Mass Effect Legendary Edition - Review

BioWare has long lost its status as the king of the role-playing game genre, losing the trust of its fans. During its history, the studio has managed to create various projects, it is the games of the Mass Effect series that can be singled out as landmarks when analyzing the current state.

May 19, 2021 - 16:00
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Mass Effect Legendary Edition - Review
Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Perfection of Former Greatness - Review game.

The first part of the space opera about Captain Shepard managed to combine RPG and shooter mechanics, for which it received a lot of positive feedback from both players and the press. This moment can be described as the peak of the studio's success. The subsequent sequel also turned out great, and is even considered by many fans to be the best representative of the series. Then BioWare began to have disagreements with the parent company EA, as a result of which various perturbations in the team followed, which could not but affect the quality of the games produced. The first sad bell was the release of an unsuccessful sequel for Dragon Age. The subsequent Mass Effect 3 was quite a good game, but caused a storm of negative emotions among fans as the final part of the entire trilogy about Captain Shepard. After that, BioWare released several more projects, but not one of them could not return it to the conditional "royal throne", and some even plunged the team to the very bottom. Now, to somehow remind you of its former greatness, the studio decided to release a collection of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, which includes the first three parts of the space opera with all the additions. We have tested it and now we will tell you about our impressions.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition welcomes players with a special menu with a selection of games and basic settings. The developers have unified the character editor, so in each part it has absolutely identical parameters and features. In addition, if you prefer to play a female character, you can choose the appearance from the third part and go through the entire trilogy of the same red warrior, whose model first appeared only in Mass Effect 3. Also, the uniform style of the Alliance and some other characters was brought to a single style.

On the technical side, the authors have done a lot of work. The picture in the updated versions feels clearer and more detailed compared to the original releases. In some places, you can still see small ladders in the elements of the environment, as well as not the best texture filtering in the background, but this is if you find fault very much. For the most part, the collection looks good enough, and the solid age of the first Mass Effect gives only a small number of details and characters on the locations.

It is worth noting that despite the stability and smoothness of the work, in some moments you can notice that the reflection in the glass or other smooth objects is reproduced jerkily. Such moments immediately catch your eye, but they are not very common, so they are unlikely to be very annoying. I would also like to note that the animation of Shepard in the triquel, unfortunately, remained unchanged, and the main character there still moves like a “log”, which is much worse than it was in previous games.

In addition to the increased detail and clarity of the image, the developers have redesigned the lighting and changed some light filters, which made the image less contrasting, and the play of light and shadow now seems softer. Some people may not like it, others on the contrary will seem like a good idea, but personally, these changes did not cause any purely negative or positive emotions. But what really upset me was some glitches. At the time of writing these lines, the developers have already released an update that partially fixes them. Let's hope that over time everything will be fixed, but for now there are still some annoying bugs in the game. For example, during the missions on Feros, the main character's companions periodically refused to move and simply stood still, occasionally teleporting to the area near the main character. In addition, along with the updated textures and 3D models, a strange glitch has appeared in the game, which causes some characters, including the main character, to bulge their eyes-something like in the video about "the door was locked for me". After the patch, this has become less frequent and less obvious, but it still occurs. The situation is similar with another oddity-unnatural animation of the mouth during conversations. In some characters, the lips move in a chaotic manner, which gives the impression that the talking character is either with a broken jaw, or with a severely distorted bite. Now that this has been partially corrected, the conversations no longer look so comical, but they still seem unnatural in places. However, sometimes during the dialogue, the characters may not open their mouths at all or stop abruptly in mid-sentence-even after the patch. It is also worth noting that the remaster of the first part included Russian dubbing, which often does not fall into articulation, sins with repetitions of the same fragments and in general seems simply terrible because of the poor acting of the actors.

I have already managed to get used to such bad dubbing, but for some reason the developers do not allow you to play with the original voices and Russian subtitles. If you choose English, you simply can't turn on Russian subtitles. Let's hope that together with some patch, we will be given the opportunity to hear the much-loved voice of the female version of Shepard performed by Jennifer Hale without switching to the fully English version.

In Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, there are two image output modes: the first one is designed for increased detail and screen resolution, and the second one is designed for the number of frames per second. Depending on the platform, the game can run in 1080p and 30 or 60 FPS, or in honest 4K with 60 FPS. The developers have published a special table where you can see all the combinations, among which there is an option for the Xbox Series X, where the performance can reach as much as 120 FPS at a resolution of 1440p. On the PlayStation 5, where I tested this compilation, there is no native version, so the game works on backward compatibility with the previous generation. However, there is a caveat: on the new system from Sony, regardless of the mode, the game will run at 60 frames per second, so you should immediately set the priority to the resolution and pass it in 4K. During testing, there were only a few moments with short frame rate subsidences, and the rest of the time the game went without any complaints.

The first part underwent the biggest changes. Here you can see a new interface that is close to the solutions from the second and third Mass Effect. In addition, the various mini-games that accompanied all sorts of interactions with computers, the authors replaced with simpler and more understandable QTE-mechanics. It also rebalanced some elements of the gameplay, such as shooting accuracy and pumping speed. The menu has a choice of two systems that are responsible for the experience you get. One-implies the classic 30 levels and the original rate of development of the hero, and the second is the default and increases the maximum level to 60, speeding up the pumping. The second option seems quite exciting, especially if you have already passed the game and want to start again, but atypical for yourself class. The developers also removed the binding of professions to certain types of weapons, leaving only bonuses in the list of skills. Now the scout can run with a shotgun, and the engineer with a sniper rifle.

In that distant 2007, one of the main annoying moments in the game were the elevators on the Citadel, which hid the downloads of various fragments of this location. Now this problem is a thing of the past, and at the touch of a button, all dialogs and news reports stop, and after a couple of seconds, the elevator door opens.

Another irritating element is the rather dreary rides in the Mako six-wheeled armored car, which have remained virtually untouched. The developers have slightly improved the controls, but in general, exploring almost empty planets is just as boring.

Otherwise, the gameplay of the first part is about the same as it was in the original. The weapon does not require reloading, but you need to monitor its heat, and opponents sometimes do not react at all to a hit, so shooting seems much less exciting than in subsequent games in the series. The artificial intelligence of the enemies can fail, and the enemy will just stand, pressed against the wall. Some enemies, despite the long-range weapons, just run close to the team of the main character and go around in circles, firing at this or that character. Similar points were also improved in subsequent games in the series.

The changes in Mass Effect 2 and 3 are mostly cosmetic. It is worth noting that the triquel differs from the first two games in the reputation system. The relationship to Shepard is not divided into “hero” and “renegade " here. Instead, there is a combined scale, where all the points received from the dialogues are summed up. This is done so that players can choose exactly the replicas that they want, and not those that are needed for pumping a certain branch of reputation. On the one hand, the solution may seem reasonable, on the other-it is still a reduction of one of the mechanics of the game, even if not the best. In my opinion, a dialog system that requires you to choose the same type of answers in order to get more points in a particular scale, on which much depends, is in itself flawed. Perhaps it made sense to redesign the reputation system completely for all three parts, making it more variable and interesting. However, such changes may not fit into the remaster framework.

After the presentation of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, there was a lot of talk on our website and forum about censorship, which will affect the angles that show off Miranda's mouthwatering forms. As you progress through its story quest, you will notice that in some places the camera takes a more general plan or moves slightly higher than the original version. However, there are many other moments where you can see the beautiful curves of the heroine. I didn't notice any other unpleasant changes related to modern trends.

Before summing up, I would like to draw attention to the plot of the entire series. Mass Effect is hardly a trilogy in the full sense of the word. The first part lays the foundation for a monumental space opera, and the second-departs from it and reboots the character of Shepard, showing the world of the game deeper and more complex, demonstrating the personal motives of certain characters. Thus, Mass Effect 2 has become a more serious and local work, revealing the dark sides of the universe. The third part was supposed to combine both concepts, making their stories a solid project, but everything went wrong. Screenwriter Drew Karpishin was never allowed to complete the story, and he left the studio. Largely for this reason, the narrative in the third game turned out to be a stand-alone work, which takes little account of the events of the previous part and in fact makes almost all decisions made before this useless. Whatever happened earlier, in the final phase of Shepard's story, this is reflected only in the form of small references and is reduced to the presence or absence of a certain hero in the frame. And the saddest thing is that the team assembled in the sequel, at the beginning of the triquel, is again fragmented. However, in any case, even a blurry ending can't spoil the great and interesting stories that were told in the first two games.

All three Mass Effects are still well played, and the plot of the first two parts leaves all the same feelings of a monumental work and a space epic. However, the technical side of the collection was ambiguous. Some changes and improvements from the developers turned out well, while others did not. Probably, some shortcomings will be fixed by patches. Despite all this, playing Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is fun, and I was happy to dive back into my favorite world. If you want to get nostalgic or plunge into this sci-fi universe for the first time, then we recommend waiting for the patches and then purchasing this collection. Maybe the sales will be here soon.

We went through the PS4 version of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition on the PlayStation 5.

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