This past Saturday was November the 7th, also known as N7 Day to all the Mass Effect fans out there - and for most of us, this was our favorite N7 Day on the Citadel.
For the past few years these days generally passed without anything noteworthy, maybe a few merchandise sales, but that's it. Mass Effect fans haven't had anything to be excited about since Andromeda, and that title remains controversial - but that all just changed: BioWare has revealed Mass Effect: Legendary Edition and announced that an all new Mass Effect game is currently in early development!
I Should Go... Back
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is the name of the trilogy remaster that has been rumored for some time now. The first game in the series was launched all the way back in 2007, and it definitely shows its age. It takes more than dated graphics to tarnish an iconic and well-loved classic like that, but fans have been dreaming of experiencing that first adventure with the best visuals modern technology has to offer.
That dream will come true, with both sequels and every piece of DLC coming along for the ride. There's a brief teaser out, with not one but two appearances of Garrus. You have been warned.
The goal here, as Vice President and Studio General Manager Casey Hudson stated, wasn't a full-on remake of these games (along the lines of the recent Resident Evil remakes) but rather remasters that touch up the visuals, mechanics and performance of the games we know and love.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition will include the three mainline games and all of the singleplayer DLC released for all three, including pre-order bonuses, promotional weapons and armor and major story content.
It would have been nice to see the content of the trilogy all spliced together seamlessly into one game with unified gameplay and engine, but alterations of that magnitude would demand a whole new game's budget - if not three.
The inclusion of all the DLC is a huge boon to many fans who got into the series later on, or bought localised versions of the games. The DLCs for Mass Effect haven't been available for some time now, while later Mass Effect 2 DLCs - including Lair of the Shadow Broker and Arrival, which are not only absolutely fantastic but also plot-essential for Mass Effect 3, and key choices imported via save files can affect the third game - simply didn't work at all with localised installations.
Some fans, yours truly included, went and bought the damn game twice. It's nice to be able to get the full experience in one neat package - some long-time fans will be experiencing content like Bring Down The Sky or Pinnacle Station for the very first time.
All the textures will be updated - no more low-rez Garrus in ME1! - and optimized for 4K UHD, shaders and models are all being revamped to provide the kind of graphical fidelity we've come to expect from contemporary games and all kinds of lighting effects are getting necessary upgrades as well.
The game will launch on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in Spring 2021, with appropriate graphical enhancements available on the two new consoles. The team is also addressing some of the bugs that never got fixed back in the day, so hopefully Conrad Verner won't think you punched him in ME2 regardless of your actual decision.
Into The Stars
The long awaited Mass Effect: Legendary Edition announcement isn't the only big news Hudson dropped on N7 Day - an all new game set in the Mass Effect universe is currently in early development with a veteran team working on it. After Andromeda ended up being somewhat disappointing to many, BioWare needs a big win to restore the franchise's standing and they know it. In the time since the release of the last game, it got out that it was practically developed by interns while the real muscle was poached for Anthem - oops - so it makes sense that the announcement points out that the devs are 'veterans'.
Since the game is still in the very early stages of development, only a single piece of concept art has been shared alongside the news that it exists. Soak in the image - nothing you see here will probably make it into the final release!