I’m going to do things a little differently for this article. I always have a set format for game reviews and I remember fondly when I first started doing them, like my review for War for Cybertron, I was still trying to figure out how to write it, but I had a great time doing so regardless.
Then, when I reviewed some films, it began to come together. However, it’s hard to use it now for movies because you’re only watching it for 90 minutes to 3 hours and there’s only so much you can take in. But, with video games, the duration is entirely up to how long it takes you to complete it which allows you to think it through more on what you want to say about it.
I wrote my thoughts on all three games in the original Mass Effect trilogy, and now I’m going to talk about the highly anticipated remaster that was released in May this year. My first run of it brought me back to the first time I played through the original games in the summer of 2012 before I started college. I binged at them, and then started another run the moment I finished the first one, then again, and again, and again as each DLC rolled out to a point where I have lost count of how many times I have played through this trilogy!
What I’m going to do is give a rundown of each game in this remaster, without spoilers as well as give links to the story-based reviews I wrote when playing the original games.
The first game was in need of a remaster the most because the gameplay was laggy and there were some bugs in the animation that I always noticed during gameplay and cutscenes.
Now there is lots of improvement with the graphics and it’s nice to see my Femshep’s face from the third game appear in this one, instead of the previous face which I thought was bland compared to the former.
Mako can still be a hassle to control but for PC gamers at least we can use a controller this time. Also, the Pinnacle Station DLC was removed but I never cared for that.
There was a bug I remembered encountering almost every time I made it to Virmire that hindered my progress, but this remaster fixed that. I like the photo mode a lot too and started using it regularly whenever I saw worthy scenery. Other than that, this part of the trilogy is the only one where they changed the HUD during combat so it looks like a mixture between ME3 and Andromeda.
Mass Effect 2
In the second game, I didn’t care if some butt shots were cut out. It’s no big deal to me, but everything went great with this one, so I can’t complain about anything.
But doing the suicide mission and some other favourites of mine definitely felt more intense with these improved graphics! The combat in this game may not be my favourite but it’s still a cinematic experience to play through this chapter.
Mass Effect 3
Maybe the third game didn’t need to be remastered, but it was always a hassle when the game was first out to try and get enough war assets to have a decent ending. In the original game not only did you have to gather war assets by helping others and scanning planets but you had to also boost Galactic Readiness which would determine how well your assets would perform, then watch your Effective Military Strength because if it wasn’t high enough, everyone would perish. BioWare eventually modified this so you didn’t have to get it too high.
In the remaster, EMS and GR are abolished so all you have to worry about is getting enough war assets. In the beginning, I had to spend a lot of time searching and towards the end of the game, I had 7000 total military strength which was enough to give me the ending I wanted.
There wasn’t much change with the graphics but I noticed my Femshep’s hair was a little more neutral but I won’t complain about that too much.
My overall thoughts on this trilogy remaster is that it looks fantastic, the graphics and gameplay are much better across all three games, many bugs were fixed, but some new ones have appeared. The first few months after release, I did encounter some game-crashing ones but they never stuck around. Also, I’m glad they kept the soundtrack as it is, it’s so iconic that it doesn’t need to be remixed.
As for my wishes that I wrote about a while back, I got most of what I wanted, other than graphics, importing my Shepard across each game was very simple as all three games can be accessed on the start menu, all DLCs are there as they should be, controller support, got it. Only two things I didn’t get but those I realized that BioWare would have to scrap what they already created to give me those so I’m not upset that romance scenes remained the same or no universal combat system. Oh well, this is probably best remaster I’ve played this year and well, ever! If you want to read my original story-based reviews for the games which I wrote before this remaster was out, refer to all the links above.
This remaster deserves more than five stars, great job BioWare. I never thought I’d come to love this, but I did.