Mass Effect is a third-person role-playing shooter that was originally released back in November 2007 for XBox and later in December 2012 for PS3. The “Legendary” edition a remastered collection of the trilogy was released in May 2021 for XBox One, PS4 and PC.
I was a little late to the Mass Effect party. I only got an XBox 360 late and so missed out the games release. From the beginning of my first playthrough I was hooked. The story, the characters and the world built around them were incredible and not like anything I’d really played before. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue choice aspect and how you could be as good or bad as you wanted and it affected how characters would react to you. I think the only time I’d really come across this before was within the original 2 Fallout games.
Before you even start the game, you’re given free-reign to create your character. Not only can you design what they look like but also what their background was. This was a nice touch that gave your created character that little bit more depth.
From the start of the game you’re thrown into the world at breakneck speed. Your fist missions involves you landing on a human settled planet to find out what has happened to a colony. You’re dropped onto a world where something has gone horribly wrong and you find out that several of the colonists have be turned into something called Husks and are now very hostile to you. As you continue on your mission, fighting your way through enemies you find out that a member of the elite Spectre force has gone rogue and is responsible for the chaos on this planet. This first mission sets up the rest of the game so well that you have no option but to continue playing and when you’re introduced to the Reapers, it sends chills through your body.
As you progress through space with your version of Commander Shephard, you meet various alien races – some friendly, some not so friendly – but each race has a detailed and well thought out history. From the Turian, to the Krogan to the Volus and beyond. Every race is so well put together and you can really believe that they exist.
The game takes you to many different worlds, some world’s you investigate using a vehicle known as the Mako. This vehicle was the cause of so much frustration when I originally played it. These section were the only bits that I hated doing. The Mako just didn’t control very well, so it ended up taking me more time than it should to complete certain goals on planets and it meant that I didn’t investigate all that I could because I wanted to spend as little time as possible playing these sections.
The combat was sometimes also a source of frustration. The cover system wasn’t the best so I would die a lot, and I mean, a lot.
Despite these couple of issues it became one of my favourite games and it contained some of my favourite characters. So when it became the fashion to remaster or remake games, I longed for a Mass Effect remaster. Eventually we got it, in the form of the “Legendary Edition”.
As soon as this new edition was announced and that it would contain all three games in the Shepard I was beyond excited. I recently picked up a copy and got stuck into the first game.
Now, it’s been a long while since I played the original game on the XBox so I can’t really remember what it was like – other than the bits I hated – but the remaster is great.
The graphics are definitely improved. They’re much smoother and the characters look smoother and less blocky. It looks prettier but still the same – if you get what I mean. You can tell that something has been done, but you can still see the original art beneath. As it’s been so long since I played the first game, I can’t really remember how the controls where other than that they were a pain in the ass at times. The Mako sections – the bits I was dreading – feel so much better. The vehicle finally goes where you want it to and so I’ve been able to spend a lot more time investigating the planets that you can land on although I don’t think the control scheme has change in this new version. The cover system also feels a bit different although I have a feeling that it’s the same too. I don’t know if it’s in part due to me now playing the games on the PlayStation rather than Xbox, or whether it’s just that my ability to play games has gotten better. Either way, it works in its favour.
All in all, this legendary edition of Mass Effect is well worth playing. It brings back all the memories that I had when I played the original game all those years ago. Although these days I’m playing it on the PlayStation not the XBox, so I don’t know if the controls feel better because I’m used to this controller now.
I can’t give this game anything below 10/10 it’s an incredible game that everyone should play.
I’m almost finished with the first game in this collection and I’m really looking forward to getting into the next. If it’s anything like the first one it’s going to be epic.