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The visual differences are only the beginning

Although Mass Effect Legendary Edition bundles almost all of the content of Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 into a single remaster, and apart from technical details largely stays true to the original trilogy, there are nonetheless numerous changes ranging from trivial to substantial. This page details the various changes, adjustments and improvements made in the Legendary Edition compared to the original Mass Effect Trilogy. On other pages on the Mass Effect Wiki that are gameplay-focused such as mission walkthroughs, Legendary Edition changes are usually marked with orange text.

Overall Improvements[]

David Anderson's face gains a consistency upgrade

In addition to unifying all three games under a single launcher, Legendary Edition includes substantial visual updates, such as higher resolutions, more detailed models, and real-time reflections. Another broad theme involves unifying the visual presentation of the characters and locations across the three games, in cases where there was divergence during the course of the Original Trilogy. A Photo Mode has been added. Various bugs have been fixed throughout the trilogy, including some which grant access to content that was originally cut. Modest gameplay and HUD updates have also been made. A list of individual changes follows below:

Character Creator[]

  • Character creator for all three games based on the Mass Effect 3 creator, along with new customization options such as hair styles, hair colours and skin colours, many of which come from Mass Effect: Andromeda.
  • The redesigned female Shepard design made for Mass Effect 3 is the female default. The original female Shepard from the first two games can be recovered by selecting the first preset and then adjusting the randomized hair, eyes, and scars.

Visual Updates[]

  • Real-time reflections in select areas, such as the fish tank in the Captain's Cabin aboard the Normandy SR-2.
  • Assets which appeared in higher quality in Mass Effect 3 have been reverse-implemented into Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. This also applies to Mass Effect 3 if the assets appeared in higher quality in the DLCs.
  • Details from some assets moved from textures to models.
  • Audio is remixed and enhanced across all games.
  • The Presidium look in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 is aligned with its Mass Effect 3 appearance.
  • Photo Mode allows you to pause the games, move the camera and apply various filters and effects to take screenshots.

Gameplay[]

  • All difficulty levels are available from the start. Multiple playthroughs are not required to unlock the Hardcore and Insanity levels.
  • A new set of achievements are introduced: They are a mix of slightly modified achievements from the original Trilogy and new achievements specific to the Legendary Edition that span all three games. However, several achievements from the original version have been removed, particularly those associated with DLC missions.
  • Native controller and 21:9 display support on PC, with DirectX 11 compatibility.
  • On PC, the 50-save limit has been removed, allowing for hundreds (or thousands) of saves per playthrough. The games save sequentially, meaning they assign save numbers by last highest +1. In the first game, the limit is 999 saves, as any further causes the system to break: the next is marked "Save 2", subsequent saves will overwrite that save instead of making a new file even if explicitly instructed to save a new file. The next games have no such limitation.
  • Adjustments have been made to the gameplay of several missions in the trilogy. Some of the bigger changes are listed on this page, but for specifics, check the walkthrough pages for a particular mission.

Mass Effect[]

As the first and oldest game in the series, Mass Effect naturally received the largest number of visual updates, as well as the greatest amount of retrofitting of visuals to more closely match the subsequent games. The most substantial changes overall involve the updated Mako, as both gameplay and visuals have been dramatically reworked.

Visual Updates[]

  • Main menu start screen has been redesigned.
  • HUD in the style of more recent games, putting Shepard's health in the bottom-center of the screen with squadmates' health and the medi-gel count underneath. Shields represented by a bar above the health meter rather than as blocks next to it, and grenades are displayed above the weapon icon.
  • Additional Eden Prime assets taken from the Mass Effect 3: From Ashes DLC.
  • Feros now has more assets to fill out the surrounding city and add to the sense of destruction, and a guardrail has been added to the Prothean Skyway.
  • The lighting in Noveria's Port Hanshan now differs per area to aid navigation.
  • Though likely intended to be a turian character from the outset, Elanos Haliat was given a human model in the original game. His turian identity is hinted at by his name, the distinctive sound processing applied to his dialogue, and his referring to humanity as "Shepard's kind". In Legendary Edition, he has a turian character model.
  • In the battle against Matriarch Benezia, she has a biotic shield around her to explain why she can't be damaged during the first three rounds.
  • The Earth texture visible from Luna is no longer mirrored and upside down.
  • The Alliance Military Database sequences when setting up a profile have been redesigned.
  • UNC Worlds have been improved, including higher terrain polygon count, terrain shadows, and extra ground details such as rocks and grass.

Gameplay Updates[]

Combat[]

  • Some controller buttons have changed:
    • Grenade Throw/Trigger and Holster Weapon are swapped - grenades are now next to Use Medi-gel. (Note that grenades can be used even when not in combat.)
  • The original hacking/decryption "minigame" is replaced with a fancier one.
    • Additionally, failing an attempt to manually bypass a lock no longer prevents another attempt. This means that omni-gel is no longer required to unlock containers on minigame failure.
  • Entering and exiting cover is more reliable.
  • Snapping back into cover after firing a shot takes longer.
  • Sprinting is possible even outside of combat but is slower across the board; however, fatigue recovery is faster.
  • First Aid has only a 20 second base recharge time, not 60 seconds.
  • Liara's bonus to First Aid recharge time from Asari Scientist has been significantly improved.
  • Shepard sometimes makes comments when severely injured, knocked down by biotics, throwing grenades, and using medi-gel.
  • Projectiles fired by enemies move more slowly.
  • Weapon accuracy and handling has been significantly improved:
    • Reticle bloom is more controlled.
    • Weapon sway removed when scoping through sniper rifles.
    • Aiming down sights/"tight aim" camera view is improved. It is no longer necessary to possess training in the relevant weapon talent to be able to aim down sights. Also, aiming down sights slows movement.
    • Improved aim assist for target acquisition.
  • All weapons can be used by any class without accuracy penalties, though specializations are still class-specific.
  • Weapons have different firing modes depending on the manufacturer such as a three-burst sniper rifle, a slug-firing shotgun, and a three-/five-burst assault rifle.
  • Squadmates can be individually directed similarly to Mass Effect 2 and 3.
  • Squadmates don't make "all clear" comments to indicate when all nearby enemies have been eliminated as often.
  • Melee attacks mapped to a button similar to Mass Effect 2 and 3; melee attacks are no longer forced when you are close to the enemy, allowing you to shoot instead.
  • All relevant enemies now take headshot damage; in the original game most did not, including humanoid enemies.
  • Certain biotic enemies no longer target Shepard with ragdolling talents like Throw. However, they can still use them against squadmates and Shepard can be hit if caught in the area of effect.
  • "Hedgehog" obstacles are indestructible.

M35 Mako[]

See also: Mako Guide#Legendary Edition
  • The Mako's physics were tweaked to be more precise, although the option to revert to the original controls is available.
  • No XP penalty for killing enemies in the Mako.
  • Mako can move while being repaired, though the weapons still cannot be fired.
  • The weapons deal significantly more damage.
  • New thrusters which briefly boost the speed similar to the ND1 Nomad, with a cooldown independent from the existing jump jets.
  • Touching the pools of lava on Therum deals damage over time instead of an instant Game Over. For some reason this does not apply to the lava lake on Nonuel.
  • No longer taking light damage from heavy impacts with the environment.
  • The rear lights are on all the time while driving it, rather than only when the vehicle has stopped.
  • Shields now recharge more quickly.
  • The cannon fires where the reticule points. This allows for targeting enemies below the cannon's pitch.
  • Mako status bars are visible at all zoom levels.

Various[]

  • Mounting crates can no longer be done with weapons drawn, and the GUI indicator for the move has been removed. Guns must be holstered first before attempting the action.
  • Thresher Maws fire many acid shots in a "shotgun spread" rather than just one, can lead their shots, and release Sensory Tentacles out of the ground that can deal damage. Their period underground also lasts longer, along with a dirt cloud trail that shows where they're moving.
  • Loading times significantly reduced; faster elevator shafts, along with an option to skip news alerts and squadmate conversations.
  • Inventory management is improved:
    • Capacity doubled from 150 to 300, with the warning for reaching full capacity appearing with 50 slots remaining, rather than 10.
    • Items can now be flagged as “Junk”. All Junk items can be converted into omni-gel or sold to merchants at once.
    • Inventory and stores now have sorting functionality.
  • Option to scale character levels to the 1-30 scale used in the subsequent games (does not affect total talent points awarded).
  • Several walls that were originally placed to block parts of the larger levels from being rendered to aid performance, such as in Port Hanshan on Noveria, have been removed for better navigation.
  • During the Citadel: Scan the Keepers assignment, only 20 of the 21 possible Keepers need to be scanned.
  • During Find Liara T'Soni, the puzzle code for the mining laser is the same across all platforms.
  • Revisions to the fight on Virmire with Saren: fuel tanks have been removed and Saren will now fight alongside waves of geth.
  • The Asari Clone in the battle against the Thorian no longer targets Shepard with the knockdown ability.
  • Several aspects of the battle against Benezia have been changed. Among other things, fewer commandos and snipers accompany her.
  • The final battle has more cover and includes waves of geth.
  • There is no longer a level cap on a first playthrough.
  • The Councilors' names are now displayed in subtitles.

Bug Fixes[]

  • The Codex entry for Batarians given when Anderson reveals the details of his ill-fated Mission with Saren, instead of when playing Bring Down the Sky.
  • Failing to talk to Emily Wong before raiding Chora's Den and acquiring the OSD from Fist does not result in Wong not being present on the wards.
  • The console on Casbin can now be interacted with and can be used to turn off the geth signal.

Mass Effect 2[]

The Illusive Man's uniform and sanctum in greater detail

Many of the changes to Mass Effect 2 revolve around correcting bugs related to accurately reflecting the outcome of a Mass Effect play through on the second game. In some cases this amounts to the restoration of formerly cut content.

Visual Updates[]

  • Several camera angles during cutscenes adjusted.
  • Kelly Chambers's facial features consistent with Mass Effect 3.
  • During the initial cutscene of Tali's loyalty mission, Joker wears a Cerberus outfit instead of his Alliance outfit from the game's prologue.
  • The textures for Pluto have been updated to reflect the much more accurate and detailed photos taken by NASA's New Horizons probe in 2015.
  • Waypoints on missions in the Firewalker Pack now include hexagonal detailing.
  • The Geth Pulse Rifle now has an accurate wireframe image in the tactical pause menu in the HUD during missions, whereas before it used the same image as the Collector Particle Beam.

Gameplay Updates[]

  • The baseline delay before Shepard's health and shields begin to recharge is reduced from 6 seconds to about 4.5 seconds.
  • Camera freedom is increased while Shepard is storming, making it easier to turn while sprinting using the camera.
  • Weapons and armor from DLC are integrated into the game: rather than being dumped into Shepard's inventory at the beginning, the items can be researched or bought from merchants throughout the game.
    • An exception is the Arc Projector, which is available from the start.
  • It is possible to cancel refueling or refuel incrementally at a Fuel Depot by selecting the Buy Fuel button repeatedly, but this is somewhat imprecise.
  • The N7 Leather and N7 Hoodie casual outfits from Mass Effect 3 are available in Mass Effect 2, with the higher-quality Spacer outfits from Mass Effect 3 replacing their Mass Effect 2 versions.
  • A large blue box centered on Joram Talid's "talk box" was added in Thane: Sins of the Father, making it easier to spot him from the catwalks.
  • Improvements have been made to the Morality system, including accurate representation of your Paragon and Renegade point amounts, facilitating the success of key persuasions.
  • The player starts Mass Effect 2 with 10% of their credits carried over from importing a Mass Effect save (up to a maximum of 100,000) in addition to the level bonuses.
  • The pause menu options have been reshuffled for consistency.
  • The thermal clip drop rate has been increased, especially when using sniper rifles.
  • The amount of ammunition restored by thermal clips has been greatly increased for all weapons.
  • Ammunition refill works the way it does in Mass Effect 3: it is possible to pick up thermal clips to refill weapons with depleted magazines that are already at maximum spare ammunition; the weapon must still be reloaded to refill the magazine, but the picked-up ammunition is added as a temporary bonus to spare ammunition that may even exceed its normal maximum capacity until a reload is performed.
  • The node-matching bypass minigame only requires four or fewer pairs of matching nodes to be connected in most cases, never five. The "Y"-like symbol with 3 top spokes no longer shows up.
  • The sound effect the M-44 Hammerhead makes after a successful resource collection was changed from a few short beeps to a buzzing sound.
  • Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker achievements have been reduced to 1 of each. All Arrival achievements have been removed.
  • Bonus dialogue relating to the events of Mass Effect Galaxy that could be heard if both Miranda and Jacob were brought along when first speaking with Ish on Omega is now heard by default without having to play Galaxy.
  • Loading screens don't wait for the animation to finish, making loading times faster.
  • The Vanguard class's Charge power benefits from the Biotic Cooldown upgrade; it is intentionally unaffected by this upgrade in the original game.

Bug Fixes[]

  • Miranda does not ask whether Anderson or Udina was nominated to the council - the choice is automatically imported.
  • Many bug fixes relating to choices in Mass Effect, resulting in many more Galactic News bulletins that refer to Assignments you completed in the first game, as well as existing ones reflecting the correct outcome. In some cases, this amounts to the restoration of formerly cut content.
  • The Beacon VI on 2175 Aeia no longer will disappear after speaking its ambient dialogue lines.

Mass Effect 3[]

Stab enemies to death in greater detail

The updates to Mass Effect 3 include the removal of Multiplayer support and corresponding adjustments to the War Assets feature, as well as DLC integration and a few visual updates and bug fixes.

Visual Updates[]

  • The Illusive Man's face during his and Shepard's confrontation in Priority: Mars originally contorted in such a way that left massive and noticeable wrinkles. The issue has been resolved.
  • Tali's face, as can be seen in a photograph during the events of Mass Effect 3, originally used an edited portrait of the 2005 Miss England Hammasa Kohistani in the original.[1][2] For Legendary Edition a female face has been integrated into a "photo" of Tali wearing her normal outfit but with her face mask removed.[3]
  • The monitors in Liara's room on the Normandy SR-2 return to their original positions when Shepard moves far away from them; in the original game they'd always focus on Shepard regardless of the distance, breaking their rotation.
  • Shepard does not have a weapon equipped in the Priority: The Citadel II cutscene on Normandy SR-2.
  • In-game interface in the PC version of the game now scales properly, making it look bigger on higher resolution displays.
  • The Cerberus Shade, Nightmare, and Spirit armors differ slightly in appearance from the original game, most notably by having dark-colored face shields as opposed to gold.
  • Steven Hackett's uniform is changed to have only three rank bars on the shoulders as opposed to four.

Gameplay Updates[]

  • Multiplayer support removed.
  • Weapons and armor from DLC integrated into the game: rather than being dumped into Shepard's inventory at the beginning, the player can now buy them from merchants throughout the game. Exceptions include the Recon Hood and Cerberus Ajax Armor, which are available from the start.
  • War Assets are not affected by any sort of Galactic Readiness system as the multiplayer mode has been removed. All War Assets are now treated as if they are at 100% effectiveness under the old system, and there is no Effective Military Strength value displayed in-game, only Total Military Strength. Additionally, the Military Strength points required for certain endings have been adjusted. For example, to obtain the Destroy/Shepard breathes ending, you will need at least 7400 Total Military Strength.
  • The criteria to acquire certain War Assets has been changed. For example, in Attican Traverse: Krogan Team, rescuing the rachni leader would result in both Aralakh Company and rachni workers being acquired, albeit with Aralakh Company being reduced, depending on Grunt's status. In the Legendary Edition, saving the rachni leader prevents Aralakh Company from being acquired entirely.
  • During the final battle with the Shepard Clone, its medi-gel count is no longer visible to the player.

Bug Fixes[]

  • Joker's Paragon goodbye on Priority: Earth, where he gives a handshake, has been restored; this interaction was intended for the original game, but didn't show due to an error in coding.
  • The resetting of Shepard's loadout after Priority: Rannoch no longer occurs.
  • Ashley William's Marksman Ability has been fixed, enabling players to use her powers to their full extent.
  • The M-3 Predator is always automatically equipped for the fight with Eva at the end of Priority: Mars, fixing an issue where the fight would be impossible to complete with certain weapon loadouts.

References[]

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