Mass Effect Legendary Edition – appealing to both new players and veteransPublished August 17, 2021
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a single-player, third-person shooter, action role-playing compilation of the video games in the Mass Effect Trilogy (Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3), developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts in 2021. The compilation is available for Play Station 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows. All three games are remastered, visually improved, and technically enhanced. The gameplay centers around an N7 soldier called Commander Shepard and his choices as they drive the course of the game.
Developers of Mass Effect Legendary Edition initially intended to create a remake but opted for a remaster instead. They started working on this compilation in 2019, but not all the games received equal enhancement. For instance, the first entry has more upgrades than the other two. Its graphics, mechanics during the combat, and loading times are impressive.
BioWare increased the texture resolution for each game and adjusted boss fights to make them a better experience for the players. Their efforts resulted in a positive reception, although the first entry seemed to get much more favorable feedback than its counterparts.
The Legendary Edition offers faster moving through the games and makes it easier for players to aim when shooting. Thanks to that, each entry feels more modern, ensuring a visible difference compared to the original games.
The compilation met the best reception in the UK, where it was the best-selling game in the first days of its release. Moreover, Mass Effect Legendary Edition became one of the most successful games for BioWare thanks to having 59.000 concurrent players on Steam after being published.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition includes content from all three entries and almost all DLC initially released. Hence, players can download original promo weaponry, packs, and armors.
All the entries unfold in the 22nd century in an alternate universe in the Milky Way Galaxy. Players play as Commander Shepard, and the goal is to navigate his way through the game and fight against an advanced race in the form of organic starships. These sentient enemies are known as Reapers, and they’re responsible for mass extinctions that occur every fifty-thousand years across the galaxy. These high-tech starships brainwash organic forms of life using indoctrination and mind control. However, they also tend to hire servants who become hybrid beings.
Commander Shepard has the mission to bring galactic peace and take down the enemy. Players can customize their character and determine their moral choices. Throughout the game, they make decisions for him and, in the process, impact the game and its story. Thus, each choice and its consequences affect the following entry, making them interconnected.
What does that mean for the overall compilation, and is it worth your time? Get ready! We’re taking you on a galactic trip and sharing our impressions!
Visually captivating but lacks nuances
It was a different era when Mass Effect came out in 2007. This compilation is adjusted to the new console. However, sometimes these updates highlight parts of the game that didn’t age well. But the Mass Effect Legendary Edition is ideal for those who didn’t play the original titles but remember the fuss and want to see if it was worthy. It’s also a good idea for those who missed the franchise and need an incentive to go back to it.
As a Commander Shepard, you take the role of the first human space cop, who works for a galactic government and goes through various situations that require challenging decisions. For example, whatever you do in the first game will affect how other characters see you or how events unfold. That will have an impact on occurrences in the second and third entries.
Hence, you decide whether you want to be a virtuous leader or a renegade who wants to achieve his goals, even if it includes some ruthless choices. Whatever you do, you have to protect the Milky Way galaxy and stop never-ending conflicts.
However, the system is overly rigid, and it doesn’t allow going beyond Renegade and Paragon decisions. Because of that, it might be easier for you to make a judgment as everything appears to be either morally virtuous or wrong. That also helps the dialogue flow, but the games often lack tension and the element of surprise.
The decision-making and consequential approach are what make this game unique. Yet, its binary system of choices is also what often makes Mass Effect Legendary Edition feel flawed. – That may especially be true in the second title when the player has to decide whether to brainwash a large group of people or kill them. However, the game clearly shows the right decision for you to make should be the first option.
That makes this compilation lack nuance, and it takes away the rewarding feeling it should have. Moreover, the games require having enough Renegade and Paragon options to make a particular choice. As a result, sometimes you have to make a choice you don’t find appealing. On the other side, the stories that follow your decisions make up for the subtle lack of genuinely free will. The compilation maintained the great storytelling the original titles had, with Tali’Zorah probably being the best example. Moreover, it’s amusing to play with relationship options and see how they affect story arcs.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition gives some of the most mesmerizing visuals and makes these games more memorable. Thanks to that, you’ll find something enthralling in this compilation if you’re a returning player. The graphics are more detailed, and the lighting gives life to each setting. But, many unused potentials and unsolved issues still linger, such as the pointless collision of tech and biotic abilities.
Ultimately, remastering content and visually enhancing the series gives enough reasons to dive into this compilation, but the rigid moral system and superiority of Mass Effect 1 spoil the overall impression.
Variety of content and visuals compensate for imperfections
After playing the Mass Effect Legendary Edition compilation, you might think that it would work better if developers remastered each game separately. This way, the first title gets disproportionately more updates and improvements than the other two, making you think something is missing.
Nevertheless, the compilation brims with various engaging content, detailed graphics, and stellar visuals. – That compensates for minor imperfections.