Highly anticipated: I have been a long-time fan of the Mass Effect trilogy, so I was stoked when BioWare announced the Mass Effect Legendary Edition remake. I look forward to replaying the games, especially after the development team outlined some of the significant changes coming to 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 first Mass Effect's combat has been significantly tuned. BioWare noted that combat was much more "dice roll and pen-and-paper" RPG-ish in the original game. This combat randomness often left the player wondering why they missed a perfectly aimed shot. The team wanted to bring combat in line with ME2 and ME3 for a more seamless experience. BioWare listed several combat changes it made to ME1, a few include:
- 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 team revamped the character creator to a unified system across all three games. The models, in addition to being graphically stunning, will now also be consistent between games. The editor also has many more settings to play around with if you're into giving your character a specific look. Presets are still available, and the default FemShep for ME3 is now the default for the other two games. The original ME1 FemShep still exists as a preset.
Not too much, other than adding 4K textures and bug fixes, has been done to ME3. However, the team did feel that Galaxy at War needed rebalancing. Essentially, the Reaper War difficulty will be more dependant on how much content the player completes. Those who play through all three games will have an easier time and more positive outcomes than those who only play from the start 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 said that it would bring us a deep dive into the visual changes in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the devs invite you to check out IGN's sneak peek at the game. It looks fantastic.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be available May 13 for PlayStation 4 and May 14 for Xbox One, and PC (via Steam or Origin).