We've waited an entire console generation for BioWare to finally remaster the Mass Effect trilogy, but it looks as though our patience has been rewarded with a collection that goes above and beyond. Ideally, we would be bringing you a full review of Mass Effect Legendary Edition right now, but we simply haven't had it long enough to play more than a chunk of the first game. As such, we can't say for sure whether Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 are on par with what we've seen from Mass Effect 1 — but just know that our expectations have been surpassed so far.
All of the screenshots used in this article were taken directly from our PS5. Some were taken using Legendary Edition's new photo mode, but we didn't use any of its editing tools.
Legendary Edition's version of Mass Effect looks like a different game — and we mean that in the best possible way. BioWare has really gone to town on the 2007 RPG, overhauling its visuals across the board. Characters and environmental assets have been replaced with much higher quality models. Textures have been enhanced significantly. The lighting's been redone. The whole galaxy's been pumped full of colour. But all of these changes don't rob Mass Effect of its charm. Sure, it doesn't look like the screen's coated in mud anymore, but the series' trademark use of lens flare remains, and it's essentially the exact same game in terms of design. At a glance, it could pass for a recent PS4 release, and that's no small feat.
Sit down to watch some gameplay, though, and you'll see that only so much can be done to modernise a title that was already janky upon its release 14 years ago. Animations are comically stiff, and every human who isn't a party member still looks like a waxwork that was deemed too creepy to be put on display.
Thankfully, what was by far Mass Effect 1's biggest issue has been remedied — at least on some level. It's fair to say that the original adventure was, at worst, an absolute chore to play, but BioWare has tweaked the controls and gameplay balance to a very noticeable degree. Movement is way more responsive, guns actually pack some punch, and you no longer have to pray to the RNG gods that your bullets will find their mark. Mass Effect now plays like a third-person shooter. An incredibly basic one, by today's standards, but it's a gigantic improvement nonetheless.
Even the cursed Mako has been improved. The six-wheeled space-tank plays quite a large role in the first game, as Commander Shepard and his allies use it to travel across the surface of desolate planets. Back in 2007, it was a nightmare to drive; it always felt as though it was skidding across ice, and it bounced along bumpy terrain like it was made of rubber. Again, it's more responsive, tighter controls that win the day. We're still not huge fans of the Mako sections since the vehicular combat is just so boring, but we no longer dread having to pilot the thing.
In terms of performance, Legendary Edition plays like a dream on PS5. The game's quality mode offers 4K support at 60 frames-per-second on Sony's current-gen console exclusively, and it's a beautiful thing. Those on PS4 Pro and PS4 can also opt for a "targeted" 60fps via performance mode, but it comes at the cost of being capped at 1440p on Pro, and 1080p on PS4.
Oh, and those damned elevator rides? Over in a flash. You can still wait it out in order to hear unique banter between your squadmates, but you're otherwise free to skip ahead after just a few seconds. Likewise, fast travel is, well, fast. Teleporting between areas on the Citadel is near instantaneous on PS5, which is a huge plus given the amount of legwork that several sidequests require.
So Mass Effect Legendary Edition looks great and it plays infinitely better than it ever has — but graphics and moment-to-moment gameplay weren't the original's strengths. Indeed, it's Mass Effect 1's ability to build a full sci-fi universe that makes it so special. The first game revels in bite-sized exposition, with the initial hours dishing out all kinds of intriguing facts about its futuristic setting. It's all just as cohesive and fascinating today as it was 14 years ago — and the best part is that it sets the stage for its equally engaging sequels.
At this point, it's perhaps worth explaining how Legendary Edition is set up. Basically, the trilogy has been compiled into one launcher. When you boot Legendary Edition, you're greeted with an especially swish BioWare logo, and then you're dropped onto a menu screen that presents all three games. You click on the one that you want to play, and you jump over to that game's remastered title screen.
If, for whatever reason, you want to skip Mass Effect 1 and jump straight into Mass Effect 2, you get the option to play through the second game's interactive comic, which lets you establish your Shepard's past actions. Leaping right into Mass Effect 3 is the same deal, but with a different comic.
If you're brand new to Mass Effect, but you've always been interested, we'd highly recommend checking out Legendary Edition based on what we've played so far. For the first game in particular, this looks and feels like the definitive way to experience a beloved RPG.
Already downloaded and ready to go! Countdown to lift off: 12 hours 55 minutes. Er, T-minus, or something.
I never buy day one, but this is the most tempted I have been in years!!! Looks and sounds like it's going to be everything I hoped for.
So stoked for tomorrow!
I broke all of my rules and pre-ordered. Loading 101.gbs now and ready to jump in. I did not get a chance to play any of the Mass Effect games so I am extremely excited for the next month of my quarantined life.
I'm playing it now and it's basically like playing the originals on PC in terms of frame rate and resolution, but they've improved the lighting a lot. The models and animations are still the classic Bioware jank, though, unfortunately. The best thing so far is them making ME1 play more like ME2 - no longer do you have this huge reticle that shots land randomly within. Playing ME1 on PC last year and it was jarring how it played VS how I remembered it playing. LE is so much better than that.
Though one last thing, for some reason in dialogue scenes, the voices are coming out of my rear speakers. Using the Pulse 3D headphones, the sound sounds like stereo during conversations. It's fine other times, though.
Edit: the review's right about the loading too, such a massive improvement and this is on an external HDD too.
Photo mode is a nice addition, too.
So many games and not enough hours in the day to get through them all!
If I didn't hate what BioWare to the series after the first game, I would totally get this. Sadly, I can't justify it for 1 game.
Sounds like it came together well! ME1 definitely needed the most love so I'm glad that appears evident. ME2 and ME3 both hold up perfectly fine today so I'm not worried about those at all.
Can you guys verify something that I just don't understand? So I'm hearing there is no cross save support for this game if you start playing on a ps4 then move to a PS5... But that doesn't make sense since it's still a PS4 game running on a PS5 thru backwards compatibility. Gamespot is saying this is an issue. Doesn't make sense to me. There is no PS5 version so there would be no cross save issue since it's still a PS4 game a s you can transfer saves from a ps4 to a PS5.
@Xenomorph_79 series x doesnt do 4k 120 it does 1440p 120
I've just canceled my Amazon pre order and got it from PSN. Couldn't hold on anymore haha.
Also it's on 2 discs so digital it is.
the changes theyve made to mass effect 1 are crazy so much detail everywhere
@Xenomorph_79 bioware say its 4k 60 or 1440p 120 thats native resolution.
Wrong, it's as the other person said 1440p, 4k is 60
These number are from bioware so they should know. It's a lot of older games that run 120 at 4k.
@suikoden there are a few 4k 120 games on series x this just isnt one of them
Yep, edited it but most are older games or not graphically intense ones. Can see it being a problem to get 120 at 4k with newer games, even too range graphics cards struggle.
I was initially skeptical because Bioware has sucked recentmy. However 4k 60fps changed my mind.
Can we go back into lockdown so I have time to play all these games? 😂
Do you need to install all 3 games at the same time to be able to play the game?
It's over 110 GB in EU and need double that space in order to be able to install updates. It's quite a hit on my already filled PS5 storage space.
(Because of a national holiday, the game will be mailed to me tomorrow instead of today.)
@AchievingGamer This isn't a remake (à la Demon's Souls). It is a remaster. Different things.
I'm hoping that this remaster is great and that inspires BioWare to remaster Dragon Age 1 and 2 before Inquisition.
@ThaBEN Yeah, all three games are counted as one download, no way to separate them.
I guess my biggest question is HOW BIG is the difference playing this game on the PS5 compared to a standard PS4? I've been waiting for this for years, and have never played ME1, so I want to go for it. But I worry that I'd be getting a sub par experience.
Like a lot of people, I have little hope of getting a PS5 for who knows how long. So should I wait until some time next year or later to play this one? Or is the difference small enough that its not a huge deal?
Shame. But the trilogy is worth it.
mine came this morning, cant wait to get stuck in after this patch downloads
Good question. Probably have to wait for Digital Foundry to do a comparison. But I can confirm that the game is not a native PS5 game/upgrade. So the improvements are not as big as it would be I the developer would have released a full blown PS5 upgrade/patch.
They made it clear that we don't need to expect that to appear.
So it's the PS5's native power that improves the experience of this PS4 game.
Will pick this up at some point, never played the first and only did a few hrs of 2 but wasn't really in the mood for it and never went back, given how much people rave about this I think I will have to pick it up. Not in a massive rush since I want to finish a few games and work on my backlog. hope everyone playing it tomorrow enjoys
I'll probably ask for this for my birthday in a few months. Or wait til it hits around £40
@Unlucky13 I doubt there are any discernible differences at all, at least not visually. You just get a locked 60fps at full 4K on PS5.
I've put a few hours into so far (always order physical people; you get it early and its cheaper I mean COME ON) and I don't remember it being this slow to start, but I'm looking forward to getting properlly stuck in.
A note on the trophies: there are basically 4 trophy lists; one for each game (with platinums) and a separate one that just gives you a few bonus trophies (silver and bronze) for doing things across the three games. The good news is that you don't have to do it on insanity to get these plats.
That's my stock head-canon Paragon Shepard. Never changed him in ME1 and then kept him for all 3.
I've got a mean bitch of a red-head Renegade fem-shep too.
I'll likely do the same to avoid Spiderman-esque FACEGATE part 2... though the intro in ME2 would allow a change.
Roll on midnight
Can’t wait to play it tomorrow. Got the disc, the courier already announced me they will bring it.
I will play as FemShep this time, as I already finished the game with Male Shepard twice.
Can't wait to get back in the Mako. I honestly loved the lonely, eerie desolate planets.
"Hold the line."
Was definitely going to buy this at some point. Might as well do it day one since first impressions seem to be good and I have 2 weeks off in between jobs...
Will wait for a big price drop but this is exciting!
All downloaded and ready to go....in 3 hrs 8 mins....hurry up dammit
I'm heading out to Best Buy first thing in the morning whether they've got my pre-order ready or not. I've been through four or five Shepards already over the years, and I'm stoked for this.
Used to genuinely find it difficult pushing the Start Button on Mass Effect 1's Title Screen. The music that played was so beautiful and evoked so many emotions, it's difficult to describe really.
What a bugger!
Base.com sent it royal mail 48, not going to get it before Saturday, maybe not 'til Monday.🙄
Village was sent 24 and I got that on Friday.
I paid £46 for ME with 'free' postage.
Oh well, them's the breaks.
EDIT: It just dropped through letterbox 😄
@AchievingGamer That's fine, but that still doesn't mean it is a remake.... it is still a remaster. You can't call a game a remake if you remade only parts of it; that would be plain wrong. There is a reason why EA isn't calling this a remake, but a remaster in the first place. Another example of am actual remake would be Mafia: Definitive Edition (remake of the original Mafia game). Now if you want to still call it a remake, so be it.... to each their own.
One of the few times a $60 game at launch is a no brainer.
100s of hours of entertainment
Been playing it for an hour now on my Series X (changed region to New Zealand). Looks and plays great!!!
I have never played these games. It’s time for me to jump in.
Are these images from the new version? They don't look like a big leap.
wouldve been great profit for them if this game came out when the corona virus pandemic started . this is a big treat for people invested in trophies and single-player games. probably the biggest treat i've ever seen.
According to the following:
The trilogy has bugs.
@KnightRider1982 It seems Metro's idea of bugs are different to others though, awkward animations aren't bugs its 2007 game design.
@KnightRider1982 I mean.. it’s the Metro. Mostly used to clean up puke on buses.
after playing through the originals the graphics in legendary are a huge step up in detail and quality in mass effect 1 . Now ME2 looks better but the same ME3 look basically the same
Just landed on Eden Prime and smacked the snot out of Dr Manuel. Sheps impromptu beatdowns will never get old!
Tempting. I only played Mass Effect 2 and Andromeda. ME2 I think especially towards the end, was one of my gaming life highlights. Fantastic story.
I even enjoyed Andromeda (I did get it for $10 cheap years after it came out). That had some really good gunplay and powers. It was a solid 50 hours.
Andromeda while a buggy mess at lunch was patched up pretty nicely. It's a fun game not a great Mass Effect game but fun. Still wish they would release the planned DLC and continue the story arc Andromeda established in future games.
I think they pick up the story in the next ME game.
The trailer mentions Ark 6 and I'm not even sure in wich galaxy that plays. Possibly both.
Omg, it’s here. It’s installing at 15%. Can’t wait!
I've been playing the first game for about 4 hours, time largely spent in painstaking character creation, reading through the codex and getting familiar with the Old Normandy again. Plus the first combat mission, which I won't say anything about so as not to ruin it for newcomers.
It really does look so much better than I remember it. Everything got a nice spit polish. The combat is a bit old-school, but as I remembered how to use the weapon and power wheels, it started to feel very nostalgic in a good way. It's not an action game, and by todays standards the combat is pretty simple, but still good fun and combat isn't the reason to start this series in the first place.
I had forgotten the guy's voice who reads the major codex entries, and hearing it again was fun. Perfect voice for the job. And the soundtrack might be the best in gaming.
Only issues I've had so far have been very minor sound issues. When a NPC is speaking, occasionally one word will go silent and it'll be fine after that. It's minor, though.
So far, it's been everything I thought it would be, except the graphics are even better than I expected from watching some of the before/after videos posted. Those just don't do the game justice compared to seeing it up and running on your bigscreen. Cheers!
I bought ME2 way back when to see what all the fuss was about - not for me.
I have never played any of these before!!! Super stoked to jump in.
@LordSteev thanks for your review... i was so hyped that I bought the digital version and downloading atm on my PS5 . I will bump in in an hour or so. Cheers
I broke my own rules, and bought this digitally, and on a pre-order too. Usually I don't like to buy full-price games digital, and only use it for super sales. Also, I try to resist hype and not pre-order anything. So much for all of that on this one!
Strange have it on Xbox and you can download each separately. Downloads the first game and then is option too download other games from main menu and even delete ones have downloaded
@Matroska oh I'm glad it's not just me regarding the voice/dialogue coming from the rear speakers in my 5.1 surround setup. Unsure how to change it as there are no spatial settings in the game..?
@hypnotoad That's funny. ME2 is an inner circle Hall of Fame video game for me. One of my very favorites of all time. It offers a TON of what I want a video game to be.
The third one was good, but not special. I haven't yet played the first one, and was basically waiting for something like this to do it.
But we all certainly have our own tastes. There are tons of games that seemingly everyone else loves that I dislike or have zero interest in playing ever.
This game still looks hella dope, but I will most likely wait for a $30 sale around Black Friday...I can't justify buying more games until I start whittling thru my backlog lol.
@SamboNZ same here on dolby digital the voices all come from the rear channels. had to switch to lpcm stereo as it was ruining it for me. Its a fairly common problem so hopefully they will patch it. It just amazes me how can they not notice this before release another reason not to buy games at launch.
@trev666 ooh thanks for the link - have added to the posts there. Good call re switching encoding - will try that as a stopgap. Cheers! 🙏
@Jbuggydroid I uploaded my Mass Effect save data from my PS4 to the cloud and was able to download it to my PS5 and continue where I left off. I'm not sure if that GameSpot article was referring to a different method (e.g. USB), but I can personally confirm that I successfully used the cloud to move my save data yesterday.
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