When the Legendary Edition arrives on May 14, the Mass Effect trilogy is going to look better than ever. BioWare today revealed several of the graphical enhancements coming to Mass Effect Legendary Edition, including over thirty thousand reworked textures, new environmental particle effects, and improved cinematics throughout all three games.
The news comes directly from the Mass Effect Legendary Edition development team, which dropped a lengthy blog post comparing the original games’ graphics to the enhanced visuals in its upcoming release. There’s a lot of ground covered in the post, but here’s the most exciting news:
- Every single texture has been improved.
- Individually improved character outfits across the trilogy.
- Improved skin, hair, and eye shaders.
- New environmental particle effects, including horizontal lens flares.
- GUI enhancements for clarity.
- Where possible, cutscenes re-rendered in 4K.
- Various environmental assets reworked to improve barren areas or low-res textures.
- Added natural bounce lighting to “ensure characters are lit more consistently and beautifully.”
- Upgraded shadows.
- Improved post-processing effects such as screen-space ambient occlusion, anti-aliasing, and bokeh depth of field.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg – the full BioWare post goes into technical detail on all of the above, while also looking at several individual levels and how they have been reworked. This includes new lighting and an intensified storm in Noveria, and a darker, creeper atmosphere on Feros.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition isn’t just going to look different from the original trilogy, but it’s also going to play differently. Earlier this month, BioWare gave fans a look at the big gameplay changes coming to the original game – including a reworked combat system that feels more like Mass Effect 2 and 3. That means Shepard can now sprint when out of combat, melee attacks are mapped to a physical button, and weapon accuracy and handling have been improved.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition will launch next month on May 14.
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Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.
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