Now that Mass Effect: Legendary Edition went gold and a release date is locked, EA is focusing their marketing strategy on showing us how much more beautiful Mass Effect is in this new edition. In a newly released comparison trailer, the team behind this latest iteration puts the original trilogy and the Legendary Edition side-by-side. The trailer also comes with an in-depth analysis of how BioWare developers achieved the magnificent result, published in EA’s official blog.
First, the art team had to identify and catalog every asset in the trilogy. That means every texture, model, particle, sound effect, cinematic movie… basically, everything that you can see and hear in a game. This process resulted in a list of more than thirty thousand textures across the trilogy, all needing an improvement, since the original games were released for consoles that supported only a 1080p resolution and lower quality audio, while the new generation can go up to 4K and high definition sounds.
With all the art assets properly identified, the second step was actually updating every asset. This brought new issues to the team, as the same characters and scenarios were often used across the entire original trilogy, with obvious improvements from one game to another. This means the team had to prioritize the assets used in Mass Effect 3 as the closest to their goal.
With all assets updated individually, the third phase of the visual improvement was to go back to the original concept arts for each level and start to work on better versions of all scenes. It was not enough to just update assets, but offer new improvements once the team could see all the unique parts interacting with each other. This meant adjusting light, texture and sound effects, to better convey the original vision for each game, even if the technical limitations of their original release prevented the art team to bring it to life at that time.
After reporting several improvements, this new deep dive into the visual improvements of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition gives us more details about how much work was put into the special release, and what players can expect of the remake. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is available now for pre-order on PC via Origin and Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One with compatibility on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.