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Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Comparison Footage Shows Big Changes, Improvements Detailed

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Mass Effect: Legendary Edition arrives in just a little over a month, and BioWare is showing off some of the improvements they’ve made to the game. First off, courtesy of IGN, we have some comparison footage, which showcases ME: Legendary Edition’s improved textures, lighting, character models, performance, and more. Don’t expect cutting-edge next-gen graphics, but the original Mass Effect definitely looks much improved (the footage focuses on the original game). Check out the video for yourself, below.

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Meanwhile, BioWare has also detailed the gameplay changes and improvements you can expect in Legendary Edition:

Combat Tuning

  • 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

Additional Gameplay Improvements

  • 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
  • Ammo drops have been rebalanced in Mass Effect 2

The Mako

  • 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

Unifying & Modernizing the Trilogy

  • 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

BioWare is also tweaking Mass Effect 3’s “Galaxy at War” strategic mode to remove tie-ins to the now-cut multiplayer mode and generally rebalance things. Oh, and yes, the improved Mass Effect 3 ending introduced in the Extended Cut DLC is the one you’ll get in the Legendary Edition package.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition will be available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 (and playable on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 via backward compatibility) on May 14.

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