Tag Archives: Mass Effect

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.

The best unveils of The Game Awards 2020

Let’s be honest, 2020 has been a bit garbage to this point but Geoff Keighley and The Game Awards helped salvage things a bit with a ton of reveals. Mass Effect isn’t dead! Crimson Desert looks awesome! Outriders still doesn’t look like it’ll let us down!

There’s a lot to celebrate, but here’s my favourites:

Crimson Desert

Best known for their MMORPG Black Desert Online, Pearl Abyss is looking to shake things up a bit with Crimson Desert – an open-world action-adventure that looks…well, let’s be honest, I spent about half this trailer thinking it was a new next-gen-only Assassin’s Creed game.

That’s not a negative – the AC games are fantastic examples of the genre, and I’m pumped to hear more about Crimson Desert soon. The game is slated to hit in Winter 2021, with both single-player and online multiplayer components – we’ll see if they go full MMORPG with it or not.


The Callisto Protocol

You had me at ‘directed by Dead Space creator Glen Schofield’… Set on Jupiter’s moon in 2320, the game promises to be a next-gen take on survival horror.

“We’re setting out to make one of the most terrifying games of all time, and we can’t wait to share more about The Callisto Protocol next year,” said Schofield, Striking Distance Studios’ founder and CEO in a statement.

Next-gen jump scares are going to be heartstopping…


Disco Elysium The Final Cut

Disco Elysium is an RPG that you really have to play to appreciate. With a ton of freedom at your disposal and a superbly written world to explore, this is one of the best RPGs of the last decade and a must-play.

The game is expected to release in Summer 2021 on PS5, Xbox Series consoles, Switch, and PC – a free upgrade on PC for existing owners.


Perfect Dark

The Initiative was formed two years ago by Microsoft, assembled with top-tier talent and they’ve continually been stocking it with more over time – and now we know what they’re making…a Perfect Dark reboot.

I can’t lie, I was hoping for a killer new IP from this massively talented studio, but hey – this does look pretty killer so I’ll give it a chance.


Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

After years of having the license abused by bargain bin-quality games, Warhammer 40,000 has had a remarkable resurgence recently with a string of solid releases. That looks to continue with Darktide – slated to hit shelves in 2021 for PC and Xbox Series consoles.

Vermintide was great, and I have high hopes for Darktide – and whatever comes next for the Warhammer IP. I can finally get excited about it again!


Back 4 Blood

A spiritual sequel to Left 4 Dead and it’s by the developers behind the hugely successful cooperative zombie shooter?

I’m in.

I didn’t even need to see the awesome looking gameplay footage – that was just gravy.

Back 4 Blood hits June 22, 2021 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles, and PC.


Dragon Age…something

They didn’t tell us a lot, but it does look pretty so it has that going for it which is nice.

I’m a huge BioWare fan, so I’m interested in whatever comes next in the Dragon Age franchise. I just hope they don’t keep us waiting too long…


Fall Guys: Season 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL1x_04Yefw

The popular hot take is that Fall Guys fell from glory, but the truth is the game is still doing amazingly well and is still a lot of fun to play. Season 3 looks to expand on that when it hits, December 15th.


Evil Dead The Game

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvcWC35axqA

This was a great surprise and it looks WAY better than I would have expected.

Coming in 2021 is really all we know so far.


It Takes Two

From Josef Fares, director of A Way Out, comes It Takes Two – a co-op game that looks like a ton of fun with a huge amount of gameplay diversity.

The game’s slated to hit shelves March 26, 2021.


Century: Age of Ashes

A free-to-play team-based shooter that’s hitting Early Access in February, Century: Age of Ashes sports giant dragons and skill-based combat with 3 classes: Windguard, Marauder, and Phantom.

Players will have some options as to how they want to approach combat when this game hits Steam Early Access. Can’t wait to see how it shakes out.


Outriders

** You’ll have to check out the actual The Game Awards trailer here, as it’s behind an age gate. **

Developed by People Can Fly – that’s a major reason I’m interested in Outriders, despite the underwhelming nature of other loot-based shooter/melee games recently – Outriders looks awesome. It’s slated for February 2, 2021 and I’ll be there day one.


Monster Hunter Rise

I don’t get in as much Switch time as I’d like, thanks to the kids keeping a deathgrip on it, but I’ll find time for Monster Hunter Rise.

The demo hits in January!


F.I.S.T Forged In Shadow Torch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikWxYB5SX2c

Previously announced for PS4 and PC, FIST will now be launching on PS5 as well and it’s super weird but I’m here for it.

It’s a Metroidvania with a whole lot going on. Check out that trailer and tell me you’re not at least a little interested.


NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…

** Check out the age-gated trailer from The Game Awards here. **

A rebuild of NieR Replicant for its 10th anniversary? OK, you got me.


Evil West

As a vampire hunter, Evil West has you tasked with wiping out the undead menace and saving the world. Battle solo or with a friend? Ok, who do I trust to watch my back in a supernatural apocalypse?

Coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles, and PC in 2021.


Scarlet Nexus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1BF3U52R0o

I still don’t know if Scarlet Nexus is going to be good or not, but it’s caught my interest and that’s good enough for me.

Scarlet Nexus is slated for release in Summer 2021.


Ark 2

Personally I’m not so sure about this one, but I have a three-year-old who can name every single dinosaur that I can plus about a dozen more so there’s no doubt I’ll be running around in this dinosaur-filled environment whenever it releases.

I just hope this releases in a better condition than the original did.


Elite Dangerous: Odyssey

I’m a sucker for space games and Elite Dangerous has been a personal favourite for a while now. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next, and this expansion releases in early 2021 to allow on-foot exploration among a ton of other improvements.


Ruined King: A League of Legends Story

IT’S MORE BATTLECHASERS! PLAY IT!

Ruined King has been moved to a simple ‘some time in 2021’ release date at this point. Hope to hear more soon.


Mass Effect….Continues

Tap it directly into my veins. I’m there.