Mass Effect Legendary Edition Review

Skip ahead 14 years and here I am in 2021 experiencing all of this for the first time, playing Mass Effect Legendary Edition on PC and being absolutely blown away by it all.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Review

Like so many games before it, Mass Effect ended up being one of those series of games that I just completely skipped over. At the time I remember feeling very underwhelmed by it all, not fully understanding why anyone would want to play something as dialog driven. And given that at the time – I was a big Halo / Gears of War guy – I see why I felt this way.

I remember the TV advertisements and I remember all the promotional material surrounding it but for some reason… I just said no.

but for some reason… I just said no.

HokutoPain on Mass Effect

Skip ahead 14 years and here I am in 2021 experiencing all of this for the first time, playing Mass Effect Legendary Edition on PC and being absolutely blown away by it all.

On paper, you get ALOT of content for the money, with retail price at launch being around $59.99 (£59.99) on console and PC.

It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, you get a lot of game for the money.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition includes:

  • All the single-player content across all three games (Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3)
  • Over 40 DLC, promo weapons, armors, and packs
  • All remastered and optimized for 4K Ultra HD with enhanced performance, visuals, and graphics in HDR
  • New Shepard customisations
  • Performance mode
  • and more…

Firstly, Mass Effect

Ok so let’s address the obvious. Mass Effect.

Originally this game launched in 2007 and it’s had the most work poured into it over the trilogy. And you can really tell if you compare it with the vanilla release.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Comparison
Comparison of Mass Effect (left) and Mass Effect as part of the Legendary Edition (right)

Lighting, textures and even the infamous Mako control scheme have all been overhauled here to give you a modern experience, and it goes a long way to making it less jarring when moving onto Mass Effect 2.

The Mako

I have only heard about the legend of the Mako. Awful, frustrating and annoying are some of the words I’ve heard it described by. Even so, it seems like there is huge outpouring of love for the Mako and all it’s flaws. I’m sure there are a lot of fans looking at the Mako through nostalgia glasses, and all those hours spent navigating around planets looking for artefacts, dead bodies and…. Thresher Maws.

The Thresher Maw - Mass Effect Legendary Edition
The Thresher Maw, Mass Effect

It seems the developers also share this passion, with the ability to (at any point in the game) freely swap between the new control scheme (introduced in this version of the game) or the original control scheme (for those looking to torture themselves all over again).

To me, the Mako missions felt too long, the terrain of the planets was difficult to navigate and waypoints that were at opposite ends of the map was pretty annoying. And above all else, it was very cut and paste.

Having said that, the rewards for such endeavours often lead to satisfying mission conclusions and enemy encounters. But for the most part – I wasn’t a fan.

Mass Effect 2

If you decide to skip over Mass Effect, you have the option to boot up Mass Effect 2 and start from this point (although I highly recommend playing Mass Effect first).

For those of you that aren’t aware, the entire trilogy feature choice driven story elements which ripple across all three games.

If you didn’t play Mass Effect first, then the Mass Effect Legendary Edition features a motion comic book that you can watch before the game starts, giving you a summarisation of the first two games to get you up to speed.

Mass Effect Genesis - Motion Comic
Mass Effect: Genesis, motion comic if skipping Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2

Firstly, there is a HUGE difference in combat when swapping to Mass Effect 2. Whereas Mass Effect feels more like a dialog driven RPG with cover shooting elements, Mass Effect 2 feels like the reverse.

there is a huge difference in combat when swapping to Mass Effect 2

HokutoPain on Mass Effect 2

To many people, Mass Effect 2 is the pinnacle of the series and I can see why.

The combat feels snappy and responsive. Weapon variation is plenty with some hilarious tools at your disposal (I recommend trying the black hole gun and watching enemies rag doll around).

There is more variety in party members, costumes and mission selection. It also introduces a new way to navigate around the galaxy map but features something I’ve never been a fan of…. fuel and resource collecting – in the way of probes.

The completionists here will feel the need to 100% every planet, hunting for resources to upgrade your ship (subtle hint, do it).

A favourite highlight of mine in Mass Effect 2 are the loyalty missions.

Loyalty Missions

The loyalty missions are party specific missions that you complete in order to gain more loyalty from your party members – which affects how story progresses further on in the game.

There are too many moments to name, but some of the most incredible content can be found when doing these missions. Something that was improved on from Mass Effect. No two missions here, feel the same.

Party members feature their own loyalty mission

Mass Effect 3

The culmination of every choice made in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. If variety is the spice of life, then Mass Effect 3 would be the spice to try.

Desperate times require desperate measures and it’s up to Shepard to save us all. The finale, the conclusion.

I must admit, I haven’t actually completed Mass Effect 3 right now – I’m currently right at the end of the game, finishing the best DLC of the trilogy.

You can see me on Twitch where I’m currently playing through Mass Effect Legendary Edition.

What you’re getting in Mass Effect 3 is essentially and even more refined version of what you saw in Mass Effect 2. Again, combat here feels very good – you are more mobile in this game, having a dodge roll and around the corner wall hugging.

A devastating event takes place at the very start of this game, and you immediately feel the pressure of what’s at stake from the offset.

To date, I can’t remember the start of any game making me feel as helpless as Mass Effect 3 did.

The Citadel DLC

This DLC was originally the last hoorah for Mass Effect, signalling the end of Shepard’s story and giving players a final chance to speak to party members, past and present and to say goodbye.

There are some hilarious encounters and conversations to be had when playing through this DLC. It’s essentially one huge love letter to every Mass Effect fan that’s managed to get this far. It lovingly pokes fun at itself and we all have a good time when it does so.

The Citadel DLC in Mass Effect 3, ‘The Crew’

All I can say here, is take your time and try to find every event that you can, there are a lot of them. Even I had to research which ones to find. After finding Grunt’s encounter, I didn’t want to miss out on any others.


Conclusion

I don’t want it to end. It’s taken me around 100 hours to get to this point and I just want the game to go on and on. After playing through the Citadel DLC, I want every party member to survive – I don’t want to say goodbye to anymore friends but I know I have to.

There aren’t many games that have made me feel this way.

In my opinion, Mass Effect Legendary Edition is the best remaster/collection ever made. And if sales figures are to be believed, this should go a long way to convincing EA that this is the path to go down.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is the best remaster/collection ever made.

HokutoPain on Mass Effect Legendary Edition

If you were ever on the fence about playing Mass Effect, this is the best way you’ll ever be able to play these games. Sure, at times it feels like there is a bit of filler and the dialog can get very heavy but by the end of it – you’ll be wanting to sport the N7 insignia as I do.

Keelah Se’lai.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Take command of the Normandy, assemble your crew, and
prepare for an unforgettable adventure in the highly acclaimed series.

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