Tag Archives: Electronic Arts

Review: Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Edmonton’s BioWare has created some great series and characters, but none became so close to my heart as the Mass Effect line of games with its roster of heroes and villains. The newly released Mass Effect Legendary Edition brings the original trilogy to a new generation of gamers in a remastered package that lets the games shine far brighter than they ever have before.

Though this is a remaster, not a full-on remake, of the three games, there are are number of quality of life changes – most sizable in the series’ first game. Mass Effect sees an overhaul of the leveling system that makes the game much more enjoyable thanks to the revamped power curve.

Prior to this remaster’s release I was playing through the original game – available on the Xbox consoles via backwards compatibility – on Insanity difficulty and the game-stopping difficulty spikes have been leveled out. The games also run better, even while outputting at 4K, which helps with the action-oriented combat. The result is a game that feels both easier and yet also far more rewarding.

This release also includes almost all the downloadable content (DLC) available for the games, over 40 bits of content in all, except for the Pinnacle Station DLC, due to the source code having been lost over the years. The game also takes a pass on the multiplayer from Mass Effect 3, though if there’s enough demand for it that may yet be added back in.

Wrex. Shepard.

The trilogy lets gamers, who can take the ‘stock’ Shepard in male or female variants or create their own, through an epic space-faring tale of betrayal with some revenge and a dash of ‘saving the universe’ thrown in for good measure. As the Shepard of their choice, players will make decisions with long-lasting consequences – to an extent not often found in games, including character deaths that leave you wish you’d done things differently.

The ability to go Paragon or Renegade – which often don’t really translate to good vs evil, but more doing the right thing vs doing the righteous thing – extends the replay value here. With three games in the package, clocking in at around 55 hours combined for just the main storylines, plus all that DLC, you’ve got a whole lot of gaming ahead of you.

The console experience offers two settings: Performance and Quality. The PS4 is 1080p/60fps in Performance, 1080p/30fps in Quality. PS4 Pro and PS5 both offer up to 1440p/60fps in Performance and up to 4K/30fps (PS4 Pro) and 60fps (PS5) on Quality.

Xbox One consoles offer up to 1080p/60fps in Performance or Quality, while Xbox One X and Series S both offer up to 1440p/60fps in Performance and 4K/30fps in Quality. The Series X is up to 4K/120fps in Performance and 4K/60fps on Quality.

The game also includes an all-new photo mode that allows you to rotate the camera, hide player/non-player characters, and other goodies. It’s a great addition to a franchise that has some gorgeous environments and character models.

What I Loved:

  • Great work on bringing the visuals up to modern standards
  • Top-notch performance transforms the feel of the earlier games
  • Quality of life changes to the first game
  • The “Wrex.” “Shepard.” exchanges are still great
  • Voice acting is still top-tier after all these years
  • The new photo mode!

What I Liked:

  • Character creator changes allow you to carry ‘your’ Shepard over all three games
  • Load time improvements allow for skipping elevator sequences
  • Forgot how much I loved the music
  • Three games + almost all DLC means at least a hundred hours of gaming
  • Better Mako controls

What I Disliked:

  • Mako still a bit frustrating to handle
  • DLC integration feels haphazard

What I Hated:

  • Reminds me there’s no Mass Effect movie…

The Final Word: Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a must-buy for sci-fi lovers who missed out on the original games, but also offers a lot for fans who were around the first time through as well. Incredible value for your dollar.

Available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Playable via backwards compatibility on PS5 and Xbox Series S|X. Series X version reviewed using code provided by the publisher.

Gamescom – Star Wars: Squadrons Single-Player Trailer Unveiled

Star Wars: Squadrons brings back the height of space combat for Star Wars fans – namely the Star Wars: X-Wing vs TIE Fighter days, a time that all too many of today’s fans never had the chance to experience.

The good news is that EA’s upcoming space shooter looks better than even those halcyon days of yore, with incredible graphics and sound effects that are 100% true to the movies. Obviously a lot is going to depend on how the game plays and how the ships handle in combat, but I have a lot of faith in Motive Studios to get it right.

We don’t have long to wait to find out, with the game shipping on October 2nd, 2020. That’s only 36 days away – though that’s going to feel like about six months thanks to it being 2020…

Here’s the trailer to get you amped up!

RPM Tech Revamp For UFC 4

EA’s RPM Tech (real player motion technology) was first introduced a few years back, with the basis of it powering titles like FIFA 18, UFC 3, Madden NFL 19, NBA Live 19, and NHL 19, allowing a great deal more player mobility while also raising the bar on realistic movement.

That tech got a bump for the next year’s releases, with NHL 20 introducing RPM Tech 2.0 allowing for on-the-fly puck pickups as well as much better player control – and it’s that revamp that I’m hoping to see in UFC 4 as it gets its own RPM revamp.

https://youtu.be/GjugTk9ovcI

RPM Tech was used in UFC 3 to add realism to the striking side of combat, but UFC 4 sees it incorporated into the clinch, takedown, and ground and pound as well. This should help eliminate the weird glitch animations and arm/leg traps that plagued past games, as well as make the transitions more situational and smooth.

I’m really interested in seeing the revamp and how important positioning is going to be in UFC 4 with this new animation system. Picking your spot is likely to be more important than just swinging for the fences, especially if the takedown tweaks can be used to punish button mashers.

[VIDEO] Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – Designing BD-1

Star Wars is known for its droids, from the classics like R2-D2 and C-3PO to new favourites like BB-8, so Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s development team had to make sure their companion, BD-1, was worthy of standing alongside the competition.
Check out the video to see what went into designing this backpackable droid companion.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is slated to release November 15, 2019 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Pre-orders are available now, and land you a slate of bonuses including a Bee D-1 skin.