More 05 May 2021 11:28 AM +00:00

Mass Effect Legendary Edition isn't a full remake, but more than a reskin

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It's almost here, Commander(s)! Mass Effect Legendary Edition is just over a week away and we've got everything you need to know about all the gameplay changes and graphical improvements BioWare are making to Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 in the Legendary Edition re-release of their games.

It looks like there might not be any need for those calibrations, Garrus.


LATEST - Day One Patch Information

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is getting a Day One Patch when it launches on May 14th. It's not something we should necessarily expect from games but it's something that's becoming more and more commonplace. If anything, it shows the developers care about the product they're shipping so we can't be too mad.

That being said, Mass Effect Legendary Edition's Day One Patch isn't exactly a small download. As seen on Orbis Patches, it's going to be just over 11GB in size. This is presumably on top of the total 120GB file size for the trilogy.

You might need to clear some space on your hard drive then. The update itself is set to address the following issues:

  • Improves performance
  • Improves stability and fixes crashes
  • Improvements to Ambient Occlusion (AO)
  • Lighting improvements - both visual and performance-related
  • Miscellaneous content fixes

All The Content*

*Except for the Pinnacle Station DLC, due to corrupted files.

EA's Mass Effect Legendary Edition is the complete Mass Effect experience. Well, expect for Multiplayer. We might not know how well it actually plays just yet, but we do know you'll be able to play pretty much anything ever released for the Mass Effect Trilogy over the years.

This includes all the promotional content too! That means you'll be able to get your hands on all the limited-time weapons and armour you might have missed out on for all three Mass Effect titles.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Changes Shephard Reaper
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FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL - The threat of The Reapers has never looked so good

According to BioWare, that totals up to over forty bits of DLC! If you thought playing through Mass Effect took a while the first time around...


Graphical Enhancements

This is, perhaps, the biggest selling point for Mass Effect Legendary Edition. We all know they play pretty well, but Mass Effect did release in 2007. It's going to look pretty rough, either way.

Well, not anymore. BioWare has been hard at work completely overhauling the graphics of the Mass Effect Trilogy to bring Commander Shephard and the Reapers into crisp 4K visuals with HDR support.

You can check out a brief comparison video in the Tweet below that highlights some of the key changes:

Of course, the difference between Mass Effect and Mass Effect in the Legendary Edition release is going to be the most noticeable but these changes have been made across the board for a uniformity never-before-seen from the franchise.

You can check out a more in-depth look at the Visual Improvements from BioWare here.

Modernization Across The Board

The Mass Effect Legendary Edition, as you might expect, isn't just three Mass Effect games anymore. It's a full, complete experience. This means that there are a few "unifying" changes being implemented to help keep things as consistent as they can be across the board.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Changes Character Customisation screen
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LOOKING THE SAME - Shephard shouldn't change much between games anymore

Below, we've listed them all for you:

  • New unified launcher for all three games
    • Includes trilogy-wide settings for subtitles and languages
    • Saves are still unique to each game and can be managed independently of each other
  • Updated character creator options, as mentioned above
    • FemShep from Mass Effect 3 is the new default female option in all three games (the original FemShep design is still available as a preset option)
  • Achievements across the trilogy have been updated
    • New achievements have been added to the trilogy
    • Progress for some achievements now carries over across all three games (e.g. Kill 250 enemies across all games)
      • Achievements that were streamlined into one and made redundant were removed
    • A number of achievements have had their objectives/descriptions and/or names updated
  • Integrated weapons and armor DLC packs
    • Weapons and armor DLC packs are now integrated naturally into the game; they’re obtainable via research or by purchasing them from merchants as you progress through the game, rather than being immediately unlocked from the start. This ensures overall balance and progression across ME2 and ME3
    • Recon Hood (ME2) and Cerberus Ajax Armor (ME3) are available at the start of each game
  • Additional gameplay & Quality of life improvements
    • Audio is remixed and enhanced across all games
    • Hundreds of legacy bugs from the original releases are fixed
    • Native controller and 21:9 display support on PC, with DirectX 11 compatibility

Mass Effect Combat Tuning & Gameplay Changes

In addition to this, the other major change that is being made to Mass Effect is the Combat Gameplay.

We all know the three games play a little differently, but Mass Effect is a little subpar when you compare it to the other two. Thankfully, this is changing and there are a few important tweaks being made that should help modernize each title.

" In the first Mass Effect, accuracy (including reticle bloom and weapon sway) has been tuned across all weapons to allow players to maintain more consistent firepower while still managing their shots/overheat meter. We’ve also improved the aiming down sights (ADS) camera view to be tighter on combat so that ADS is more accurate (like the second and third games), and we’ve improved the aim assist to provide better precision."

Below, we're listing all of the changes we've seen from BioWare so far.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Changes Mako snow
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MAKO MAKO MAKO - The Mako has been improved A LOT in the new release

Mass Effect Gameplay Changes

  • Shepard can now sprint out of combat
  • Melee attacks are now mapped to a button press rather than automatically occurring based on proximity to an enemy
  • Weapon accuracy and handling has been significantly improved
    • Reticle bloom is more controlled
    • Weapon sway removed from sniper rifles
    • Aiming down sights/”tight aim” camera view has been improved
    • Improved aim assist for target acquisition
  • All relevant enemies now take headshot damage in the first game
    • Previously some did not, including humanoid enemies
  • Ammo mods (Anti-Organic, Anti-Synthetic, etc.) can now drop throughout the whole game
    • Previously, these stopped dropping at higher player levels
    • They are now also available to purchase from merchants
  • All weapons can be used by any class without penalty
    • Specializations (the ability to train/upgrade certain weapons) are still class-specific
  • Weapons cool down much faster
  • Medi-gel usage has been improved
    • Base cooldown reduced
    • Levelling benefits increased
    • Increased Liara’s bonus to cooldowns
  • Inventory management improvements
    • Items can now be flagged as “Junk”
    • All Junk items can be converted into Omni-gel or sold to merchants at once
    • Inventory and stores now have sorting functionality
  • Some abilities have been rebalanced
  • Weapon powers (i.e., those that are unlocked on each weapon type’s skill tree) have been improved:
    • Effectiveness/strength is increased (duration reduced in some cases)
    • Heat now resets on power activation

Targetted Combat Changes

  • 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
  • Some boss fights and enemies in the first game have been tweaked to be fairer for players but still challenging
  • Cover has been improved across the trilogy
    • Additional cover added to some encounters
    • Entering and exiting cover is now more reliable
  • XP has been rebalanced in the first game
  • Ammo drops have been rebalanced in Mass Effect 2

Mako Gameplay Changes

  • Improved handling
    • Physics tuning improved to feel “weightier” and slide around less
  • Improved camera controls
    • Resolved issues preventing the Mako from accurately aiming at lower angles
  • Shields recharge faster
  • New thrusters added for a speed boost
    • Its cooldown is separate from the jump jets’
  • The XP penalty while in the Mako has been removed
  • Touching lava no longer results in an instant Mission Failure and instead deals damage over time
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