Mass Effect Legendary Edition Xbox Series X Review

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is the best way to experience one of the greatest trilogies in gaming.

By Grayshadow, Posted 17 May 2021

Mass Effect is widely considered one of the best franchises from BioWare. A science-fiction epic with a branching narrative that evolves over the course of 3 games where the player decides whether to be a ruthless renegade or a paragon of heroism. Mass Effect Legendary Edition brings back Commander Shepard for another round, with improved visuals, better frame rate, and a completely remastered first game. This incredible collection has over 100 hours of quality gameplay and dozens of reasons to replay the series but has its fair share of technical problems. Mass Effect Legendary Edition is the best way to experience one of the greatest trilogies in gaming.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition,BioWare,EA,

Mass Effect has players taking control of Commander Shepard, a soldier of the Alliance Navy. Humanity has achieved space travel and has discovered alien life. Finding out there's an entire galactic community but Mass Effect takes place years after this discovery. With humans attempting to prove themselves among these new species but at the same time overstepping their bounds to quickly achieve positions of power.

Shepard is a custom character that serves as an extension of the player, with you deciding how Shepard will take on the suicidal missions provided to them. Shepard will lead the charge against galactic extinction from an interstellar threat millions of years old over the course of the 3 games. To accomplish this Shepard will decide the fate of millions of lives throughout the trilogy while fighting against and with the galaxies best and brightest. Each one of Shepard's allies has diverse and intricate personalities. Whether it's a violent sense of justice, loyalty to one's people, or doing what's necessary for the greater good. Despite being key characters Shepard's allies can die and the story will continue regardless.

Most missions, especially the main story related, have at least 2 ways to complete things. This includes Paragon or Renegade, dedicating to one or the other in any of the 3 games will open more narrative options in that trait. This encourages multiple playthroughs and it offers unique dialogue and character interactions only available to that path. And importing characters is simple, just click the Shepard you want to take.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition,BioWare,EA,

The narrative may have a strong foundation that encourages replayability but it also highlights the game's major issues. Going from Mass Effect 2 to Mass Effect 3 many players will find huge holes in the story. BioWare retcon significant plot points in Mass Effect 2 and those playing these games for the first time will notice these. As a veteran fan, these plotholes are amplified even more since there's no buffer, you just go from the second game to the third.

It's encouraged you to play the games in chronological order and take your Shepard across the adventure. This allows for a better experience as you'll see the consequences of your actions. However, if you wish to dive into any version past Mass Effect you can use the interactive comic to make changes to the story. These only provide the option to make major choices and leave the minor ones out. So don't expect to meet Conrad if you choose this route.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition,BioWare,EA,

Gameplay between the 3 games is your standard third-person shooter however Mass Effect has been completely remastered with an updated combat system. The new version players more like Mass Effect 2 with tighter controls and superior aiming and feedback. Characters are much more grounded, sprinting doesn't tire Shepard out after a few seconds, and allies are much reliable. This extends to the enemies as well who move and attack more effectively.

The visuals have been a massive improvement. Models are more fleshed out, the dull visuals are more vibrant than the original, and the overall presentation is vastly better. It's simply a better experience than the original. However, it does have its issues. During my 2 playthroughs, I was left unable to move during the Hot Labs train ride, Wrex's texture was gone from the character model, and the final boss got stuck inside the floor. I had other issues such as my ally floating away and in 1 instance the final boss died instantly after the cutscene played.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition,BioWare,EA,

Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 play the same as the original. Much of the game's mechanics remain unchanged except for the DLC armors and weapons content. Now players can purchase these exclusive items from vendors and use them. Something that was heavily criticized in the original releases since so much of these exclusive items were limited to specific pre-orders and special editions.

Like Mass Effect the second and third games have their share of technical issues. Enemies dying instantly when doors close, characters getting stuck in the geometry, and achievements not unlocking. With certain achievements linked across multiple games, this is particularly upsetting. In addition, the collection does not contain every piece of DLC. For example, the combat simulator Pinnacle Station is not included in the package. While not a massive loss it's still part of the original Mass Effect's lore.

Those hoping to take on the multiplayer will sadly be frustrated. The multiplayer for Mass Effect 3 was disappointing when it launched, offering horde battles with random loot box awards but allowing players to finally control the alien races. With multiple updates adding playable characters such as Cerberus agents and even the Collectors. It's not a major loss but it offered the first and only way to play as other characters.

Mass Effect,BioWare,NoobFeed,

Mass Effect Legendary Edition combines 3 legendary games into 1 package, easily containing dozens of hours of playable stories. This coupled with the improved Mass Effect Remaster ensures that gameplay remains mostly consistent throughout the adventure. The technical problems are being addressed as we speak and the absence of both multiplayer and Pinnacle Station isn't a huge loss. Those yet to experience this phenomenal franchise Mass Effect Legendary Edition now your chance to see why it has such a large fanbase and if you're a returning fan this is the best option to re-experience this exceptional series.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): EA
Developer(s): BioWare
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Science Fiction
Release Date: 2021-05-14

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