It is no secret that Bioware fans nearly died while waiting for Mass Effect Legendary Edition to release. As an adult who has told children to be patient, I admit that I am a hypocrite because I was NOT patient for this release. The Mass Effect series was an unforgettable experience, and to see these games again but in higher quality and care made my heart throb.
The Legendary Edition is one single purchase and contains all three original Mass Effect games. These games have been remastered, meaning the graphics, gameplay, and experience were upgraded to modern quality.
Without further delay, let’s talk about my experience as I replayed the first Mass Effect game in this new light. I am no stranger to this game. I’ve saved the galaxy countless times and know the majority of the game by heart. However, the second I booted up ME1, I was hit was the nostalgia chills. I couldn’t believe how beautiful everything was! The graphics improved so much that it took my breath away. You have not seen the wonders of space until you have seen it in this light.
I was also pleased to see how well they upgraded Shepard’s look. I play exclusively as female Shepard and appreciated the attention they put into her features. I created a Shepard that looked nothing like my older playthroughs simply because the ability to do so was suddenly there. I did check out male Shepard in a different file to see what else they had to offer. Unfortunately, I found it very difficult to make an even slightly attractive man with the options available. “Fem Shep” was a fan favorite, and I think they realized that while remastering. I found this disappointing because I would love to give a male character a go, but not with those looks. If anything, I’d have to use the default male Shepard, who you cannot edit.
Holy crap, those load times though. While the original was great, the beginning of the game was always a chore due to long loading times. If you’re a new player, you can easily spend your first 10 hours exploring the Citadel. The Citadel has millions of elevators, and you actually did have to sit in them with your squad until the next area loaded. In the original, this was often over a minute long. In this remaster, many of those elevator rides were sped up to about 20 seconds. A massive improvement and made exploring the Citadel fun again.
I also noticed some common bugs were fixed. Generally, if you entered an elevator with your gun out, you got stuck in whatever direction you were facing when the doors shut. Now Shepard faces the front of the elevator just like her squadmates and puts the gun away. Other various quality of life fixes were made, making the experience smooth.
I had a few glitches I never experienced in the original, but they’re hardly worth noting. I was able to get Shepard to walk backward while facing the camera. Also, at times while on the Normandy, I’d be running as if I had my gun out, but you cannot have your gun out in this location.
The leveling system was simplified if you so desired. At the start, the game will ask if you are interested in traditional leveling or legendary leveling. The difference being that the original max was 60 levels, and legendary is 30. The amount of EXP between the two is the same. The legendary is just more condensed because many felt that 60 levels were a bit much for this title. I went with the legendary leveling and loved it. It felt like this was how the game should have been, but I like the option to level traditionally if I want to in the future.
I also noticed it was a lot easier to gain Paragon and Renegade points. It was fun to hit those unique dialogue options earlier in the game and see how differently things can play out because of it. By the end of the game, my Renegade bar was full, and I was able to skip one of the fights with Saren at the end by persuading him. (The hardest persuade in the game.) In the original, it took me several playthroughs to get my bar to that point.
Overall, my experience with the remaster of the first installment was excellent. This both stroked that desire for nostalgia and also gave me new adventures along the way. Did I mention all DLC for all three games are included? I never had those initially, so I feel like I can finally get the whole experience.
This game was a gift to the Bioware community. Given their unlucky streak lately, this was precisely the sort of win they needed. My utterly biased rating for ME1 Remastered is a dazzling 10/10.