Mass Effect has always been one of my favourite franchises. Its rich universe that was explored over the course of three amazing games became very important to me. The long-lasting bonds I made with its memorable cast of characters still resonate with me today. When it was first announced that not only was the franchise to continue but that it would also be getting a remaster, I grew excited. While I tried to remain as impartial as possible, it bears mentioning that Mass Effect’s profound effect on me meant that a large amount of care needed to be taken with the review. Nevertheless, I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t believe that the dedication Mass Effect: Legendary Edition commits to bringing the original trilogy into the modern era is phenomenal.
“Even on a base PS4 Mass Effect: Legendary Edition looks absolutely stunning.”
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is not as extensive of a remake as some people have mistakenly believed. However, it is also a far greater accomplishment than a mere remaster. For example, the visuals are greatly improved in the Legendary Edition. By today’s technological standards, the original trilogy can feel quite dated in places, particularly in the very first Mass Effect.
The jump from the original visuals to the new and enhanced 4K 60fps graphics is a sight to behold. It manages to capture the essence of how you remember the original trilogy looking, without sacrificing any of the charm and spectacle of those games. Even on a base PS4 Mass Effect: Legendary Edition looks absolutely stunning.
However, while the more superficial upgrades to the original trilogy are readily apparent, the overall improvements made to gameplay are far more substantial in depth. Significant changes such as the new Legendary level cap of 1 to 30 in Mass Effect and an overhauled character creator show a deep level of care from Bioware.
“While I actually enjoyed the Mako’s infamously clunky controls, I have to admit that it feels a lot smoother here.”
Additionally, the slight alterations made to combat help create a sense of unity across the three games. Things such as reticle bloom and a swaying crosshair, which were jarring problems in the original game, are barely noticeable. Given that the combat evolved as the series progressed, these changes help to unify the experience across all three games. It is also great for newer players as it helps acclimate them to the deep RPG feel that made the first game feel so different to the rest.
Even the Mako has been given an upgrade in the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. While I actually enjoyed the Mako’s infamously clunky controls, I have to admit that it feels a lot smoother here. It’s easier to control, so you don’t always fly off in a direction you don’t mean to. It even has received a booster which greatly improves traversal. It’s a hugely welcome addition for original fans of the games. It also ensures that newcomers won’t ever endure the pain we all went through in the original trilogy.
“In terms of just the improvements made to the game’s visuals and gameplay, I honestly believe that Bioware has done nothing but improve on an already phenomenal experience.”
In addition to the myriad of changes made to the base game, the DLC for all three games has been overhauled as well. It is no longer a case of the DLC just being thrust upon the player once installed. Instead, all of the DLC has been reworked to appear more seamlessly. Extra weapons and armour now appear throughout each game in a variety of stores or as obtainable research. Story DLC can now be tackled at your own pace. This mitigates the issue of either doing it all at once after finishing the game or restarting.
In terms of just the improvements made to the game’s visuals and gameplay, I honestly believe that Bioware has done nothing but improve on an already phenomenal experience. While there may be a few technical issues such as lighting, which I am confident will be fixed with patches, it is clear that Bioware wanted this collection to be the very best version of the trilogy as possible. I strongly believe that they have accomplished this. Hopefully, Bioware keeps this level of commitment to great game design in mind for their next game.
“Mass Effect: Legendary Edition manages to show that not only are Bioware still good at what they do but that they are ready to listen to their consumers.”
In recent years, Bioware as a developer have regrettably not delivered games to the standard consumers have come to expect. Games like Anthem and Mass Effect: Andromeda showed consumers that they may not have necessarily been listened to. Their most recent efforts deserve to be commended, but it just didn’t quite work for the market we have today.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition manages to show that not only are Bioware still good at what they do but that they are ready to listen to their consumers. Each game in the trilogy received the amount of love and care that everybody always wanted. They went over each with a fine-toothed comb and recognised what needed changing. They not only did that but gave fans hope for the future of the franchise.
“I was absolutely blown away and amazed by the changes Bioware have made here.”
Honestly, I’ve gone back and forth on what my verdict for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition should be. As much as I deeply love the franchise, I went in as unbiased as I could. I took off my nostalgia goggles and looked for anything that might be wrong. I even looked for things that could detract from the accomplishments of the original trilogy.
And yet, as much as I tried, I failed to find a single fault. Even with some of the most critically acclaimed games I’ve played, I’ve been able to find little things that I would change to make it that bit better. However, with Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, I have not found a single thing that I would alter. I was absolutely blown away and amazed by the changes Bioware have made.
For any first time players, this is the definitive way to experience these incredible games. This is also the best time to play the trilogy, as modern games seem to be lacking the Bioware magic of yesteryear. For returning players, there is still a lot to love. You’ll still get to experience this masterpiece all over again, except this time, even better.