In-depth

Mass Effect Legendary Edition changes detailed by BioWare

Quite a lot is happening...

A listing of Mass Effect Legendary Edition changes have been detailed by BioWare ahead of the trilogy’s re-release in May.

Some changes apply directly to Mass Effect and Mass Effect 3, while a host of other changes impact all titles in the trilogy. Of note, Trophies and Achievements seem to have been streamlined across the franchise, meaning some have been removed, refined or even added.

Here’s what to expect, as detailed on the PlayStation Blog.

Unifying & modernizing the trilogy (all titles)

  • 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)
  • Trophies across the trilogy have been updated
    • New trophies have been added to the trilogy
    • Progress for some now carries over across all three games (e.g. Kill 250 enemies across all games)
      • Trophies that were streamlined into one and made redundant were removed
    • A number of trophies 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

Additional gameplay improvements (all titles)

  • 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

Combat tuning (Mass Effect)

  • 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

Mako tuning (Mass Effect)

  • Improved handling
    • Physics tuning improved to feel “weightier” and slide around less
  • 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

Galaxy at War rebalancing (Mass Effect 3)

  • The Extended Cut is the game’s finale
  • 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
  • Readying your intergalactic armies will be made a bit easier by a number of critical bug fixes and backend improvements made to the Paragon-Renegade system in ME2

Update: BioWare has today published a trailer that shows off a host of the changes already detailed. It’s below.

Expect Mass Effect Legendary Edition from 14 May on Windows PC via EA Play and Steam alongside Xbox One and PS4.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

14 May 2021
PC PS4 Xbox One
 

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.