BioWare has released a Mass Effect Legendary Edition 4K comparison trailer showing off the visual improvements you can expect when it drops next month.
As you can see from the trailer, all of our favorite Mass Effect characters have gotten impressive makeovers, including Fem Shep (whose entire face looks different) and Garrus, whose battle scars look even more real (and more painful). Even the Mako looks better, which is appropriate since we know BioWare has made sure it'll drive better in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, as well.
BioWare details exactly what's changed with the Mass Effect Legendary Edition remaster and how it was achieved in a lengthy blog post. The developer focused on three main pillars for the remaster: building the foundation, modernizing, and rebuilding worlds. Building the foundation was BioWare's phase one, and involved identifying and cataloging every asset in the trilogy, which is well over 30,000 individual textures (phew). After collating all of the assets, BioWare increased the engine limits on texture sizes and incorporate more modern texture compression techniques before improve assets by hand.
After that, the team moved into what they call "full-scale development," which involved getting the art team on board and focusing on the original Mass Effect, which needed the most work. BioWare shared some assets like characters and props between the games, but had to make sure that sharing didn't "flatten the sense of the passage of time" and that no Normandy SR2 logos ended up on the chests of Normandy SR1 crewmembers. BioWare focused heavily on "increasing the sense of realism" by improving textures like plastic, fabrics and metals. The team also "dedicated a significant amount of time to improving skin, hair and eye shaders across the trilogy." The remastered trilogy will also include new environmental particle effects like smoke trails, sparks, and muzzle flash on guns.
The third pillar of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition - rebuilding worlds - involved BioWare making broader improvements to maps and game features like comparing levels to their original concept art. Some levels were painted over by the Mass Effect trilogy's art director Derek Watts, who filled out skyboxes and reworked lighting. Of course, Mass Effect Legendary Edition will also have numerous quality-of-life changes, including UI consistency improvements and an easier-to-drive Mako.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition releases for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, and PC on May 14.
Make sure you get it on day one with our Mass Effect Legendary Edition pre-order guide.
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