Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Everything We Know About The Remastered Collection

The original Mass Effect trilogy is getting a glow-up as the Mass Effect Legendary Edition--here's everything we currently know about it.

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The Mass Effect trilogy is returning almost 10 years after BioWare wrapped up the story of Commander Shepard in its sci-fi RPG series. BioWare is re-releasing all three of its original Mass Effect games as the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, which brings a host of improvements to the original games and puts them together in one big package.

BioWare released a whole lot of information about what we can expect from the Legendary Edition, including what it improves, what it changes about the trilogy's story, and what it leaves out from the original games. Check out the complete rundown of everything we know about Mass Effect Legendary Edition right now, including when you can play it.

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Now Playing: Mass Effect Legendary Edition Has HUGE Changes

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Release Date And Platforms

Mass Effect Legendary Edition releases on May 14 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It'll also be available on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 through backward compatibility.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Preorders

You can preorder the new Mass Effect trilogy right now in a variety of versions, including digital and physical copies. The game itself will run you $60, and there's also a physical collector's edition that comes with a host of physical goodies--but bear in mind, it doesn't include a copy of the game, so you'll have to snag that separately. Head over to our Mass Effect Legendary Edition preorder guide to see all your options.

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Is A Switch Version Coming?

A Switch version is not currently announced--just Xbox One, PS4, and PC. But Mass Effect Legendary Edition director Mac Walters said he'd "love" to release the game on Switch as well, and suggested it could be a possibility in the future. We just don't know at this point.

What Does The Package Include?

You get Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 in the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, which are unified by a launch screen that lets you load into each of the three games. They won't run one into the next, though; if you finish Mass Effect, you'll have to go back to the splash screen to load Mass Effect 2.

The package also comes with almost all the DLC that's been released for the trilogy, more than 40 pieces that includes all additional story content, weapons and armor packages, and the like.

Not all the DLC made it in, however. Mass Effect's Pinnacle Station add-on, which was mostly combat-focused and added a few Achievements to the original Xbox title, is not part of the package. BioWare said that the source code for the DLC has been corrupted--that's why the developer couldn't bring it along for this package.

Is Multiplayer Included?

Nope. BioWare said it's not including multiplayer because it wants to focus on the single-player experience for the Legendary Edition, which means it'll be rebalancing Mass Effect 3 to take that into account. (In the original release of ME3, you needed to raise a stat called "Galactic Readiness," which could be achieved by completing multiplayer matches.)

The Mako will take you to some great-looking locales when you revisit Mass Effect in the Legendary Edition.
The Mako will take you to some great-looking locales when you revisit Mass Effect in the Legendary Edition.

What's Upgraded?

Mass Effect Legendary Edition makes a lot of changes to the game, but it primarily improves the visuals of the originals. The games run in 4K HDR at 60 FPS on all platforms. BioWare says it's also optimizing the remaster for the new console generation to get a more consistent and smooth experience. Character models (including that of FemShep) are also improved and there's now a consistent character creator across all three games.

Here's a quick list of other improvements to Mass Effect's visuals:

  • Tonemapping
  • Anti-aliasing
  • Volumetrics and fog
  • Depth of field and bloom
  • Bokeh depth of field (to enhance the art style)
  • Subsurface scattering on the skin
  • Ambient occlusion (previously only on a select few cutscenes in ME3; it's now present across the trilogy

What's Changed From The Original Trilogy?

BioWare has made a whole mess of tweaks to the original games, mostly on the gameplay side to create more consistency between each experience. There are some tweaks to the original trilogy's story, although don't expect cut content to be added into the games. Elevators rides are getting severely shortened. Galactic Readiness, a mechanic in Mass Effect 3, is getting rebalanced. Check out our complete rundown of what's changing in the Legendary Edition.

Are There PS5- Or Xbox Series X|S-Specific Improvements?

Sadly, no. BioWare said it isn't adding specific features for each console--there won't be unique haptic feedback on the PS5, for instance, or special utilization of Quick Resume on Xbox Series X and S. Console versions will leverage the new hardware's additional power, though, so expect some serious reduction in load times with the Legendary Edition.

How Does The Mass Effect 3 Ending Work?

When Mass Effect 3 came out back in 2012, there was a big outcry about its ending--both the content of how the ending worked, and how the aftermath of the final moments gave little context about what happens to the galaxy after Shepard's story ends. In response, BioWare soon released a patch for the ending that added a lengthier ending cutscene to each ending of the game's endings, running down the effects of what happened.

When you play Mass Effect 3 in the Legendary Edition, you'll only be able to access the extended version of the ending--the original isn't in this package.

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