Mass Effect Legendary Edition: the 5 most important changes

Mass Effect Legendary Edition
(Image credit: EA / Bioware)

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a fantastic return to one of modern gaming’s best franchises, a sci-fi storytelling masterclass that has you saving the galaxy and making a bunch of alien friends along the way.

The collection puts a fresh coat of paint on the Mass Effect trilogy while tying all three games together in a single package. Lots has been said about the new 4K visuals the remastered game introduces, too, with improved lighting, enhanced textures and increased framerates.

It looks better then, but does it play better? Yes! There’s a bunch of improvements that have been made in the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, especially to the older, original Mass Effect game. These are the five best of the bunch.

Some light spoilers follow ahead

mass effect legendary edition tali

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Tali’s face reveal is much better

Tali is one of the most enigmatic of all the characters on the Normandy. A capable technician, marksmen and history buff, Tali is a quarian, a race of aliens on a space pilgramage who keep their faces covered at all times thanks to a protective suit. Living in cultural isolation aboard their fleets, the suit is designed to keep them from catching space bugs, but it also means you never get to see what Tali looks like aside from a glimpse at a photo in the final game.

After all the mystery surrounding Tali’s face, it was a bit of a disappointment then when that photo proved to just show a stock model image of, well, just a lady. For the Legendary Edition, BioWare’s artists have redrawn the image, and Tali is looking far more alien and in-keeping with what we learn about her throughout the series.

Mako vehicle handling is better

Mass Effect’s tank-like planet lander, the Mako, was great in theory, letting you get up close and personal with the landscape of the alien planets you encounter on your galaxy-hopping adventures. The problem was, it handled like trash, making what should have been exciting planetary excursions a pain. It was enough to have the Mako relegated to just a cameo appearance during the rest of the series.

While it’s not perfect, the Legendary Edition has re-tuned the Mako’s weight and handling, making it a far more enjoyable drive across the barren surfaces of the universe.

mass effect legendary edition noveria

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Elanos Haliat is finally a Turian

This one was an obvious bug right from Mass Effect’s original release, and yet was never fixed – until the Legendary Edition that is.

In your travels across the galaxy, you’ll encounter a human-hating pirate that goes by the name of Elanos Haliat. Everything points to him being an alien, from the weapons his name references to the fact he targets a human colony in an attack known as the Skyllian Blitz. 

Except, when you finally got to take a look at him, he was human. For the re-release, the bug has been cleaned up and he’s been rightly reinstated as a Turian – the same alien species as your best bro Garrus.

The inventory is useable

It may not be a Diablo or Elder Scrolls game, but you pick up a fair amount of loot in the Mass Effect games. However, the absolute worst bit of the original Mass Effect was its inventory system that had you scrolling through hundreds of items with no easy way to check their stats or sort them. You’d spend as much time faffing in menus as completing some missions. That’s all been streamlined for the Legendary Edition with name and level sorting, as well as the ability to mark items as junk for quick sales at a merchant.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition vista

(Image credit: EA)

You can sprint outside of combat

Anyone who played Mass Effect the first time around probably forgot about this, but, outside of combat, you couldn’t dash in Mass Effect 1. With some locations, especially the Citadel hub world, being rather large, it was a bit of a pain to get around. In the remastered addition, you can finally put that Spectre training to good use and sprint around when you’re not carrying your weapons.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.