About three years ago, I replayed the Mass Effect trilogy for the first time since the launch of Mass Effect 3 in 2012. I had replayed ME and ME2 several times before ME3 came out, but for some reason I didn’t go back to the trilogy until Andromeda came out. (For the record, I was satisfied with the original ME3 ending, and I really enjoyed MEA too.)
Needless to say, in 2017, I dived back into Mass Effect. However, after 15 rather frustrating hours, I told myself I’d never touch the game again. I even went so far as to not recommend it to newcomers, as I knew it would simply be too off-putting, and they’d never get to the amazing games that came after. From the lack of out of combat sprint, or boosters on the Mako, to the boring environments and repetitive side quests, not to mention the ‘decryption’ mini-game used for absolutely everything (and its dodgy PC controls), my re-experiencing of Mass Effect, a game I had originally purchased my very first console for, left me pretty disappointed.
Fast forward a few years, and my secret Mass Effect dream has finally become a reality, with the Legendary edition. I was sceptical thanks to my most recent ME experience, but cautiously optimistic. Loading up that initial game screen in 4K on my PS5 was just magical. And then, I was able to start the trilogy as iconic Shepard from the very beginning was just icing on the cake. I’d always been frustrated with the character creator, and how different Shep looked in the first game compared to the later games.
Besides the new coat of paint across everything – much nicer than many remasters I’ve played – Bioware had gone back and implemented some quality of life improvements that that first game desperately needed: an out of combat sprint, shorter loading screens, (much) better Mako controls and more. Heck, they even removed the class weapon restrictions and improved that whole overheating thing and made guns shoot where you aim, instead of using an RPG system to determine hits.
In fact, the Mako is now so fun to drive around that I spent a great deal of time just zooming around various planets, launching the Mako off cliffs or attempting to drive directly up an impressive cliff. All of this made it much easier to ignore the fact that the planets were still basically empty except for a few points of interest.
I would now wholeheartedly recommend Mass Effect to fans and newcomers alike. This is the remaster that this stellar game deserves. And don’t worry, there’s still some silly bugs and texture pop-ins for that ‘classic’ feel. We managed to flip our Mako on its back, get it stuck on a tiny bump on the ground, and several times had Shepard’s model refuse to change direction no matter which direction she was running in.