer for Mass Effect Legendary Edition and shared some details. What changes await us in the reissue? Let’s talk about it in this article.
The events of the trilogy develop at the end of the XXII century. Mankind has mastered the technology of interstellar flights with the help of special relays and entered a large galactic family. Different types of intelligent beings peacefully (and not so) coexist with each other, unaware of the impending threat. Once every 50 thousand years there is a global cleansing of the galaxy, and the hour of a new harvest is approaching. Opposing the threat is the brave Captain Shepard with a team that includes representatives of different space races.
Mass Effect 3
The first part of Mass Effect tells the story of the formation of our hero. As a result of his adventures, he learns of the danger of extermination and confronts the vanguard of the invasion. This is a self-sufficient story that opens the door to a large fantasy world. Mass Effect 2 ups the ante by introducing new factions and factions to the scene, and filling the world with new details. The sequel begins with the rebirth of Shepard and does not reduce the degree of drama until the very end. An intense action game with charismatic characters and high variability that determines the fate of your teammates. The game ended on a high note, directly hinting at a sequel. Mass Effect 3 was the culmination of a story where we took part in the battle for our home planet, gathering the last allies, discovering new secrets and trying to turn the tide with an ancient artifact. Paphos gave way to a sense of fatalism and doom, and the degree of drama reached its peak. And this partly played a minus. Constantly increasing the tension and the scale of what is happening, the authors failed to give out the finale, which brought together all the plot threads without rough edges and holes. And the global problem of confrontation between organics and synthetics looked silly against the background of how successfully Shepard established contact with the Gett community. But from the point of view of emotional perception, Mass Effect 3 became a clear catharsis and put an end to the history of the protagonist.
The first part was released on November 20, 2007 on the Xbox 360 console, a year later a version for personal computers appeared, and in 2012 a version for the PlayStation 3. This is one of the first games on the Unreal Engine 3 engine, which was released at the dawn of the Xbox 360 — it is logical that By today’s standards, it looks rather weak. Although subsequent parts were released within the same generation, therefore, technical progress is small.
Mass Effect 1
Resurrecting interest in the series is a good idea. Moreover, Mass Effect: Andromeda received a mixed reception, and the original trilogy left fond memories for many gamers. Also, a new generation has grown up that is not familiar with the trilogy. The re-release of the Legendary Edition is designed for them.
The Mass Effect Legendary Edition includes three numbered parts and 40 add-ons along with bonus weapons and armor. This is a complete collection of all story missions, which is launched through one launcher. There have been some embarrassing moments in the history of the series, when important story missions were moved into separate DLCs, in particular, Mass Effect 3’s Lephiathan. Now you can immerse yourself in the game’s world in the correct logical sequence. Only one addition did not get into the re-release — Pinnacle Station for the first part. It was developed by another studio, the source code is lost, and the BioWare team did not recreate everything. Minor loss, since this DLC offers a number of missions in the combat simulator and does not affect the overall story in any way. There will also be no multiplayer from Mass Effect 3. Peppy mode in which four players fought off crowds of enemies. Completing PvE missions increased the readiness of the galaxy for the final battle. Therefore, in the re-release, the game was rebalanced taking into account the absence of such missions.
Don’t expect Mass Effect Legendary Edition to be reimagined in the spirit of Resident Evil 2 and Mafia Definitive Edition. This is a regular remaster with improved graphics. And the main changes affected the first part, the weakest of the entire trilogy. Before the creation of the Legendary Edition, developers from BioWare consulted with Epic Games about porting to a new engine, but given the scale of the work, it was decided to leave everything on Unreal Engine 3. However, the graphics were seriously redesigned. The developers have improved the textures, including using neural networks. The resolution of some textures has been increased up to 16 times. Detailed character models are used. Lighting has been improved, and this is clearly visible in the first screenshots and videos from the developers. Added reflections, dynamic shadows, improved visual effects.
You can evaluate the changes by our video comparison, which uses materials from open sources.
You can evaluate the changes in the detailing of the characters in the lower screenshots:
The following screenshots allow you to evaluate the changes in the graphics of the first part:
In the original Mass Effect, everything looks sterile and gray. The picture in the Legendary Edition takes on additional volume due to the sun in the visible area of the frame and additional shading. Additional debris has appeared on the ground, smoke is visible behind. One can note the fire escaping from the nozzles of the engines of the all-terrain vehicle, and small burning particles in the air.
The updated game shows more details. If you turn to the video comparison, you can see the better quality of vegetation and water. Some remasters are limited to the banal improvement of textures and effects. In the case of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, more serious work has been done. The developers have tried to saturate the world with a large number of details while maintaining the original design of locations.
Improved cinematic scenes. The game is adapted for high resolutions. There will be support for HDR. The interface has been redesigned, which is now the same for all parts.
The cover system has been improved, which is relevant for the first part — it worked clumsily there. Polished shooting mechanics. BioWare gradually improved the combat system, reaching the state of a convenient responsive shooter by the third part. Now the first game should be perceived more cheerful and dynamic. A unified control system is used, where a gamepad is provided by default. But it is unlikely that there will be problems with the keyboard and mouse.
Announced changes in the partner command system. The physics of the Mako all-terrain vehicle has been improved. Hero animations remain unchanged. This is a minus, the movements of the bobbleheads in the first part are too clumsy.
There will be a single character editor for all games with an expanded set of features. The base models use characters from the third part, but there are also old images from the first parts.
It is noteworthy that in the trailer we were shown only the female version of Shepard. Also in one of the interviews, the excessive objectification of female characters was mentioned, for example, in scenes when the camera shows Miranda’s buttocks during dialogue. Developers will fix such angles. This has already become a topic of jokes on the Internet. BioWare has long been too active in terms of following modern social trends, and their games are fed up with non-traditional relationships. There are fears that some of these moments will be stuck out in the re-release.
The ending of the trilogy, which generated a lot of controversy, remained unchanged. On this issue, we can agree with the developers — you won’t be able to please everyone, and it’s stupid to change something in an established history. Although the «theory of intoxication» looks more interesting than the original denouement. If you do not know what it is, be sure to check out the descriptions and videos on this topic.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is available with English voice acting and subtitles in several languages.
The updated edition will occupy 120 GB. The Legendary Edition supports DirectX 11 but requires only Windows 10. You won’t be able to run the game on older Windows 7/10, as was the case with Mafia II: Definitive Edition and some other games. The developers recommend AMD Radeon Vega 56 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards, which is to be expected for a game that tries to make the most of Unreal Engine 3. It is possible that more powerful solutions will be needed for comfortable 4K performance. A full description of the system requirements in a separate note.
As a result, a worthy remaster of an excellent trilogy looms before us. Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a collection of the original games and all story add-ons with improved graphics, interface and a little polish of the combat system. The biggest difference will be seen in the first part. A good reason to re-immerse yourself in a familiar fantasy world. And for beginners, this is the best option to get acquainted with the series. The cut multiplayer may upset fans, but we all understand that the core of Mass Effect is the story campaign. Therefore, the lack of network missions is a small omission against the backdrop of a large-scale story adventure. The bigger downside is the cost — Mass Effect Legendary Edition sells for the price of a new game. This is 60 euros in the EU countries and 1799 hryvnias in Ukraine. And the owners of the original versions do not have any discount when buying the Legendary Edition. Back in the day, Skyrim owners got the Special Edition for free, and Mafia game owners got a good discount on upgraded versions of the Definitine Edition. Whether the Mass Effect Legendary Edition is worth the money is up to you. The game releases on May 14 on Origin and Steam, as well as on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.