I’ve long been a fan of the Mass Effect trilogy, so when BioWare released the Mass Effect Legendary Edition reboot, I was overjoyed. I’m looking forwards to replaying the games, particularly now that the development team has revealed some of the major changes coming with the reboot.
On Wednesday, BioWare took a moment to tell Mass Effect fans what changes they could expect to see in the upcoming remake of the trilogy, Mass Effect Legendary Edition. In a lengthy blog post, the studio goes over many gameplay enhancements for all three entries. As can be expected, the first in the series got the most attention because it was much different from what we saw in ME2 and ME3.
The fighting in the first Mass Effect has been greatly improved. In the original title, fighting was much more “dice roll and pen-and-paper” RPG-like, according to BioWare. This battle randomness sometimes left the player perplexed as to why they missed a perfectly fired shot. For a more streamlined experience, the team decided to align battle with ME2 and ME3. BioWare reported multiple battle changes made to ME1, some of which are as follows:
- Weapon accuracy and handling has been significantly improved
- All relevant enemies now take headshot damage in the first game
- Ammo mods (Anti-Organic, Anti-Synthetic, etc.) can now drop throughout the whole game
- All weapons can be used by any class without penalty
- Weapons cool down much faster
- Squadmates can now be commanded independently of each other in the first Mass Effect, the same way you can command them individually in Mass Effect 2 and 3
Another big area for improvement was with the M-35 Mako. The planetary vehicle in the first game was very “floaty,” so the devs tuned the physics to make it feel more weighty and controllable. Its shields now charge faster, and the team added rear thrusters for a speed boost. The jump jets are still there, and each set of boosters has its own recharge time so that you can use them independently or together. They also removed the XP penalty while in the Mako.
BioWare did not ignore the other two games, of course. All three have an improved cover system and rebalanced ammo spawning in ME2 (more frequent drops). All the weapon and armor DLC packs are included in the Legendary Edition, but the team has integrated them into the game. Rather than making the packages available as soon as players start, they will be obtainable through missions and shops.
The character builder was redesigned to be a single framework for all three games by the team. In addition to being visually beautiful, the models will now be consistent through sports. If you want to give your character a unique appearance, the editor has a plethora of options. Presets are still open, and the ME3 default Femshep is now the default for the other two games. The original ME1 Femshep preset is still available.
ME3 hasn’t seen much attention aside from the addition of 4K textures and bug fixes. However, the team felt the Galaxy at War needed to be rebalanced. Essentially, the difficulty of Reaper War can be determined by how much material the player completes. Those who play all three games would have an easier time and a better result than those who just play from the beginning of ME3.
“Playing the first two games and carrying over your progress is the most reliable way to get good results in the final hours of the Reaper War. For comparison, if you previously played ME3 with the Extended Cut (which included Galactic Readiness rebalancing), fully preparing for the final fight will be more difficult to achieve in the Legendary Edition. And on that note: the Extended Cut ending is now the game’s default finale.”
BioWare promised to take us on a deep dive into the visual updates in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the developers invite you to try out IGN’s sneak peek at the title. It seems to be amazing.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be released on May 13 for PlayStation 4, May 14 for Xbox One, and May 15 for PC (via Steam or Origin).
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