MASS EFFECT LEGENDARY EDITION
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on June 1, 2021
Back in 2007, the very first game in what was to become the iconic Mass Effect series saw the light of day. We met commander Shepard for the first time and went on numerous adventures throughout the expanses of the universe together. In 2010, a second game followed which, to be fair, was a lot better than the first one in terms of gameplay and graphics. Then, two years later, Mass Effect 3 joined the ranks and concluded the original trilogy. Now, some 9 years after the release of Mass Effect 3, all three of these games have been overhauled to meet the demands of modern gamers. But is this a good thing...?
The short answer to this is an unequivocal "YES". I mean, I loved the original games. Sure, the first one handled like a pregnant cow on an ice skating rink, but the essence of what makes a cool RPG was there. By the time the second game arrived, the developers had listened to what the fans had to say about a few things and made a much better game for it. This meant the second and third game in the original trilogy looked and sounded the part, and handled like an absolute dream! So if you wanted to play the entire trilogy, you had to slog yourself through the first game in order to fully enjoy the second and third entries in the series. Well, thanks to a bunch of hard work by the people at BioWare, we can now fully enjoy all three games in the trilogy in glorious 60fps 4K, with improved visuals and handling.
The changes made by the developers mostly have to do with the games' graphics. High resolution texture maps for both characters and environments give the game way more detail, while the improved lighting systems make for a much prettier view of things. Also, reflective surfaces had a major overhaul, bringing even more depth to this highly detailed universe. Then there's improved anti-aliasing, color-grading and shadow effects. But it's not just the graphical side of things that has received an upgrade. I mean, The legendary edition versions of Mass Effect 2 and 3 are more remasters, while the extensive work that went into upgrading Mass Effect 1 is much more akin of that of a remake. This is why, out of all three games in the Legendary Edition, Mass Effect 1 is the absolute winner in terms of upgrades. This is mainly because of the fact that this first game not only received massive improvements to its graphics, but also in terms of gameplay, making for a much smoother ride than ever before.
If you remember playing the original Mass Effect back in the day, you may also remember the frustration you undoubtedly felt while playing it. From the unwieldy menu structure to the clunky controls, we overcame it all just so we could see what commander Shepard would do next. Well, good news, sportsfans; the Legendary Edition version of Mass Effect 1 features none of that and has been heavily tweaked to more closely resemble the look and feel of Mass Effect 2 and 3 which, of course, is a very good thing! Even the menu structure is standardized across all three games, giving the collection a much more coherent feel. The handling of vehicles has also improved, resulting in the fact that you are no longer wildly catapulted across the playing field when colliding with a seemingly minor obstruction, especially when driving the Mako ground vehicle.
A huge improvement across the board is definitely the improved loading times, which makes good use of the better hardware featured in modern machines. No longer are you trapped in those seemingly endless elevator rides or loading screens. This speeds up the pace of the game, and makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Now, Mass Effect was never known for its speed and, being a true RPG, this was never the intention. If you want blistering speed, you're still better off playing games like doom, but the overall Mass Effect adventure is given a much needed speed boost through the decrease of loading times, so loading screens no longer make the game come to a grinding halt. All this provides you with a much better sense of immersion.
The Mass Effect Legendary Edition is truly a worthy addition to your game collection, provided your into the RPG genre and science fiction. The story arc that spans these three games remains as awesome as it ever was, but the games just look and feel better than before. True, these changes are most noticeable when playing the first game, but then again, this was the game that needed them the most. Nevertheless, although less noticeable, the second and third game also profit from this legendary overhaul. All in all, the original Mass Effect trilogy is now ready to be enjoyed by a whole new batch of gamers and returning players alike. If you have not played any of these games before, this is your chance to really dive in. If you have played and loved the Mass Effect games before, you can now do so in a much more enjoyable way, without the hiccups that use to make them somewhat frustrating at times.
So yes, I would really recommend you get your hands on a copy of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition and see why these games have always been and still are loved by millions of gamers across the planet. The first three Mass Effect games give you an unparalleled taste of science fiction RPG at its finest and this new collection, which contains the remastered versions of all three games plus over 40 DLC packaged, lives up to its name, because it is truly legendary!