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On February 2, 2021, BioWare provided details of Mass Effect Legendary Edition to the press. The release date was confirmed as being May 14, 2021, and will launch on Steam and Origin for Microsoft Windows as well as on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (with targeted improvements for running the game on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. It was confirmed that all DLC related to story content, promotional weapons, armors and packs will be present. A universal character creator will be included, meaning that additional male and female Commander Shepard customisations that originally shipped with Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 will now be available in the remastered version of Mass Effect. All three games will also now have unified settings and native controller support on PC, and will all support 4K resolutions, HDR lighting, and DirectX 11. Bioware used machine learning techniques to upscale textures, and all three games will support high refresh rates and ultra-wide (21:9) displays on PC.
Changes to Mass Effect
The remastered version of Mass Effect can arguably be described as getting a more substantial rework than the subsequent game in the series; the new enhanced version features heavy improvements related to its exploration, squad controls, squad AI, combat system, aiming, team AI, camera positioning and user interface systems to bring it closer in terms of functionality to the sequels. The Mako, the vehicle used for planetary exploration, also gets an overhaul to its handling, a common complaint from players of the original game.
Bioware also confirmed that due to the issue that prevented them from bringing Pinaccle Station to the PlayStation 3 (which was because the original source code had become corrupted), the remastered Mass Effect will include only the Bring Down the Sky DLC. Loading times have also decreased while in the elevators; a typical ride now takes around 14 seconds, rather than 52 seconds in the original game. Experience has also been rebalanced, so a player can now get to Level 60 in a single playthrough without having to do a New Game+, while melee attacks now also have a dedicated button. There is also a rebalanced Legendary Mode that allows the player to advance to a level cap of 30.
Changes to Mass Effect 2
The remastered version of Mass Effect 2 will be retaining all of its DLC. Most notably, this means that the Arrival DLC will always have the opportunity to trigger the change to the story in the initial five minutes of Mass Effect 3 if the player has completes the mission prior to exporting their character. The Genesis DLC will also be included, meaning players can immediately jump into Mass Effect 2: Legendary Edition and have some control over some major game choices without having to play Mass Effect: Legendary Edition first.
Changes to Mass Effect 3
The remastered version of Mass Effect 3 will be retaining all of its single-player DLC; multi-player functionality will not be included, although Bioware did tweet that they would examine bringing it back if the playerbase was keen on it returning. As a result of the lack of multi-player, the Galaxy at War system has been reworked, with a much easier journey to the best ending if the player imports a character that has played through the first two games, although the best ending is still possible to attain by playing Mass Effect 3: Legendary Edition without importing a character at the start if the player does absolutely everything. The Genesis 2 DLC will also be included, meaning players can immediately jump into Mass Effect 3 and have some control over a few major game choices. The Extended Cut DLC is also included and now becomes the standard ending.
- Differences between Mass Effect and Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
- Differences between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 2: Legendary Edition
- Differences between Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect 3: Legendary Edition
- Rich Stanton (February 2, 2021). Mass Effect Legendary Edition: release date, all the new details, and everything we know. PC Gamer.