by Camrin Santchi
reviewed on PC
I'm Commander Shephard and this is my favorite review on the Citadel
The world of science fiction is a vast one, with different media genres having a very specific titan that stands above the others of its kind. In film Star Wars stands out, television has Star Trek, and video games… Well, this reviewer would proudly suggest that Mass Effect would fit as a contender at the very least.
Originally released in 2007, 2010, and 2012, the Mass Effect trilogy is a vast space opera that follows Commander Shepard, a human in the Systems Alliance military who is the galaxy’s best hope for salvation against a threat that ended all galactic civilization 50,000 years ago. This year, the original trilogy are all re-released with a new coat of polish as the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, which includes all three games as well as every DLC released over the course of the franchise (with the exception of Pinnacle Station, which isn’t available due to the loss of its source code and corruption of what remained).
Does this edition, have a soul?
When gamers boot up Mass Effect Legendary Edition they are met with a lot of moving parts. Origin boots up, as does a unified launcher where a new song called Resynthesis plays and gamers are allowed to pick one of the three games, which then launches said game as another window. On PC, this can sometimes lead to the window not opening properly, fortunately hitting Alt + Enter while the game window is ‘open’ will force it into windowed mode, and from there gamers can make extensive use of the settings to make sure the game runs to their liking. Fortunately, this is the only tech error of any kind that this reviewer discovered during his return to serving aboard the Normandy, and as mentioned it has a pretty easy fix.
One of the big things that sets the world of Mass Effect apart from other sci-fi domains is the mysterious element zero and the effects it has on the Milky Way galaxy. ‘Eezo’, as it is referred to, is the secret ingredient to 'Faster Than Light' movement in the galaxy, allowing civilizations to thrive across the entire galaxy, but it is also responsible for the iconic blues of Mass Effect; The biotic powers that many characters including Commander Shepard may have, the Mass Relays that allow for near instant travel across massive swathes of the galaxy and even the iconic color of the Asari, just one of the creative and colorful species that populate the Milky Way.
As a game Mass Effect Legendary Edition is more than worth it's price, a trilogy of games with easily over a hundred hours of content between them that tell a gripping sci-fi tale of aliens, heroes, and destruction. As Commander Shepard, gamers are joined by squad mates who bring their own skills to the table in a blend of third person shooter and RPG mechanics. Each game balances the blend its own way, from the many impressive types of weapons and armor in Mass Effect to the revamped ability system in Mass Effect 2, all the way to dodge-rolling Gears of War-style come Mass Effect 3. This trilogy aims to have something for any gamer that has their eyes set on the stars.
As a remaster, Mass Effect Legendary Edition makes absolutely certain that returning players are welcomed back with open arms, coming equipped with fixes that fans had been clamoring for (The vehicular Mako’s controls in Mass Effect and a certain photograph in Mass Effect 3 for example). Audio and visuals have been vastly improved and added a lot more subtlety to some of the emotions that characters will express: from the echoes of Shepard’s nightmares as they think about them, to subtle smiles from a squadmate you’re being nice to. The polishing of Legendary Edition is exactly what was needed to further improve upon a series that has held up impressively well for its fourteen years of service to the gaming world.
All in all this remaster is a fresh coat of polish on an already solid foundation, improving the visual and aural quality of the games (Most notably the original Mass Effect) as well as adding multiple quality of life changes and improvements that make certain that Mass Effect Legendary Edition will have fans new and old ready to hunt down Saren, travel past the Omega-4 Relay, and take Earth back, some all over again, and some for the very first time.
Noticeably improved audio and visual quality
Some slight launcher issues