Mass Effect as a franchise should arguably be even bigger than it is. The original trilogy concluded in March of 2012 and, despite a controversial ending, fans were ecstatic to see where the franchise was heading next — it felt like EA and Bioware had created something infinitely replicable. The Mass Effect universe was cool and had endless potential for spin-offs.
Only one Mass Effect game, however, came out during the previous console generation. It did not help that Mass Effect: Andromeda was more than just a flop. Many fans felt it was a franchise killer thanks to its bugs, dull story, and choice to move towards an open world. Bioware even reportedly put the franchise on hiatus due to the poor reception of the game.
This is why Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is so exciting. It’s a potential return to form for the franchise and a chance to fix old mistakes. If this game performs well, then it is easy for Bioware to go back to making Mass Effect games in a universe that many have been wanting to back to ever since they watched the final credits roll in 2012. We’ll finally be getting our chance in May of 2021, but so far, we haven’t seen much more than demo footage of the game. It’s exciting, but not enough to quell any concerns that some may have for the franchise.
Calibrations complete. Relive the legend of Commander Shepard, remastered in 4K Ultra HD. Mass Effect Legendary Edition launches May 14.
— Mass Effect (@masseffect) February 2, 2021
There’s obviously a possibility this game flops. It’s an older franchise that hasn’t been touched since 2012 and Bioware has been struggling as a developer for quite some time now. It’s also a remake and, while that may sound like an easy slam dunk, many games in the past have shown us that remakes can easily be done wrong. There will also be an expectation of improvement to justify why this game needs to exist. To make sure that goes smoothly, this is what we want to see from Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.
Don’t Ship Broken
This really shouldn’t be a want, but rather an expectation, and yet in the year 2021, it is becoming increasingly clear that games do not ship complete. The trend of games being unfinished and buggy on release day is a bad one and it has plagued the industry as a whole, with Cyberpunk 2077 being the latest example of this.
This would be especially lethal for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition because of Andromeda. It was such a broken, buggy mess that it led to many fans feeling like the series was dead for good. If the new game launches and is unplayable because of bugs, that may be good enough to turn many fans off the series permanently, especially when you consider they’re keeping this on the original Unreal 3 engine it was built on. Fans will not want to discover new bugs in a franchise they got right 10 years ago. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition needs to release as close to perfect as possible.
Help the original Mass Effect fulfill its potential
Of the three games, the original Mass Effect has the most potential to improve from a remastering. It’s the oldest game, so it had the most boring worlds, muddiest graphics, and the controls were finicky at best. Remember the Mako? Nobody liked the Mako. This is a chance to fix all of this and turn it into arguably the best game in the franchise.
Mass Effect is the game that plays the most like an RPG and has a relatively self-contained story. While 2 and 3 expand on the lore of the universe and turned the franchise into a sci-fi epic, the first game was just getting its feet wet and trying to figure out what it wanted to be. As a result, it has the worst control by far, but the remaster should fix all of that. Mass Effect could be the best game in the entire franchise and the remaster may fulfill that possibility.
Just leave Mass Effect 3‘s ending alone
We get it, most people didn’t like the ending of the original trilogy and this is the perfect opportunity to fix that and make it right. You even have a teaser out there for the next game that you can lead into!
Don’t take the temptation. Just let the ending exist as it is and do your best to fix it in the potential sequel. The only thing touching on it now would do is re-open the wound and potentially make it worse. Mass Effect 3 is still a phenomenal game with many incredible series highlights. Fix the edges, don’t mess with the core. That said…
More romance options
One of the great crimes of the series was that you were not able to have non-straight male relationships until Mass Effect 3. You can have a relationship in the first game with a female alien in Mass Effect as the female character, but that was the only non-straight relationship in the entire franchise until the third title. It received heavy backlash at the time and in Mass Effect 2 there were no non-straight relationship scenes at all, an extreme disappointment.
The relationship system seems primed for an overhaul in the remaster. There was never a good reason to not allow this before Mass Effect 3 and if they’re able to bring back in some of the voice actors to reprise their roles it would be great to see them fix this mistake in the legendary edition.