Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Review

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It’s been a whole console generation since we last saw Shepard, Tali, Garrus, and the rest of the Normandy crew. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition remasters BioWare’s space opera RPG trilogy for the new generation of consoles, enhancing the visuals, implementing quality of life improvements, and making welcome adjustments to certain content for all three games. In those adjustments, Legendary Edition occasionally draws unwanted attention to parts of the trilogy that haven’t aged gracefully, but as a whole, this remaster is a good way to see what all the fuss is about if you missed out on the first three Mass Effect games the first time around, or are just looking for a reason to dive into them again.

The core of Mass Effect is its choice- and consequence-driven narrative. As Commander Shepard, the first human to be given the role of a Spectre (basically a space cop) in the interspecies Milky Way government, you are put into many situations where you have the final say on how things go down. Your choices in the first game can influence how characters perceive you or how events transpire in the second, which then can domino effect into the third. It’s up to you to decide whether you wish to be a paragon of virtue or a results-oriented renegade in your mission to defend the entire Milky Way’s galactic society from a large number of conflicts, while an even greater threat looms on the horizon.

While this consequence-driven system seems to allow a great deal of agency in how you resolve certain conflicts, it’s rigid in its design, basing the entirety of Shepard’s morality on a binary system of Paragon and Renegade choices. Its simplicity does make the system fairly approachable, reducing the complexity of every decision to a “morally good” and “morally bad” choice for those looking to play through the trilogy entirely Paragon or Renegade. Additionally, from an accessibility standpoint, splitting Shepard’s choices into a rigid binary helps with better understanding the underlying nuance to certain dialogue choices before picking them.

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Source: Game Spot Mashup