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Final Review : Mass Effect Legendary Edition (Spoilers)

This is a big game, that required some big time - Tarkan shares his thoughts on the Remastered Mass Effect.

Original Post

When it was announced that the Mass Effect Trilogy was getting a makeover, I was very excited.

In fact, as soon as pre-orders became available, I was onto it.

Some might say that this will lead to bias, (probably doesn’t help that ME2 is one of my most played games of all time) but the fact is Bioware have (thus far) done an excellent job of this remaster.

So, exploring has been pretty fun! – Captured on PS5

As it stands, I’m around 12 hours in to Mass Effect 1 and just wow!

I only played through the original once (once it was finally ported to PS3) and while I really enjoyed the story, I really struggled going back to it for a second attempt. It really just felt so dated compared to the other two games.

Well, not anymore! Mass Effect 1 as part of the Legendary Edition looks and plays very slick.

Yes, it is still Mass Effect. Yes the Citadel stuff still bogs you down a little and yes, the Mako can still be a little awkward to drive around, but it has all been updated to look and feel so much better than it ever did.

Those Mako sequences in the original were just so, so bad, but now, they are actually kind of cool. I am genuinely enjoying traversing different worlds!

Loving the Mako – Captured on PS5

Needless to say, I am still plugging away (Default Femshep) and loving it.

Lets talk quickly about glitches, as I have had a couple of silly things happen.

First, while cruising around, the Mako got knocked over onto its roof and I could not get it to roll back over, so I had to leave the planet and land again. Simple fix.

Second, I had one instance of trying to open a door, the door got stuck and from that point my X button couldn’t interact with anything. The fix was to reload my most recent save, which fortunately I didn’t lose much time (the autosaving is a lot more frequent this time round).

Lastly, I have noticed that in combat when using a sniper rifle, enemies seem to pull out of cover and it can get a little choppy. I’m not sure why this happens, but it seems that at least for now it is something I have to live with.

Nothing game breaking, but there you have it.

It is probably worth noting for newcomers that this is not a next gen game.

Particularly with regards to the original Mass Effect, this game was motion captured with technology from 14 years ago. What Bioware have done is make it look a lot better, and play a lot better, but they can’t fix issues like that with a bit of polish.

I’ll update this further as I go along.

Update – ME1 Completed

Well, I have now made my way through Mass Effect 1.

Happy to say, the story still holds up really well, and overall it is a very playable game.

I have to say though that I forgot how bogged down in equipment you get throughout this first game. There were a number of times I had to shed new gear into Omni-gel because I ended up with too much, that in itself became a bit of a grind.

Also, in the original impressions, I mentioned I was enjoying the Mako – Well, scratch that. Yes, it is improved, but this first game is so Mako heavy, it is reminiscent of the Batmobile from Arkham Knight. With so many planets to explore for maximum completion, it became somewhat of a slog going through them all, on terrain that wasn’t especially vehicle friendly.

I still feel as though this is the definitive version of this original game in the trilogy, however even with the slick new look, it can’t change that being the original game, the direction of where it was heading gameplay wise was still a bit up in the air. It is still well worth playing to experience the first game and to see first hand the choices that needed to be made, but this one still shows its age a touch more than I like.

Update – Partway into ME2

Feels like home.

I can’t say exactly how many times I played through the original Mass Effect 2, I feel like it is somewhere around the 8 or 9 mark, but don’t quote me.

I truly LOVE this game. It was the game that first introduced me to Mass Effect and possibly my favorite in the trilogy.

What a loveable bunch

Everything just seems to flow nicely, from main storyline to the character loyalty arcs.

I won’t lie, there is not a lot that feels different here so far (I am completing all the Ilium missions currently), which is good.

The character models look very good, and the improved details go a long way – Loading times are also notably better. No longer waiting 30 seconds to get the the Commander’s Cabin or traversing through the Normandy.

Not all character models have withstood the test of time

I have been playing through as Engineer class on Insanity difficulty it has been so great to be able to revisit this iconic sci-fi game once again.

Will update further as I continue to progress.

Update – Suicide Mission Completed

There isn’t really a word to describe my love for this game. This was Bioware at their peak, and it was always going to be tough to try and top this offering.

The suicide mission and all the events that lead into it was such a pinnacle for decisions and consequences, I had never experienced anything like it before.

The Suicide Mission stands tall as one of my favourite moments in gaming

I still remember the first time I played through as I lost members of the Normandy, key teammates as all my poor choices played out in full force. Choices that bear weight into Mass Effect 3.

All of my gushing aside, Mass Effect 2 plays like Mass Effect 2 always did, but with vastly improved frame rate (compared to PS3 release) and significantly improved loading times.

In one of the coolest story elements of Mass Effect 2, you briefly take control of another character

You will still scan planets for materials and undertake Hammerhead missions (not too dissimilar to the Mako in ME1, but less in your face and with vastly improved mechanics). If Mass Effect 1 was the original design concept, then ME2 was the game that found its footing with what the series wanted to be. An awesome game that I wish I could experience again for the first time.

Will update as I make my way through ME3.

Update – Partway into Mass Effect 3

Ok, so I have been hard at it trying to make my way through the third and final game of this trilogy.

To keep things interesting, I am once again playing on Insanity difficulty, and this time I am playing as a Vanguard class.

Currently, I have just completed Priority:Tuchanka and am just about to head back to the Citadel.

Firstly, let me say that it is astonishing to see the visual prowess of this series improve through each game, ME3 again looks to be a notable step up visually to ME2.

Gameplay also feels faster paced too- I’m never short of hordes upon hordes of enemies to try and kill.

Importantly, I forgot how genuinely good this game was.

The last time I attempted a playthrough on the PS3, I got bogged down in multiplayer and never ended up completing it, sadly. At least that won’t be a concern for me this time round.

It may seem trivial, but not having to deal with the insanely long loading times moving around the Citadel has really changed the experience for me also.

I will continue to update as I go along, but so far I am very happy with how much game and how much improvement the Legendary Edition has provided for these three iconic titles.

Final Verdict – Mass Effect 3 Complete

It is difficult to put into words the magnitude of weight that was put onto Bioware’s shoulders in creating this third and final game of this trilogy.

After the continued success of Mass Effect 2, it was going to be tough to follow that up, but playing this now, ten or so years on with a more open mind, I feel confident in saying that Mass Effect 3 (as part of the Legendary Edition) is the most exciting of the trilogy to play.

Credit must go out to Casey Hudson and his team of creatives.

Squad goals – The Citadel DLC is a great way to send off an amazing bunch

The intensity of the combat, the rounding out of storylines all play out in such a way that the impact of decisions you have made over the course of the three games carry real heft.

On this playthrough, I had my Shepard romance Garrus, as I had never experienced that relationship in previous playthroughs. What I witnessed was a beautiful love story playing along in the background of an epic sci-fi showdown.

Their final moments together now forever etched into my mind.

ME3 is loaded with intense story moments

And with that, the sheer beauty of Mass Effect is realised. I had a completely new experience, ten years after the original game was released.

In the beginning, I was disappointed that the multiplayer element had not made it into the final version of the Legendary Edition, however, I always enjoyed the multiplayer too much and found myself being pulled away from the main story too often in order to focus on it.

Perhaps, that is why, this time around I truly appreciated the final act of this trilogy.

Combat and action is by far the fastest paced of all three and the most fluid also. Character movement is vastly improved. Every weapon while feeling different to utilise, all feel good.

I won’t give too much away, but I really loved the ending and felt it appropriate, all in all, a fantastic end to a brilliant story.

She is the only one who could have defeated the Reapers

Conclusion

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is the best way to experience your own Commander Shepard storyline. Everything is vastly improved on the originals and considering the fact it is already on sale and offers over 100 hours worth of excellent gameplay, story and lore to delve into, it is a must have for anyone who truly appreciates a great sci-fi storyline.

By Tarkan

Thirty-something father of two who stays up later than he should to juggle playing video games, watching TV and working.