Mass Effect Legendary edition impressions: Two steps forward, one step back

FakeSympathy

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Please note that this is an impression, not a review. I've been playing the first game for a while, and I feel I've played enough to make my case.

Gameplay

First off, the gameplay is still solid. The abilities can be really fun to use especially added onto the fact that all classes and zoom-in with all weapon types now. The weapon proficientcy is still there, but you no longer have to no-scope with the sniper rifle. The abilities feel they charge faster, which is just great. The controls are exactly the same, and that kinda threw me off. You can certainly bind the keys to your desire, but if you are trying to make it more like a modern third-person shooter you just won't reach that level. Entering cover can be really clunky, and it sometimes is a life or death situation. The leveling has now been adjusted, so you get more skill points every time you level up in exchange for the level cap of 30 instead of the original 60. I think this was rather a good change, beucase I don;t remember ever hitting level 60 and that sounds like so much grinding.

The companion AI is still kinda bad, because they struggle to get into cover unless you tell them to. There is still no way to level them up on Normady. It's really annoying having to deploy them onto the world just to spend skill points on them. You can change their equipments, so why not their skill tree?

Exploring Citadel or any hub world will feel faster, because you can actually skip the elevator rides! This also means you skip the party banters, but I'd say it's a minor sacrifce.

Mako finally feels better to control! Just make sure you turn off the option for mako to always face the camera. However some planets where you land with mako can still be a bumpy ride, still with not much to explore. There are some geth outposts or pirate hideouts here and there, but I actually forgot how desolate and void of lifeforms these planets can be, and not I get to witness them in upscaled graphics. Speaking of.....

Graphics

The graphics are hit or miss. There are definitely overall improvements to overall textures and lightings, and the game does indeed support 4k at stable framerate. Some areas feel they have been unnecessarily changed There are no in-dept graphics settings. There are some options like vsync, motion blur, etc, but nothing too in-dept that you'd expect from modern games. I honestly feel the first game can be capable of looking better than this, but there is no option to change graphics.

I DO NOT recommend you create a custom Shepard look. because it can end up looking like a walking potato like mine.
ugly face.PNG
Why the first game still don't have the option to change face in-game is beyond me. And it's not just the custom characters; Some NPC looks really weird, especially when they talk
mass-effect-legendary-edition-comparison.jpg

There's something weird about their mouth movements when talking. And you know what's weirder? I only feel this way about human models. The other species look awesome in the retexture, but humans look so trash.

Technical Stuff

So you know how they said all three games would be in a single launcher? I was expecting something like Halo MCC where I can easily access the three games. But here, each game has its own launcher. It's like there is a launcher within a launcher. It kinda defeats the whole purpose of having the single launcher in the first place. I try not to get bothered by this too much, but considering how I have to get through this process every time it's really annoying.

There are definitely some animation bugs or some minor UI text bugs, but nothing too game-breaking.

If you are looking to mod the games, I've got some bad news; Mods are being reported as incompatible as of launch. The devs did say the mod support is coming, but it looks like this will be skyrim SE situation where some mods might not work with this one. It's so weird why mods won't work if the games launches separately.

Overall

Look, I love ME franchise. But i think I got way too excited to buy the game. I strongly recommend everyone to wait until more patches and QoL improvements are made
 
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laggyteabag

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I mostly came into the Remaster looking for gameplay tweaks for ME1, and graphical updates to make the games look a little less muddy.

For the gameplay changes, im impressed. As I mentioned in another thread, ME1 is the only game that I could not stand to replay, because the gameplay has aged like milk. The guns no longer feel horrible to use, so as far as I am concerned, this is a night and day improvement.

I have yet to get onto the Mako, and I essentially only just reached the Citadel for the first time, but im not already begging to reach ME2, so I'd say that is a win.

As for the graphics... eh. They are unquestionably better - no doubt about it - but I feel like there is a lot left to be desired. Im not asking for ray tracing, or for the game to have been ported over to a new engine or anything like that, but a lot of the textures are still really muddy, like they are all bleeding into each other. Look at the gold trim on Anderson's uniform in OP's post. The linework isn't clean at all.

This is one of those remasters where the game looks just like I remember, if that makes any sense. Again, if you do a side-by-side comparison, the improvements are immediately obvious, but in my mind, the game looks exactly like how I remember it - warts and all. Im not immediately wow'd by the visual improvements.

At the end of the day though, I got what I wanted. The games look better, and more critically, ME1 plays better. I just think that there is still a lot of work to be done.
 
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laggyteabag

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So you know how they said all three games would be in a single launcher? I was expecting something like Halo MCC where I can easily access the three games. But here, each game has its own launcher. It's like there is a launcher within a launcher. It kinda defeats the whole purpose of having the single launcher in the first place. I try not to get bothered by this too much, but considering how I have to get through this process every time it's really annoying.
I must admit that this was probably the biggest surprise - even if it is ultimately a bit of a nitpick.

I was also expecting a unified Halo MCC-style menu. I was first suspicious when I opened the options menu to find absolutely nothing of note, but when I started Mass Effect 1, I was shocked to see the screen go black, with nothing but a small image of the original box art in the middle of my screen, doing nothing for a few seconds, before the game loaded in a whole other application.

mass effect.png

I notice that each of the games have their own .exe files, but even if you open them directly, it opens the LE launcher.

It just seems wholly inefficient, and actually quite amateur, compared to the aforementioned MCC. At least the original menus are preserved, though - take that, Halo.

I can imagine that it is a bit more seamless on console, though.
 
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laggyteabag

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So I just got to my first Mako section... and yeah, its still terrible.

Its still a bouncy, floaty, terrible mess to deal with. It somehow accelerates too quickly to be easy to control, yet its top speed is too slow to feel like you are getting anywhere, quickly.

You will find yourself immediately mounting/getting stuck on literally any scenery possible.

I have no idea what I was expecting from the Mako improvements - but I do know that I was expecting better than this.

Again, I haven't played Mass Effect 1 properly, in almost 10 years, so I don't really have a personal experience to compare to - but I can tell you that it certainly does not feel any better, than the vehicles reputation from the original version of the game would tell you.

I have no idea how or why people liked the uncharted planets in the original version of the game, and I feel like my opinion on them is not going to change in the remaster.
 

Dalisclock

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I have no idea how or why people liked the uncharted planets in the original version of the game, and I feel like my opinion on them is not going to change in the remaster.
Did anyone actually like the uncharted planets in the original game? Because I'm not aware of this being a popular opinion even back when it was released. I'm sure there's like a couple people out there who loved it(because there's always at least one person who will love root canals or getting stabbed with rusty needles) but I don't think I've ever heard people defend the "3 room randomized building in the middle of a desolate planet in the middle of nowhere" structure of some of the side missions.

This is not to be confused with the Mako, where opinion has always been divided between people who hated it and people felt it was good enough(though far from perfect).
 
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laggyteabag

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Did anyone actually like the uncharted planets in the original game? Because I'm not aware of this being a popular opinion even back when it was released. I'm sure there's like a couple people out there who loved it but I don't think I've ever heard people defend the "3 room randomized building in the middle of a desolate planet in the middle of nowhere" structure of some of the side missions.
The people who I've come across, who liked the uncharted worlds, also tended to be the same people who liked the Mako - ironically, or not.

Masochists, the lot of em.

Apparently they tried the whole uncharted world thing again, during Andromeda's development. As far as I am aware, the intention was to be able to fly to, and land on, any planet that you found - which would be randomly generated. Then they realised that this wasn't actually much fun, so the downsized to 30 randomly generated planets, which were manually touched up. Then, presumably because this was still a lot of work, they scrapped the whole idea.
 
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SilentPony

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The people who I've come across, who liked the uncharted worlds, also tended to be the same people who liked the Mako - ironically, or not.

Masochists, the lot of em.

Apparently they tried the whole uncharted world thing again, during Andromeda's development. As far as I am aware, the intention was to be able to fly to, and land on, any planet that you found - which would be randomly generated. Then they realised that this wasn't actually much fun, so the downsized to 30 randomly generated planets, which were manually touched up. Then, presumably because this was still a lot of work, they scrapped the whole idea.
Yo! Right there, I LOVED the Mako and exploring the uncharted planets. I loved finding ore, and the weird orb that made humanity, and the Cerberus plant zombie bases, and random Geth attacks. It felt like little Pokemon random battles and added a feeling of...actualness to the world.
 

Gethsemani

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Did anyone actually like the uncharted planets in the original game?
I sort of did? The mechanics on them were somewhere between boring and exhausting but I liked the small tidbits of lore that you could find. It made the ME universe and game world feel much bigger and deeper then it really was that you could find an abandoned outpost and get some lore about renegade human colonists or Turian black ops or just information about the planet you where on.
 
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Dalisclock

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I sort of did? The mechanics on them were somewhere between boring and exhausting but I liked the small tidbits of lore that you could find. It made the ME universe and game world feel much bigger and deeper then it really was that you could find an abandoned outpost and get some lore about renegade human colonists or Turian black ops or just information about the planet you where on.
Don't get me wrong, I like the idea and I did a number of those planets that I totally didn't have to, but the actual implementation felt really lackluster. And I kinda liked the Mako but I don't blame anyone who hated it because it does handle like a bouncy castle.
 

Adam Jensen

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Did anyone actually like the uncharted planets in the original game?
Yes and no. From a purely gameplay perspective, the mechanics were definitely lacking. But it wasn't about gameplay or fun.

You see, there's one thing that space operas tend to not do very well, and that's to give people a sense of just how enormous the galaxy really is, and how far away planets are from each other. Uncharted planets were essential in giving you the sense that the galaxy really is a big place and that despite all those other races and planets, the vast majority is still unexplored and alien, not just to humans but to other species in the galaxy. And that is invaluable.
 

Asita

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So I just got to my first Mako section... and yeah, its still terrible.

Its still a bouncy, floaty, terrible mess to deal with. It somehow accelerates too quickly to be easy to control, yet its top speed is too slow to feel like you are getting anywhere, quickly.

You will find yourself immediately mounting/getting stuck on literally any scenery possible.

I have no idea what I was expecting from the Mako improvements - but I do know that I was expecting better than this.
As I said previously, I don't really intend to bother with the remaster, but I'd say that the Mako would essentially have needed a complete overhaul. The heart of the issue is that most of it is just there for padding and has all the hallmarks of a rush job outside of a few story-relevant planets. It's mostly just empty terrain with a few poorly-scaled assets on it for you to interact with and call it a day. Give me an hour and the interactive assets, and I could probably create a reasonable fascimile of almost any of them in Unity just by plopping down a plane to be the ground and fiddling with the depression/elevation commands...and worse still, that replica would be pretty damn similar to most of the other planets.

And that right there is probably the biggest problem with the Mako: the maps you were driving it on. The Mako felt much better (if still a bit flimsy in its resilience to small-arms fire) on Virmire, Noveria, and Ilos - wherein they put more effort into the terrain and everything was more to scale - than it did on that random planet you were raiding for precious metals and Turian dogtags.
 

CriticalGaming

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I'm enjoying myself with the games. I'm recovering from Surgery and these remasters are nice to have a nice little set of games to take my mind off the pain while I recover.

Honestly they are just as good as they used to be. Sure the older games are a bit dated and the fps bump is just a novelty, it's still nice to have an easy way to revisit this collection on a single console with minimal effort, and having the DLC's and performance upgrades is worth it imo. Though that might just be the pain meds talking.
 

FakeSympathy

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Yeah, I definitely feel they should've fixed the uncharted planets. Why have super rough terrains with sub-par vehicle controls are beyond me.

Still, I do feel they are just right size for exploration; No rogue-like/precedurally generated worlds where each worlds are randomized, and no open-world that takes forever to explore. I am not going to pretend I remember all the points of interests in these worlds, but at least I can move on without checking every corner of the map.
 

Casual Shinji

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I do so love the fancy Bioware logo that preceeds the game, like they're freaking Marvel or something. The fact that Sony is doing this I already shake my head at, but Christ, Bioware ain't got shit, they're barely even a game studio anymore, and they create this self-congratulatory logo just for this remaster. It's fucking embarressing.

I'm enjoying the game though.
 

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The fact that Sony is doing this I already shake my head at,
Because they see themselves as a game studio that makes movie scripts. Or whatever bull crap they need to justify there you go. They're all about "art" and mainstream "appeal". Yet will happily abandon that art when it's inconvenient or no longer serves their purpose.
 

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I must admit that this was probably the biggest surprise - even if it is ultimately a bit of a nitpick.

I was also expecting a unified Halo MCC-style menu. I was first suspicious when I opened the options menu to find absolutely nothing of note, but when I started Mass Effect 1, I was shocked to see the screen go black, with nothing but a small image of the original box art in the middle of my screen, doing nothing for a few seconds, before the game loaded in a whole other application.
From what I heard the MCC was nothing short of miraculous anyway. From what I seen and heard, it does sound crazy. The MCC interface is basically done in Unreal Engine, which then somehow ties into all these separate games with game engines divided by vast time gaps. And well, the MCC had its share of bugs and shit. And it has some quirks, such as in the character customization and skin selection where things don't quite look the same as they do in game since they are being rendered with Unreal's shaders rather than the way they are from their respective games.

Having something like this done for ME is probably not that beneficial since you'll be largely spending large chunks of time in each individual game. Whereas in MCC you can multiplayer queue seamlessly between all the various titles.

Did anyone actually like the uncharted planets in the original game? Because I'm not aware of this being a popular opinion even back when it was released. I'm sure there's like a couple people out there who loved it(because there's always at least one person who will love root canals or getting stabbed with rusty needles) but I don't think I've ever heard people defend the "3 room randomized building in the middle of a desolate planet in the middle of nowhere" structure of some of the side missions.

This is not to be confused with the Mako, where opinion has always been divided between people who hated it and people felt it was good enough(though far from perfect).
I liked the idea of them and the fantasy they sold, but they were pretty shit. Each planet was just a procedurally generated mess of terrain, which exacerbated all the Mako issues we might have had. I don't think I found that much issue with the Mako on actual main game segments, but I had to take it mountain climbing and drive over ridiculous shit for most of the time I was using it in the planetary exploration and that would sour the impression anybody had of it. It is funny to talk about in hindsight though, so I kinda like the fact that its shithouse as just a fandom thing.

But yeah, it really was just padding that wasn't done all that well. I did find the early mentions of Cerberus to be interesting somewhat, along with some of the lore codex entries that you could find but surely those could've been delivered in a better way.
 

laggyteabag

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I've been playing a lot of the side-content in ME1, and one thing that I have noticed, is how much the game repeats rooms.

I've seen the same mine, the same underground lab, the same space ship, and the same warehouse, about half-a-dozen times each.

It makes me wonder, because Dragon Age 2 got a lot of shit for this - and is often named as the number 1 thing that most people point to, when criticising that game, yet this is barely ever even mentioned in ME1.

Combined with the uncharted planets, and IMO, this game has a lot of low-quality environments.

I wonder why it is barely ever brought up?
 

Gethsemani

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I've been playing a lot of the side-content in ME1, and one thing that I have noticed, is how much the game repeats rooms.

I've seen the same mine, the same underground lab, the same space ship, and the same warehouse, about half-a-dozen times each.

It makes me wonder, because Dragon Age 2 got a lot of shit for this - and is often named as the number 1 thing that most people point to, when criticising that game, yet this is barely ever even mentioned in ME1.

Combined with the uncharted planets, and IMO, this game has a lot of low-quality environments.

I wonder why it is barely ever brought up?
I can see two reasons:
1. There's 4,5 years between the games. In those intervening years you had game changers like GTA 4 and Dragon Age: Origins that totally re-defined the open world experience. ME was released 1,5 year after Oblivion, DA2 half a year prior to Skyrim. Expectations were totally different.
2. ME gets a pass because a lot of the repeats are semi-justified. A pre-fab space base looks like another pre-fab space base. Ships share layouts. That all mines look the same is weird but you can accept that all these space pirates have similar looking lairs because they obviously just picked them up at Space Wal-Mart. In DA2 the basement of some archmage's mansion looks exactly like the enchanted cave of a Daelish legend, only there's a boulder instead of a barrel blocking off the obvious doorway in the cave. The fact that the same map was used for so many different purposes and clearly doesn't fit several of them makes it stand out much more in DA2.
 

stroopwafel

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ME2 is one of my fave sci-fi stories in videogames but I never played the first one. Pretty good so far espescially the world building. How can a game with so much dialogue not be boring? There is a forward momentum that just doesn't let up. It sets up this overarching threat in such a creative way. Just excellent pacing for such an old story driven game.

The gameplay is alright. Not the best third person shooter but could be worse I guess. Considering I only played ME2 and 3 I never really considered the series an RPG. Fumbling through dozens of samey rifles in the inventory screen gets a bit cumbersome. Also how much lockers do you need to hack? Story is really where it's at in this game and fortunately it is great. Looking forward to replaying ME 2 & 3 as well.
 

Dalisclock

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I've been playing a lot of the side-content in ME1, and one thing that I have noticed, is how much the game repeats rooms.

I've seen the same mine, the same underground lab, the same space ship, and the same warehouse, about half-a-dozen times each.

It makes me wonder, because Dragon Age 2 got a lot of shit for this - and is often named as the number 1 thing that most people point to, when criticising that game, yet this is barely ever even mentioned in ME1.

Combined with the uncharted planets, and IMO, this game has a lot of low-quality environments.

I wonder why it is barely ever brought up?
I mean, I've brought this up numerous times as one of the reasons the side content is kinda shit at times. But I think a lot of people gave it a pass because the story was very well executed and they loved the freedom of running around in the normandy and the mako, as well as the characters.

But it was a problem even back in the day, but you might not have noticed it if you only did the main story content.