BioWare lifted the lid on Mass Effect: Legendary Edition a while back, revealing details on the various visual and gameplay improvements they’re making to the original trilogy with the upcoming remaster. Since then, a few more details have been revealed as well, while previously discussed points have been elaborated on, too. Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the biggest pieces of info that have emerged on Legendary Edition over the last couple of weeks.
MASS EFFECT 3 MULTIPLAYER
Mass Effect 3 launched at a time when publishers across the industry were looking to cash in on the rapidly expanding multiplayer market by shoving online modes into otherwise single player experiences. Unlike many other failed experiments though, Mass Effect 3’s horde mode-style co-op multiplayer component was actually really good (barring the loot boxes, of course). Sadly, it won’t be making a return in Legendary Edition. With all the considerations for things such as maintenance of servers, figuring out what to do with the original game’s online playerbase, cross-platform play, and more, BioWare decided it would be better to focus their efforts on updating the single player aspects of the original trilogy.
Of course, Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer component served a pretty important function that tied in with the single player as well. Progression in its multiplayer allowed the Galactic Readiness rating in the campaign to go up even higher, which meant that getting the best possible ending in the game required (in most cases) time to be invested into the multiplayer as well. With multiplayer no longer a part of the package in Legendary Edition, that won’t be the case anymore. Galactic Readiness is now being rebalanced, and will rely solely on single player gameplay. If you’re playing from the beginning of ME1 right up until the end of ME3, your Galactic Readiness should be at a high enough level (depending on the choices you make, of course) to get the best possible ending.
BioWare have promised that all the DLC and expansions released for the entire Mass Effect trilogy are going to be included in a single package with Legendary Edition– or, well, nearly all of them. Mass Effect 1’s Pinnacle Station DLC is one of the exceptions. Why? Well, though BioWare had every intention of including it, it turned out that the original source code for the DLC was lost, and the backups that they did manage to recover were corrupted.
The elevator rides of Mass Effect 1 have achieved a legendary meme status within the series’ fanbase. The game would mask extremely long loading times behind these rides, with Shepard and his companions standing together in awkward silence for upwards of a minute at times. With improved hardware and, as such, shorter loading times, Mass Effect 1’s elevator rides in Legendary Edition are going to be significantly shorter. You can take longer rides to fuel your nostalgia for the original game, of course, but for players who’re looking to save some precious seconds, there’s going to be an option to skip the elevator rides with the press of a button.
The original Mass Effect trilogy was known for its high production values, but though it was a pretty polished experience by and large, there were still plenty of bugs and glitches to go around. Animations for characters in particular could be quite buggy at times, from jarring transitions to jerky movements and what have you. With the upcoming remaster, BioWare have taken the opportunity to sand out those rough edges. The animations haven’t be rewritten, and the framework from the original games have been carried over, but many of the bugs that were prevalent in the original story have been polished away.
MASS EFFECT 3’S ENDING
Mass Effect 3’s controversial ending isn’t something that any fan of the series is going to forget any time soon. Of course, responding to the backlash and outrage at the time, BioWare decided to release an Extended Cut, which provided additional context and scenes to flesh out the ending and make it – if not good, at least much more easily palatable. In Legendary Edition, that’s going to be the ending by default. The original ending from the 2012 ending is going to be replaced entirely, with BioWare now considering the Extended Cut to be the trilogy’s default ending.
While visual improvements and upgrades are plentiful in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, that’s not to say gameplay improvements haven’t been made as well. Notable, AI for both squadmates and enemies have been improved. Enemies are going to react to you and your actions in much more formidable fashion, while squadmates will now do a much better job of taking positions around the battlefields and actually listening to the commands that you issue. The latter in particular could be an issue at times in the original trilogy (especially in ME1), so it’s good to know that the remastered trilogy is addressing that.
MASS EFFECT 1’S HUD
Mass Effect 1’s gameplay differs quite a bit from its two successors, but with Legendary Edition, BioWare have made a concerted effort to unify the trilogy and make the entire package a much more cohesive experience. That’s going to be evident in the first game’s HUD as well, especially during combat. Combat HUD is now going to look a lot more like what fans will remember from Mass Effect 2 and 3, so jumping from one game to the next throughout the trilogy is going to feel like a much more cohesive experience with Legendary Edition.
IMPROVED MAKO HANDLING
That Mass Effect 1 has aged the worst out of the entire original trilogy is pretty much an undisputed fact, and the one aspect of that game that stands out in those aged elements is the Mako section. Ridiculous handling and hilariously bad physics were major issues that made driving the Mako a bit of a nuisance at times- apparently, that’s not going to be the case in Legendary Edition. Improved handling, a better sense of weight, balanced speed and acceleration, proper physics, a better camera, and even an alternate control scheme have been added to the game to make driving the Mako a much better experience.
Something else that BioWare have done with the entire trilogy at large in Legendary Edition is rebalancing XP and progression. New Game + is still going to be included in all three games, but where previously doing multiple runs of the games often felt like a requirement to be able to make some specific choices and experience the content they led to, that’s not going to be the case this time. Hitting the level cap is going to be much easier even with single playthroughs, which means that the only thing blocking content will be the choices you make rather than not having done enough playthroughs.