With just one month to go until the launch, BioWare has done a deep-dive breakdown of just some of the biggest changes coming to Mass Effect Legendary Edition compared to the original trilogy.
First thing first, the visuals. Obviously if you’ve seen the original reveal trailer for the Mass Effect Legendary Edition then you’ll know there’s been a number of visual changes. To help illustrate this more, IGN has published a new comparison video, stacking the new versions of Mass Effect against the originals.
These changes of course aren’t the only ones coming to the Mass Effect Trilogy as Bioware have also posted a lengthy article, listing all the changes. Note, we included some of the bigger chunks of their blog in a smaller format so that it would fit inside bullet points.
Abilities have also been rebalanced in the first game. For example, the “Immunity” ability now grants a powerful defensive buff that lasts a brief period of time instead of being a small buff that lasts indefinitely.
- Improved the aiming down sights (ADS) camera view to be tighter on combat so that ADS is more accurate (like the second and third games), and improved the aim assist to provide better precision.
- Shepard can now sprint out of combat
- Melee attacks are now mapped to a button press rather than automatically occurring based on proximity to an enemy
- Weapon accuracy and handling has been significantly improved
- Reticle bloom is more controlled
- Weapon sway removed from sniper rifles
- Aiming down sights/”tight aim” camera view has been improved
- Improved aim assist for target acquisition
- All relevant enemies now take headshot damage in the first game
- Previously some did not, including humanoid enemies
- Ammo mods (Anti-Organic, Anti-Synthetic, etc.) can now drop throughout the whole game
- Previously, these stopped dropping at higher player levels
- They are now also available to purchase from merchants
- All weapons can be used by any class without penalty
- Specializations (the ability to train/upgrade certain weapons) are still class-specific
- Weapons cool down much faster
- Medi-gel usage has been improved
- Base cooldown reduced
- Levelling benefits increased
- Increased Liara’s bonus to cooldowns
- Inventory management improvements
- Items can now be flagged as “Junk”
- All Junk items can be converted into Omni-gel or sold to merchants at once
- Inventory and stores now have sorting functionality
- Some abilities have been rebalanced
- Weapon powers (i.e., those that are unlocked on each weapon type’s skill tree) have been improved:
- Effectiveness/strength is increased (duration reduced in some cases)
- Heat now resets on power activation
Additional Gameplay Improvements
- Noveria boss room has been reworked
- 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
- Some boss fights and enemies in the first game have been tweaked to be fairer for players but still challenging
- Cover has been improved across the trilogy
- Additional cover added to some encounters
- Entering and exiting cover is now more reliable
- XP has been rebalanced in the first game (details below)
- Ammo drops have been rebalanced in Mass Effect 2 (details below)
With combat comes XP. XP gained during the first game has been rebalanced for better consistency, especially towards the game’s end. Players who complete most aspects of the game should be able to more reliably get to higher levels on a single playthrough rather than needing to play through a second time to do so. Additionally, there is no longer a level cap on a first playthrough.
As a final gunplay change, we also tweaked ammunition in Mass Effect 2. We found that ammo was spawning too scarcely in the original game, so we’ve increased the drop rate for ammo in ME2, particularly when using a sniper rifle since that had a reduced ammo drop rate in the original release.
- Improved handling
- Physics tuning improved to feel “weightier” and slide around less
- Faster shield recharging and new thrusters added to the rear
- Improved camera controls
- Resolved issues preventing the Mako from accurately aiming at lower angles
- Shields recharge faster
- New thrusters added for a speed boost
- Its cooldown is separate from the jump jets’
- The XP penalty while in the Mako has been removed
- Touching lava no longer results in an instant Mission Failure and instead deals damage over time\
Unifying & Modernizing the Trilogy
- Unified Shepard’s customization options in the character creator and even added some new options, like additional skin tones and hairstyles. Can use the same character across all three games.
- Added the Mass Effect: Genesis comics by Dark Horse into the base experience before Mass Effect 2 and 3 as an optional experience
- New unified launcher for all three games
- Includes trilogy-wide settings for subtitles and languages
- Saves are still unique to each game and can be managed independently of each other
- Updated character creator options, as mentioned above
- FemShep from Mass Effect 3 is the new default female option in all three games (the original FemShep design is still available as a preset option)
- Achievements across the trilogy have been updated
- New achievements have been added to the trilogy
- Progress for some achievements now carries over across all three games (e.g. Kill 250 enemies across all games)
- Achievements that were streamlined into one and made redundant were removed
- A number of achievements have had their objectives/descriptions and/or names updated
- Integrated weapons and armor DLC packs
- Weapons and armor DLC packs are now integrated naturally into the game; they’re obtainable via research or by purchasing them from merchants as you progress through the game, rather than being immediately unlocked from the start. This ensures overall balance and progression across ME2 and ME3
- Recon Hood (ME2) and Cerberus Ajax Armor (ME3) are available at the start of each game
- Additional gameplay & Quality of life improvements
- Audio is remixed and enhanced across all games
- Hundreds of legacy bugs from the original releases are fixed
- Native controller and 21:9 display support on PC, with DirectX 11 compatibility
Galaxy at War Rebalancing
- Galactic Readiness is no longer impacted by external factors that aren’t part of the collection, like multiplayer or the old companion app for ME3.
- Fully preparing for the final fight will be more difficult to achieve in the Legendary Edition
- The Extended Cut ending is now the game’s default finale.
- Critical bug fixes and backend improvements made to the Paragon-Renegade system in ME2
- Resolved some legacy issues that inhibited accurate reputation stats from being displayed and outright prevented certain dialogue options from being selectable when they should have been
- Key moments that have been notoriously difficult to achieve in ME2 (and impacted ME3) can now be completed more reliably, leading to better results in the story’s final act.
There you have, just some of the biggest changes that players will see come the May 14 launch. How do some these make you feel? Would you have preferred the games stay the way they were outside of a visual bump, or are these changes all welcomed? Let us know!