The entire Mass Effect trilogy is getting remastered with the upcoming Legendary Edition, and we now have a better look at the changes from the original games.
Here are the biggest changes between the original trilogy and Mass Effect Legendary Edition:
Weapons Upgrades – No More Thermal Clips
One of the most frustrating mechanics in the original game was the use of thermal clips as a cool-down mechanic for guns. Well, that’s gone this time, replaced by a cool-down system which should be similar to modern shooters. Class-specific weapon restrictions are also gone, meaning you can pick and choose any weapon you want without being locked out of any inventory choices you want.
Expanded Levels – Who’s Got Time For Loading?
Remember the long elevator rides in Mass Effect? Well, those have been cut down by a lot, and the levels you load into are now more expansive than ever. Previously big areas would have to be cut up artificially by way of including obstructions like blank walls to free up console memory for loading. Now that the new consoles include ultra fast SSDs, and the PS4/Xbox One consoles also have faster HDDs than the generation before it, levels can once again be larger and fit the original vision.
The Mako (no, not that one) has been redesigned and improved with better handling and a slick new ‘boost’ mode.
“It handles better, it targets better. We changed up the reticle when you’re shooting with the Mako now so that it actually hits where you’re aiming. We’ve added boosters to it as well.” – Renata Cronin, Producer, BioWare
Character Creator & Inventory Improvements
The classic character creator has been refined with new additions for more consistency throughout the trilogy, and Female Shepard (from ME3) can now be picked right from the start of the first game. A unified character creator code can be used across the trilogy to access the same custom character you create at the start of Mass Effect.
Inventory management has also been refined, with clearer visibility, and the same goes for the in-game store.
Lighting and Graphical Upgrades
While all of the above are mechanical and gameplay changes, perhaps the biggest upgrade is the visuals, which is natural. It is a remaster after all. The visual changes are most noticeable in the first game’s makeover, which makes sense considering Mass Effect came out all the way back in 2007!
The lighting is not as harsh as it used to be, with more depth to objects thanks to better ambient occlusion. We even get more light sources throughout different scenes, and reflections are now much better.
“Instead of doing screen-space reflections, we’re doing what’s called ‘render-to-texture’ where you’re basically re-rendering the world in a texture in that space.”
As for the 3rd game in the series, which came out in 2012, the changes are more subtle.
“The interesting thing there is we knew that ME1 would need the most work. The more we dug into ME3, we felt like we are more at risk of taking something that was pretty damn good, and making it worse or just making a lateral move where it’s different, but is it actually better?” – Mac Walters, Project Director, BioWare.
Other miscellaneous changes include new achievements, independent save slots for all 3 games, a more natural inclusion of DLC items, and more. You can learn about the changes in more detail in BioWare’s official blog post here.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be available in India at ₹3,999 on PS4, Xbox One and PC (Steam). The game will also be playable on PS5 and Xbox Series consoles with backwards compatibility support.