I'm Commander Shepard, and this is the best news on the Citadel.
After years of already dismissing those claims, the remastered Mass Effect trilogy is more real than ever. Mass Effect Legendary Edition finally has an official release date, announced hot on the heels of the remaster's reveal last November. On May 14, we can jump right back into the combat boots of Shepard and save the galaxy - or not - from the Reapers.
BioWare has revealed a slew of new details alongside the release date, giving us a better idea of what to expect from the prettied up version of the seminal space opera RPG. One of the most attractive selling points is the inclusion of all DLC, from the major story expansions - some of which were region locked and thus never before available to many fans - down to the smallest promotional weapon or armor set.
While the three games haven't been spliced together seamlessly, there do have what BioWare calls a shared front-end. You get one executable, and the main menu is where you pick from the three titles in the trilogy.
Progress transfers have been made easier and more convenient, since it's all happening inside the same installation, and there is a new unified character creator with an expanded range of customization options. If you ever felt like you couldn't create the Shepard of your dreams, the Legendary Edition may finally let you realize those plans.
The main technical improvements affect the visuals, with 4K, HDR, and DX11 support, upscaled textures, revamped models, lighting, shaders, ultrawide support and uncapped framerates. The graphical boost will make Mass Effect Legendary Edition feel right at home alongside other next-gen titles. Additionally, the PC version will finally include controller support, a feature missing from the original releases.
Considering the span of time over which the trilogy's installments were released, how much of a remake or remaster Legendary Edition is changes as you progress. The original game, due to its age, went through the most drastic changes, bringing its visuals and overall gameplay more in line with 2 and 3, which were much more similar to each other. The Mako controls were also entirely reworked.
The latter games were mostly left untouched beyond the visuals, aside of one major change in Mass Effect 3: the multiplayer has been cut. This will be a bittersweet alteration for many. Linking the multiplayer mode to the Galactic Readiness stat, which could affect the ending of the game, was widely considered a poor move as many fans were in it for the singleplayer experience only.
On the other hand, Mass Effect 3 multiplayer was also immensely fun. After the game launched it was praised by almost everyone, even those fans who opposed the idea before. BioWare maintained content support of multiplayer with free DLCs for a while, giving players the chance to take control of the many interesting alien species we meet in the Mass Effect universe, something not otherwise possible.
Unfortunately bringing the multiplayer mode in line with everything else the Legendary Edition set out to achieve was simply impossible, and thus it was left on the cutting room floor. This likely means Galactic Readiness is out too, or significantly reworked.
With all three games and all DLC included in this neat, remastered package, it's impossible to argue with the value being offered here. We're definitely looking forward to taking the fight to all the nastiness the galaxy can throw at us on the 14th of May, 2021.
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