The Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a month away. Today, BioWare put out a new video and developer blog detailing the process that went into graphically updating the Mass Effect trilogy. Weeding through all the technical information, I have come away with an important conclusion: Somehow, some way, BioWare has made Garrus Vakarian hotter.
Through methodically updating over 30,000 unique textures, adding dynamic lighting, and upgrading characters’ skin, hair, and eye looks, BioWare has managed to improve upon the perfection that is Garrus Vakarian. According to the blog, the visual improvements were meant to make the games look more consistent across the trilogy, but the developers also wanted to ensure the three games and their characters felt visually distinct.
“For characters who appeared in all three games, like Liara, Garrus, Kaiden, Captain Anderson, and more, we maintained slight changes throughout the trilogy as they aged, matured, or…got hit by a rocket,” the blog said.
The result is a Garrus who looks sexier than we’ve ever seen him. The improvements make his skin look rougher and more alien, enhancing his appeal. Even his rocket scars got an upgrade, the jagged bits of his armour and face giving him this dangerous look like a sexy, mandibled bird of prey.
In addition to upgrading everyone’s favourite turian, the developers also “completely re-rendered the pre-rendered cutscenes in 4K.” Cutscenes were also tweaked to get rid of any glitches,except for one: “Cinematic designers fixed dozens, if not hundreds of bugs that occured in live-action cutscenes and conversations. Don’t worry though; the ‘What’d you just say?’ head spinning meme still exists if you know how to look for it.”
Out of the three games, the original Mass Effect needed the most attention. Some of the changes made go beyond basic graphical upgrades and toward making Mass Effect better reflect what developers had in mind when initially designing the game.
“Feros has a few very visually distinct sections, including the colony and the highway that leads to the ExoGeni Corporation building, the aqueducts, and the Thorian lair. The former of these now features stronger smoke and fire effects, more buildings to fill out the skybox, and much more damage and debris to better showcase the attack by the geth.”
Of all the improvements the Legendary Edition will make, I’m perhaps most excited about changes to the character creator, with the developers saying, “The custom character creator has been unified and expanded upon greatly, and some of your favourite casual outfits from Mass Effect 3 are now available in Mass Effect 2, as well.”
Across the original trilogy, the character creator lacked a lot of diverse options like deeper skin colours and hairstyles that I’m glad to see BioWare finally addressing. After all, I need my Commander Shepard to look her best when it’s time to test my boo Garrus’ reach and flexibility.