I’ve tried twice to get into the Mass Effect series, both times giving up after a few hours into the first session. My friends tell me, ‘That’s where it starts to get interesting!’ They also suggest that Mass Effect 2 fixes a lot of the problems from the first game.
As a result, I’m excited to hear about how the Mass Effect Legendary Edition will tweak the original game to make it more compatible with the sequels. In a new blog post on the RPG remaster’s official site, the team explains how they’re tweaking combat, boss battles, and the Mako “without outright scrapping the spirit of the original games.”
Combat appears to be where the most progress can occur. “Classic RPG mechanics, such as the randomness of a dice roll and pen-and-paper stat construction, were strongly influenced by Mass Effect. As a result, the gunplay in Mass Effect felt less accurate and effective than in Mass Effect 2 and 3 “reads the message
All weapons’ accuracy has been tweaked, including reticle bloom and weapom sway, to “enable players to retain more consistent firepower while still controlling their shots/overheat meter.” Aim Down Sights is now more precise, as it is in later games, and Shepard’s abilities have been rebalanced so that, for example, ‘Immunity’ grants a strong but brief defensive boost instead of a small buff that lasts forever.
In the post, there’s a long bulleted list of combat updates, all of which seem to be intended to make it more of an action game like the sequels. Shepard’s weapons cool down faster, all relevant enemies take headshot damage, and weapon powers are more powerful.
Aside from battle, there are a few other changes, such as the ability to order squadmates individually (which will be available in the sequels), “fairer” boss battles, and more cover that is easier to reach and leave. The Mako, Mass Effect’s tall, bouncy offroad vehicle, has been tweaked to be less bouncy, easier to steer, and equipped with new thrusters so you can easily drive up cliffs.
Finally, character customization in all three games has been made consistent. You can also re-design your character at the start of each game, but the choices are the same in all three, plus there are some new textures and hair styles as well.
These kinds of tweaks sound appealing to me as a newcomer to the franchise, so modern quality-of-life features and lessons from later games would make it easier for me to really get into the trilogy. I’m not sure whether this sounds sacrilegious or sacrilicious to you if you’re already a fan.