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News video games 10 May 2021, 16:39

author: Hubert Sledziewski

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Draws Inspiration From Mods

BioWare admitted that it used mods as reference and inspiration when designing changes to be implemented in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.

Mass Effect: Legendary Editionlaunch will take place on Thursday. On this occasion, PC Gamer conducted an interview with the developers from BioWare - specifically with Mak Walters and Kevin Meek - who admitted that the mods for the original Mass Effect Trilogy, available on Nexus Mods, served as a reference and inspiration for the changes implemented by the creators in the refreshed trilogy.

The team working on the game is said to have started from visual improvements added to the first three games by popular mods known as A Lot of Textures (ALOT) and A Lot of Videos (ALOV). Walters commented on their use as follows:

"We actually early on looked at some of those and said, 'OK, well, this is our minimum bar and from here we have to then go bigger, right?' Obviously they have limited access as a modder to the assets that are in there. We have full access to them."

Kevin Meek, on the other hand, admitted that he was initially very skeptical about the use of the ALOV, which uses Gigapixel AI to scale cut-scenes to higher resolutions frame-by-frame. Ultimately, however, the technology impressed the developer.

"We knew we could go in and (...) receive the same amount of visual upgrade or even more than the mods because we have a lot of advantages they don't have. We get to work on the uncompressed source, full-resolution textures. Whereas what they have, it's been crunched down, it's been compressed, it's put onto a disc, and then they up-res off that."

Some mods were a benchmark for the developers of what players can expect from the refreshed Mass Effect. Many of them offered, for example, different types of hairstyles for the main protagonist. Promptly, the devs at BioWare decided that it's worth to spend some time and add an expanded character creator to the Legendary Edition. Some popular community mods - like the one adding new romance options in Mass Effect 2 - have been ignored. And while we don't know if modders will be able to replicate their work for the refreshed trilogy, Walters and Meek assure us that talks have been held with some of them about possible collaboration. Indeed, as Meek said: "Modifications have the advantage of not being constrained by anything".

It's worth mentioning that BioWare isn't the only studio using mods to improve their games. Last week we informed that the next-gen version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt may be enriched with the achievements of modder Halk Hogan, who created and developed the HD Reworked Project.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition will launch on May 14 on PC, PS4 and XONE, and, as part of backward compatibility, also on PS5 and XSX|S (it will also be available with EA Play Pro subscription). You can also still grab free bonuses from the original trilogy.

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