We have a lot of exclusive Mass Effect Legendary Edition benefits ready to enjoy with even more on the way, but what can gamers actually do? expect the next remaster of the trilogy? Here’s a look at the changes, tweaks and more you can expect when the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect releases on May 14.
Newcomers to the world of Mass Effect and returning N7 veterans will once again be able to board the Normandy, but this time around the experience is a little more polished and includes content that honestly should have been in the base game to start (looking at you, Leviathan and Shadowbroker). With the term “remaster” offering a wide spectrum for what it really means, here’s what this particular experience will have to offer compared to the Legendary Edition:
While the trilogy as a whole hasn’t seen any remake-level graphical changes, it’s hard to deny the impressive changes made in the first game to make it more consistent with the next two. While Mass Effect 2 also saw some much-loved beauty bumps, the greatest remaster love can be felt in the first game.
The game itself will come with a new launcher so the entire collection (including all DLC) can be enjoyed, all remastered for 4K UHD. Improved models, shaders and effects can also be seen, especially when it comes to overpainting for key areas such as Ios, Eden Prime, and Horizon. Also, no more spooky wooden teeth for our human teammates! Ashley especially seemed to really have the short end of the stick of teeth in the original first set, making her look like George Washington with this wooden grid. No more! Normal teeth for everyone, which makes it a bit nicer to engage with these people one-on-one.
One of my personal favorite improvements comes from a change that has been shown to us about Feros. When on Noveria, Shepard et co. walk through a series of bridges littered with debris and signs of chaos. You could see smoke and fire, but there was no real nuance to the destruction other than just knowing it had happened. One of the improvements with the remaster is the introduction of a background teeming with signs of struggle and more effects added to the bridge itself to show signs of the ongoing conflict against the Geth and Saren. It might seem small, but these little upgrades work wonders when it comes to immersion.
Kinematics also got a boost, both in terms of lighting and overall feel. Almost everything has had a lighting overhaul, making some of the prettiest landscapes even more beautiful and the scariest moments aren’t so much dependent on the red overlay.
Players will also be able to choose between Focus on quality and Promote frame rate to determine their gaming experience, which delves into performance territory by focusing on higher FPS versus higher resolution.
Other improvements include:
- Improved depth of field
- Dynamic shadows improvements
- Unified motion blur solution
- Stray light improvements
Improvements specific to Mass Effect 1
In addition to the large-scale effects and re-ignition mentioned above, the combat HUD and gameplay mechanics of the first game have been improved, with the HUD being shaped after Mass Effect 2. Mako improvements have also been added, this that you can find out more here.
You can also read more about how those iconic elevator load times have changed (don’t worry, the jokes are still there) with our in-depth dive with Mac Walters from BioWare here.
Other improvements specific to ME1 include:
- Improved coverage for combat
- Improved input and controls
- AI improvements
- Weapons globally rebalanced (class restriction removed)
- Improved camera angles
- Better sound design in and out of combat
- A full world building pass through all worlds including lighting, visual effects and audio
Base performance improvements can be seen with 60 FPS on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with uncapped FPS on PC and PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X. The team also added full resolution audio, rebalanced the mix entire game audio, added DX11 on PC and harmonized all mission PCs. That doesn’t even count the hundreds of bugfixes the trilogy didn’t tweak. PC gamers can also look forward to getting controller support for the first time, which is a nice bonus!
Customization of characters
Listen, I know we’re all attached to our Shepards but it’s time to be honest with yourself: your Mass Effect 1 FemShep was ugly. I know, I know, you don’t think so, but it was actually pretty hard not to turn your Jane Shepard off to a young off-mark Joan Rivers and no love for her will change that. Luckily, BioWare knows we deserve better, and they’ve made some changes that are necessary for how character creation works.
First of all: FemShep’s default “Iconic” face was only introduced in Mass Effect 3 but now this model is available in all three games. You can see her in all her Mass Effect 1 glory in the screenshot above.
More hairstyle options are also available, including the tight braid hairstyle introduced in Mass Effect Andromeda. More skin tones, more special adjustments and more hairstyles are also available, along with small improvements to already existing options.
You can also access additional casual outfits in Mass Effect 2. Think War, Then Create It fashion.
The spoilers are marked with a black line. To uncover the spoiler, simply click on the black bands in the article to view the words below.
Unfortunately, no cut content was included in the remaster (so for those hoping to romance Kaidan as MaleShep in ME1 or see Tali’s face, we’ve got some bad news.) but the silver lining is that a ton of other content is now available.
When the trilogy first came out, each game had its own set of DLCs. With 2 and 3, this DLC was downright imperative, which made it strange that the team decided to make it a DLC and not in-game at no cost. While some of these were a fun expansion worth paying the extra bucks (looking at you, Citadel DLC), others like Lair of the Shadow Broker, Leviathan, and From Ashes were vital to the story. From Ashes gave players a chance to have a new teammate: the last living Prothean named Javik. Leviathan took Shepard on a whole new (and spooky) adventure to discover the birth of the Reapers and one that gave them life. Lair of the Shadow Broker explains the events of how Liara became the hostess with the most information in terms of information, something that happens no matter what, but you can’t Help me without that particular DLC. Lair also teamed up with the comic which showed Liara teaming up with Feron to retrieve Shepard and put them in Cerberus’ hands.
For the DLC, you can enjoy:
- Bring down the sky
- Zaeed – The Price of Revenge
- Kasumi – Stolen Memory
- Shadow Broker’s Lair
- Firewalker Pack
- Normandy crash site
- Genesis 2
- Mass Effect 3: extended cut
Weapons, armor, packs:
- Equalizer pack
- Aegis Pack
- Firepower pack
- Cerberus weapon and armor
- Arc projector
- ME2 Alternate Appearance Pack 1
- ME2 Alternate Appearance Pack 2
- Fire Fighting Pack
- Ground Resistance Pack
- Reconnaissance Operations Pack
- Collectible weapon and armor
- Terminus weapon and armor
- Incisor M-29
- Blood dragon armor
- Hell armor
- Recon Hood
- Sentry interface
- Umbra visor
- N7 war equipment
- AT-12 Raider
- Chakram Launcher
- M-55 Argus
- M-90 Indra
- Carrying knight armor
To find out why there is no Pinnacle DLC or Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, you can read our interviews with director Mac Walters and developer Kevin Meek with our previous coverage. Here and Here respectively.
The final debate: at the angle of the camera or not at the angle of the camera
The internet is angry with the changes to the trilogy regarding certain camera angles that were by no means necessary and did not change the story in any way, and this change does not impact the scenes of romance. So what’s the problem?
In Mass Effect, FemShep receives a little black dress inspired by N7 while MaleShep gives a chic leather jacket. The character movement was not developed with Jane vs. John in mind, so FemShep was often seen sitting in her completely careless little cropped dress with her knees spread – not a typical pose for this outfit. This is one of the changes made by tweaking some of the movements in the game, making interactions feel less stilted and awkward and more of a natural progression.
Kevin Meek, director of characters and environment, told Metro the team wanted to be careful about how FemShep is in the game, an oversight made in the initial trilogy. “When it came to the animations specifically, we couldn’t really change a lot of those, but there were times when you could switch the camera to not focus on one of those animations,” Meek Explain. “So a male shepherd animation would have him sitting with his legs wide open enough with a low camera where if you were wearing a skirt it would be a bit unflattering. So we can’t necessarily change this animation, but you can increase it. this camera slightly to reduce the problem. “
BioWare also added small changes to her face and the way she picks up light, facial expressions and more to make her more human.
You may have also heard of some changes to Miranda’s buttocks; the discussion there is simply to reduce the amount of camera cuts that have focused on her loot. There were so many times Shepard spoke with Miranda, only to cut awkwardly just to focus only on her butt, which tended to break the immersion when talking about serious topics like … oh, I don’t know … the imminent damnation of all life in the galaxy?
The character model will remain the same. The romance scenes will stay the same, they will just make the camera cuts more meaningful. This is a good thing, because this story is unbelievable.
So this is it! That’s the big scope of what you can look forward to when the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect arrives on May 14. You can check out our other exclusive coverage, including interviews and videos, here with our center.