Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is an upcoming compilation of the first three main series video games in the Mass Effect franchise: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is an upcoming compilation of the first three main series video games in the Mass Effect franchise: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3. It is being developed by BioWare with assistance from Abstraction Games and Blind Squirrel Games and published by Electronic Arts. All three games are being remastered, with visual enhancements and technical improvements. The compilation was announced on November 7, 2020, and will be released on May 14, 2021 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is being developed by BioWare with assistance from Abstraction Games and Blind Squirrel Games, will be published by Electronic Arts. BioWare had previously discussed developing a remaster of the original Mass Effect trilogy in 2014, but did not not start work on the project until months leading up to its announcement in 2020. Abstraction Games was contracted to assist with the adaptation of each game for newer consoles, and help with optimizations and improvements, mostly with regards to graphics. Legendary Edition runs on the Unreal Engine 3 game engine as with the original game trilogy, but features graphical improvements. Bioware had originally discussed upgrading the Legendary Edition to Unreal Engine 4 with Epic Games. However, according to project director Mac Walters, this idea was scrapped as it would have required starting over much of the base game from scratch because specific scripts in Unreal Engine 3 have no alternative available in Unreal Engine 4.
Legendary Edition was officially announced on November 7, 2020, which is also known as "N7 Day", a date declared by BioWare as an annual celebration of the Mass Effect franchise. In the announcement, Casey Hudson, who served as the original creative director for all three titles, summarized, "Our goal was not to remake or reimagine the original games, but to modernize the experience so that fans and new players can experience the original work in its best possible form."However, as they progressed, BioWare found that they had invested the most work in bringing the aged Mass Effect 1 up-to-date; the final product is akin to a partial remake, while the other two games in the Legendary Edition were still mostly remasters. In a developer stream on February 2021, BioWare explained that the controls of the Mako vehicle in the first game have been tweaked to improve driving experience, along with a speed boost and updated physics. Like Commander Shepard's default male appearance, players will also have the option to use the default female Shepard character model originally designed for Mass Effect 3 throughout Legendary Edition. Due to the loss of its source code, the Pinnacle Station DLC is not included in the collection as it would have needed to be fully remade. The cooperative multiplayer mode from Mass Effect 3 was also not included, making Legendary Edition a strictly single-player experience.
The compilation will be released for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on May 14, 2021. Although the remaster will feature targeted enhancements on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility, Bioware stated that they have no plans to release versions for the latter consoles. According to project director Mac Walters, a Nintendo Switch port of Legendary Edition may be considered in the future, but BioWare wants to focus on its development for the current generation of video game consoles.
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