The year saw the release of a game that many people have come to consider a classic. This was none other than Mass Effect, a sci-fi role-playing space epic which proved Canadian developer BioWare could make a great sci-fi game without the Star Wars license (which had previously brought the company much success with its Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game).
Mass Effect was only the beginning though, and a sequel followed, which was even better than the first game. Mass Effect 2 had the game’s protagonist Commander Shepard assemble a crew of mercenaries for a suicide mission. Featuring a great story, characters and action Mass Effect 2 surely is one of the best role-playing games ever made.
The trilogy was capped off in 2012 with Mass Effect 3, a solid game but arguably inferior to the other two. BioWare tried to reboot the series in 2017 with Mass Effect Andromeda, a game that failed due to a botched launch and it abandoning the characters and settings of the original trilogy, and is best forgotten.
But aside from the fact that Canadian outfit BioWare is now working on a new game in the series, Mass Effect fans were elated when it was revealed that a remaster of the original trilogy was in the works, and was slated to release sometime in 2021.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition will not only feature graphical improvements, like improved textures and character models, but will also rev up the series’ shooting mechanics. This is definitely a welcome addition, as it was always strange that the third-person shooting was one of the weakest parts of the original trilogy with the games featuring so many Gears of Wars-style shootouts, so hopefully BioWare will improve this as much as it can for the remaster.
Also featured in this remaster (which now has a launch date of May 14, 2021) is every single DLC released for the game. Including weapons and outfits, there’s also the highly rated Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 here.
Presumably, BioWare will also be adding the “Extended Cut DLC” it released for Mass Effect 3 back in the day. You see, while the Mass Effect games have been played and loved by millions of people worldwide, BioWare’s series has also been controversial.
And while the more recent Mass Effect Andromeda caused something of a ruckus due to its botched launch and BioWare’s comments about the sex in the game amongst other things, the earlier Mass Effect 3 was also controversial.
The controversy in Mass Effect 3’s case had to do with the ending: many people were disgusted by the endings in the game as they did not take into account players’ choices throughout the game sufficiently enough. Also, inconsistencies with the earlier games left many people reeling.
Mass Effect 3’s ending was such a point of contention that it led to the birth of the “Retake Mass Effect 3″ movement, which even resorted to donating to child’s charities in order to get BioWare’s attention, which worked, as the Canadian developer released a piece of DLC aimed at making Mass Effect 3 endings more crowd-pleasing. However, this still remains one of the biggest and most publicized video game controversies to date.
The ending controversy was not the only one related to Mass Effect 3: a piece of DLC titled “From Ashes” was deemed almost essential for some due to it introducing an important squad member and juicy story details. But unless you got the collector’s edition of the game, this had to be bought separately. And to add insult to injury, it was later discovered that the DLC character’s likeness was on the game disc, meaning BioWare had originally planned to include him in the main game…
Thankfully, though, the “From Ashes” DLC will be part of Mass Effect Legendary Edition. So players will be able to enjoy this content (and the rest of the trilogy too) in glorious 4K resolution if you’ve got a new-gen console or a PC which is up to the task (note the game is forward compatible with PS5 and the Xbox Series X and doesn’t have a native new-gen version).
This also means that gamers and Mass Effect fans worldwide will get to watch the games’ sex scenes in 4K resolution for the first time too… Truth be told though, the original trilogy’s sex scenes are pretty tame by today’s standards (Mass Effect Andromeda’s are racier by comparison), even though they were massively controversial back in the day.
Actually, Fox News took issue with the original Mass Effect’s sex scenes, saying that Mass Effect had “full digital nudity and sex”, and let players participate in “graphic sex”. It was really a matter of too much ado about nothing (as is usually the case with Fox), but it did put Mass Effect in the spotlight, making it one of the most controversial games of the year for sure.
Controversies aside, it’s clear that quite a few people will be happy to get remastered editions of some of the best RPG games ever made. And if this turns out to be a technically great remaster, and one which even improves on the original gameplay, then all the better, as fans will be more likely to forget BioWare’s recent disappointments of Mass Effect Andromeda and Anthem. Either way, here’s hoping that both Mass Effect fans and newcomers are having a blast with Mass Effect Legendary Edition when it sees a release in May this year.