Quite frankly, even if you’ve never played one, you likely know what Mass Effect is since it quickly became a staple franchise of gaming. Personally, I’ve always had a thing for futuristic space stuff, but this series isn’t iconic because of its genre or setting. Is Mass Effect Legendary Edition the perfect way for someone to relive or even experience this franchise for the first time?
…Mass Effect released in 2007. Chyeah, it’s been awhile.
Keep in mind that the first Mass Effect released in 2007. Chyea, it’s been a while. Knowing this, some enhancements were made to ME to improve its combat feel to unify it within this trilogy, and it works out. Without losing the original core combat feel, each entry feels accurate to its original while being unified enough within more modern sensibilities. In fact, in some ways it even feels more “stable” than newer 3rd person over-the-shoulder shooters. Having said that, combat and the still-funky-but-oddly-endearing Mako levels are only part of the core picture here. The real meat and potatoes are understanding your dialogue options. It’s safe to say that if you didn’t know this, the Mass Effect series is really the birthplace of more in-depth branching dialogue and long-term ramifications in gaming (more on the quality of the writing and voice acting later!). It’s thanks to this series that people have come to commonly ask about multiple endings and how to get them. So the gameplay premise is simple and solid: you fight your way through the galaxy in equal parts shooting and engaging dialogue to understand the lore behind the threat you face. And boy does it develop along with your roster of teammates.
…there’s fun to be had in making different, perchance dumber, decisions.
Since the trilogy is so cohesive and includes all the DLC, in playing all three games you’ll likely find your first playthrough around 60 hours. There’s a LOT of game to be had, here. And while the side quests in each game can be menial and they’ve sadly removed multiplayer from ME3, the truth is that the real drive in value is the insane replayability of the trilogy. On your way to the ending, you’ll likely question yourself if you didn’t already on choices you made, and without Google, you might not realize how differently things could have played out. Rest assured, this is a solid collection that you might even find yourself returning to simply because there’s fun to be had in making different, perchance dumber, decisions. You know, for science.
…almost makes modern gaming characters feel flat and lifeless.
The first Mass Effect easily sees the most improvement of the bunch showing off substantial enhancements including some unusually high-res textures. Reflections are enhanced, too, though on occasion I noticed them bugging out as well as some occasional enemy ragdoll bugs. But in truth, this is solid work on a series so considerably old, and I applaud them for such impressive character enhancements. But just like gameplay, the real meat and potatoes aren’t in the graphics, no. Instead this stands as some of the best dialogue writing and voice acting to ever grace gaming along with some of the most interesting sci-fi lore to-date. And believe you me, if there’s even a shred of sci-fi nerd in you, your giblets will moisten at the depths this game goes to make its world lore believable. In fact, there’s so much quotable dialogue and excellent character bonding that by the end, you feel the attachment (unless you’re a dead person on the inside). It’s all some of the most endearing character development through well written dialogue that it almost makes modern gaming characters feel flat and lifeless. Thanks to this trilogy, it also feels more cohesive progressing through each game consecutively, and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I spent more time in dialogue than in combat… by choice.
…the new Mass Effect game has some MASSive shoes to fill.
Nostalgia is an interesting thing: sometimes you remember things better than they were, and other times, things really were just that great. Mass Effect is a series that stood tall with a level of world lore, dialogue, and character development that was an entire class of its own and still stands the test of time. You will find yourself caring about your teammates, and you’ll find yourself engrossed in its universe, even more so if you’re into space operas. Top that off with stable 3rd person shooting, a very healthy helping of incredibly replayable content, solid work on remastering all three games, and this might just be one of the finest HD collections out there. Some occasional bugs could have been fixed, and removing multiplayer from ME3 seemed like a shame, but all I can say is: the new Mass Effect game has some MASSive shoes to fill.