Karan PradhanFeb 05, 2021 14:31:18 IST
Over the years, there have been numerous video games that have posed dilemmas and seemingly impossible choices for the player. These are generally made in the heat of the battle and then ruminated over for days to come. My first brush with a choice of this nature was in BioWare’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, where towards the end of the game I had to choose between siding with party member Bastila Shan or the rest of the crew, between the Dark side and the Light side. (For what it’s worth, it’s been over 17 years since the game released, and I assume there’s a statute of limitation on something being a spoiler after that amount of time).
I agonised for days over whether I’d made the right choice. Upon replaying the game a few months later and opting for the other choice, I realised I had made the right decision after all.
When it comes to one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make in a game, however, it turns out there was no right call (for me, anyway). Both were horrible options and both left me with a sense of melancholy. And if you have yet to play the original version of the first Mass Effect, then you’re in for a real humdinger of a choice once the Effect Legendary Edition drops on 14 May.
Just to be clear, the choice to which I alluded above is most decidedly not the one that leads to the notorious Mass Effect 3 ending.
Revealed over the course of a recent hands-off showcase, the Mass Effect Legendary Edition — a collection that includes the first three Mass Effect games and over 40 bits of DLC spanning the entire trilogy, including 15-story add-ons and a host of weapon and armour packs — will be releasing in a little over three months and will set you back Rs 3,999 for the PS4 and Xbox One versions. It is said to sport enhanced visuals, new textures, full 4K support and HDR support and HDR support.
As the press notes state, “The Mass Effect Legendary Edition will deliver an enhanced visual experience featuring remastered character models and tens of thousands of up-ressed textures. Improvements to shaders and VFX, updated lighting and improved dynamic shadows, volumetrics and depth-of-field add a new level of immersion across the trilogy. Pre-rendered cinematics have also been enhanced to make every story moment feel even more impactful.”
All of which is fantastic, but the most important thing to remember is that it’s Mass Effect and that it’s being brought back for a whole new generation of gamers to enjoy.
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room before anything else. As Mac Walters, project director on the Mass Effect Legendary Edition and lead writer of the original trilogy at BioWare, pointed out during the event, there will be no rewrites of the story, which means that the controversial ending of the trilogy remains intact. For the uninitiated, irate gamers vented their spleen at BioWare for the trilogy’s original ending, leading to the developer putting out a ‘director’s cut’ with a more fleshed-out ending. According to Walters, the fleshed-out ‘director’s cut’ ending is canon and that’s what you’ll get in the Legendary Edition.
In a world of growing instances of retrofitting, whitewashing and remaking art to fit the modern world, it’s refreshing to see a developer stick to its guns. This is especially so when that controversial ending remains a critical part of the Mass Effect lore and is a shining example of how sometimes the journey can be far greater than the destination. Making this particular 100-plus hour journey an unmissable one is the sort of relationships you’ll build with teammates, the decisions you’ll make, the worlds you’ll explore, the discussions you’ll have with NPCs the and of course, the enigma of the Illusive Man.
Elsewhere, aside from a fair few gameplay tweaks and quality of life improvements to the first game (that originally released all the way back in 2007), the developers have also decided to discard the multiplayer component of Mass Effect 3, in favour of a finetuned single-player experience.
There’s a lot to get into and so, a more detailed examination of the Mass Effect saga will be published closer to the game’s release, but for now, it’s safe to say there’s a lot to look forward to in May.
And best of all (that’s right, I saved the very best news till the very end), that eminently forgettable snooze-fest that was Mass Effect: Andromeda will not feature or even be referred to in Mass Effect Legendary Edition.