Mass Effect Legendary Edition looks gorgeous — check out the biggest changes

Mass Effect Legendary Edition
(Image credit: Bioware)

Bioware has finally lifted the lid on Mass Effect Legendary Edition, giving us a detailed breakdown of what changes are being made in this remastered collection of the first three games in the franchise

A mammoth blog post outlines exactly what has been tweaked for this modern-day updating of the Mass Effect trilogy, and we’re suitably impressed at the lengths that Bioware has gone to. This collection is far more than a quick port job, Mass Effect Legendary Edition is making substantial improvements to all three games. 

In case you’re unaware, Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a collection that brings together Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3, alongside each game’s single-player DLC, and ports all this to the PS5, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. It’s currently scheduled for launch on May 14. 

Support for 4K resolution and 60 fps was already confirmed (at least for the PS4 Pro/Xbox One X and up), but this blog post gives us a proper snapshot of how significant the changes will be beyond just technical improvements. 

The changes range from small tweaks like weapon rebalancing and improved cover mechanics to more substantial fixes like Mass Effect 1’s notoriously terrible aiming system being overhauled. And, likely to the delight of many, the Mako vehicle sections being drastically improved. 

Unsurprisingly 2007's Mass Effect 1, which is the oldest game in the collection, has seen the most dramatic improvements, especially in the visuals department. The game now looks very impressive. 

However, tweaks have been made to the entire trilogy. Particular focus has gone into making the transition across the games more seamless so various aspects such as in combat squad management will be unified. 

Mass Effect Legendary Edtion will include hundreds of improvements across all three games, but some definitely stick out more than others. Below you’ll find our picks for the changes we’re most excited about. 

Mass Effect Legendary Edition's biggest improvements

Reduced loading — The infamously lengthy elevator rides which actually masked loading screens in the original Mass Effect became something of an inside joke upon release. While we enjoyed the memes, we’re very happy to see the Legendary Edition has managed to reduce them down to just 14 seconds. 

Better Mako driving — The sections of Mass Effect 1 where you get behind the wheel of the M-35 Mako tank were rightly criticized, even back in 2007 the atrocious driving controls felt outdated. Bioware has given the driving mechanics a major revamp and even given the vehicle a booster jet now so you can speed across the surface of various planets in double-quick time. 

mass effect legendary edition preview

(Image credit: EA)

Improved character customization — Creating your Commander Shepard was a pretty big part of the original Mass Effect trilogy, but the customization options weren’t the best. More often than not you’d end up creating a character with a face only a mother could love. The Legendary Edition has addressed this issue by giving you greater control over your Shepard’s facial features as well as a load of new hairstyle options. 

Combat changes — The combat in Mass Effect 2 and 3 remains pretty solid even nearly a decade on, the same cannot be said for Mass Effect 1. The imprecise aiming was apparently due to the game mimicking the "randomness of a dice roll," but we’re very happy to hear that for the Legendary Edition it will be reworked to bring the combat in line with the rest of the trilogy. 

Galaxy at War rebalancing — Getting the “best” ending in Mass Effect 3 required a fair chunk of grinding in the game’s multiplayer mode to boost your galactic readiness score. Obviously, as the Legendary Edition has ditched ME3’s online component, this has had to be reworked. However, it sounds like Bioware has done a fantastic job in this department and your decisions in the previous two games will now have a stronger impact on just how ready your squad is to face the Reaper threat. Sounds like a big improvement to us.  

Next: Mass Effect Legendary Edition on a Chromebook was far from legendary — but don’t blame the game.

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.