Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a compilation of the video games in the Mass Effect trilogy: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3. It was developed by BioWare with assistance from Abstraction Games and Blind Squirrel Games, and published by Electronic Arts. All three games were remastered, with visual enhancements, technical improvements, and gameplay adjustments. Mass Effect, the first game of the trilogy, has received more extensive upgrades than its counterparts, specifically with regard to combat mechanics, vehicle handling, and loading times.
Development on Legendary Edition commenced in 2019 under the direction of Mac Walters. Although BioWare initially considered other alternatives, they ultimately decided to approach the project as a remaster as opposed to a remake in order to preserve the original trilogy experience. The compilation was announced on November 7, 2020, and was released on May 14, 2021 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The compilation received acclaim for its updated visuals and technical improvements.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition contains single-player base content from all three titles in the Mass Effect trilogy: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3. The compilation also includes almost all single-player downloadable content (DLC) that was originally released for each game, such as promotional weapons, armors, and packs. Set in the Milky Way galaxy within an alternate universe during the 22nd century, the trilogy consists of action role-playing games in which the player assumes the role of Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier who must unite the galactic community against a highly advanced race of synthetic-organic starships called Reapers. Shepard is a customizable character whose morality is determined by the player, and during each game, the player makes choices that can impact the story in various ways. These choices and consequences can be carried forward through the trilogy.
All three titles were remastered for Legendary Edition, which includes updated textures, shaders, models, effects, and technical features. The games also run in sharper resolutions and at higher frames per second than their original counterparts. The compilation includes a launcher that allows players to start all three titles from one place and a universal character creator that includes customization options from all three games. The default female Commander Shepard model from Mass Effect 3, which was previously unavailable in prior installments, is now usable across the trilogy. The second and third entries feature similar gameplay to their original versions, but have received some adjustments, such as the rebalancing of the “Galactic Readiness” system from Mass Effect 3 to compensate for no longer having a multiplayer mode. Also new to each game is a photo mode.
Mass Effect has received more extensive upgrades than its counterparts, and is akin to a partial remake. The game includes additional visual updates, such as the addition of smoke effects and volumetric lighting to certain levels, and modified skyboxes. Combat has been updated in an attempt to feel more consistent with the sequels, including improved aim assist with a stickier lock-on, a dedicated melee button, rebalanced weapons, and smarter enemy and squad artificial intelligence. Certain boss encounters have received adjustments in order to feel less frustrating, such as expanded layouts and more frequent auto-saving. The Mako, which is an all-terrain vehicle that is primarily used by the player for traversal, has received a speed increase and updated physics. Exploration around the world has also been tweaked, such as reduced time spent in elevators that are utilized as a way to hide loading screens, which was a commonly criticized aspect of the original game.