Mass Effect Legendary Edition Gameplay

It seems as though BioWare has really put some work into the upcoming Mass Effect Legendary Edition. In case you don't already know, this is a collection of all three games from the original Mass Effect trilogy, remastered and enhanced for PlayStation 4 (and PlayStation 5, via backwards compatibility).

Legendary Edition is out in just over a month, but we're yet to really dig into the finer details of what this remaster brings to the table. Thankfully, BioWare has taken to the PlayStation Blog in order to tell us about the numerous gameplay improvements that we can expect — and it all sounds very promising.

For starters, the combat in the first Mass Effect has been overhauled, to no one's surprise. The developer shares a whole list of bullet points:

  • 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

But the combat improvements don't end with the original Mass Effect. BioWare says that it's changed how cover works across the entire trilogy:

  • Additional cover added to some encounters
  • Entering and exiting cover is now more reliable

Beyond that, smaller systems, like experience gains, have been tweaked. Basically, you'll be getting more of it, ensuring that you hit higher levels without having to do a second run of each game. On a similar note, ammo drops are much more regular in Mass Effect 2, where running out of bullets could become a real problem — especially on harder difficulties.

Outside of the action, we can expect significant changes to how the infamous Mako handles in the first Mass Effect. The bulky vehicle was a bit of a nightmare to control, but the following updates should make driving a much more pleasant pastime:

  • 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

All of this sounds great, but it could be the way in which Legendary Edition ties all three games together that makes this the definitive Mass Effect experience. In particular, character creation has been unified across the trilogy, meaning that your Shepard can finally look the same in all three games. What's more, additional skin tones and hairstyles have been added to the creation suite.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Character Creation

And then there's this:

  • 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

Even Trophies are mentioned in the blog post, with Legendary Edition boasting a range of reworked trinkets:

  • 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

And finally, on top of all that, we've got enhanced, remixed audio as well as a load of bug fixes — annoying problems that were never fixed in the original trilogy. Phew.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is set to launch next month, on the 14th May. Will you be taking the fight to the Reapers all over again? Gather your squad in the comments section below.