First off, Happy N7 Day! I know it's bittersweet given the state of the franchise right now, but the fact that so many people still fondly remember this series, come together to re-experience it, and continue to stoke the passions of future players through lets plays, ambitious mods, and social get-togethers warms my heart. But let's cut straight to the chase: A Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster. This isn't something fans and players pulled out of thin air, and the fires were stoked even by Bioware themselves once so very long ago. For all the Trilogy's highs and lows, a demand is clearly there for this, and the market for remasters has been a major boon for studios and publishers over the years to the point that EA's dogmatic refusal to consider remasters continues to be a bizarre decision as almost EVERY other major publisher has released them (my wife's pre-order of the Spiral Trilogy Re-Ignited feels like a good sign that interest in remasters and remakes hasn't waned). So for this post I want to explore WHAT a Mass Effect Trilogy could and should do, explore ideas and concepts I've come across from the community to incorporate, as well as look at the logistics and barriers to EA and Bioware getting together while exploring solutions to those hurdles. Strap in, it's going to be a long ride. Keep calm and Keelah Se'lai. A. SO YOU'RE MAKING A MASS EFFECT TRILOGY REMASTER... 1. VISUALS - We've had dozens of excellent (and some awful) HD remakes and remasters of beloved titles this gen, but I feel like there are a few mandatory expectations. As the tweet above mentions, the bare minimum for a trilogy remaster would be 1080p resolution, higher-resolution textures, and 60fps gameplay. Now, before all you PC purist jump in and claim that you can do that already... yes. We KNOW. And I'll be using the PC version as a reference point for how things could improve. A huge portion of the Mass Effect playerbase (myself included) started on console, particularly the Xbox 360. To say it wasn't the optimal game experience is underselling it. The game was plagued with texture pop-in, very low-res and blurry textures, insane framerate drops, screen-tearing, and a myriad of other technical issues that hampered the experience. Even the vanilla PC version has plenty of graphical issues (hello blurry Garrus face!) and a vast majority of the mods I've ever dabbled with are to improve those glaring visual shortcomings. The whole series also suffers from serious "Lego Hair" issues of characters wearing plastic helmets on their heads vaguely shaped like human hair. Whether it would be retexturing them, using better alpha maps, or redoing the whole thing, having better hair would make a huge difference. I'm not asking for Skyrim mod hair, but... folks have done good work on Mass Effect in that regard. The games were graphical marvels for their time, and technology has moved past their prime. But the artistry is THERE, and I've seen some amazing work done by fans (particularly the M.E.U.I.T.M. tweaks) to turn those visuals up to 11. II'd wager 99% of Mass Effect players never got to see that original game look THIS good: ... Maybe fix poor Diana Allers face while they're at it. Love or hate the character, Jessica Chobot deserves better than the creepy mannequin wearing her skin in ME3. As for gameplay, even playing ME1 (and a bit of ME2) on Xbox One showed a few framerate issues. I have never experienced ME1 in a silky-smooth 60fps (despite my best attempts to get my PC to run it), but I've heard from plenty of players who have, and there's really no going back. That fluidity and precision is just expected at this point, and it can be done with all three Mass Effect games. I would pay good money for that and I imagine many others would as well. The next expectation for a Trilogy Remaster, beyond improved visuals, is one I'm shocked hasn't even happened yet... 2. ALL DLC INCLUDED - Mass Effect has a bit of a DLC problem. For a story-driven trilogy, entire characters, missions, and even essential plot and lore is reserved for DLC. While ME1's DLC felt at least like an addition to a fully-complete game (Bring Down the Sky is enjoyable but inessential, and Pinnacle Station is often regarded with ridicule at how meaningless it is, though I do enjoy it), ME2 started to up the ante with entire squadmates like Zaeed and Kasumi being DLC (in addition to the ill-fated era of the "Online Pass" used to curb used game sales) and major plot points being relegated to DLC ("Arrival" set the stage for ME3's opening, "Lair of the Shadow Broker" is almost essential for Liara's character arc). By ME3, it had gotten out of control. "From Ashes" had one of the very best squadmates in the series locked as Day 1 DLC whose existence and story radically alter the perception of two of the game's main alien species, while "Leviathan" goes a long way towards actually clarifying the threat of the major antagonists of the whole trilogy. "Citadel" is the emotional closure with your crew so many were initially asking for, while the Extended Cut (though free) is still DLC partitioned from the initial vanilla release. There has NEVER been a re-release of the trilogy with all content included, even as a digital bundle. (this thing is far from complete... and remember when the KINECT was a thing?) Then there was the debacle with Bioware Points, the fact that the Steam and Origin's storefronts began to compete with each other, and that the deactivation of Bioware's own website meant you needed workarounds to get all the content, and it got a bit out of hand. That's not even factoring in DLC tied to extremely limited events and products like getting the Limited Editions of the game, or registering copies of other games (like Dragon Age) for exclusive armor, or pre-order bonuses from Gamestop, or buying select cans of Dr. Pepper, etc. While certain re-releases of the game included some (but never all) DLC content, someone who gets the Mass Effect Trilogy package for Xbox 360 is still looking at over $80-100 in excluded content from the core game, be it characters, armors, weapons, story missions, vehicles, maps, or more. Even putting aside a remaster, a simple RE-RELEASE with all content included alone would be a substantial value to new players. EA needs to do this, at the bare minimum, and I'm shocked they haven't even attempt this yet on Origin. No question, when/if a remaster happens, everything goes in. It should be the definitive, unabridged, complete saga. 3. IMRPOVING THE UI, MENU OPTIMIZATION, and MINOR QUALITY OF LIFE IMPROVEMENTS According to recent polls here, ME1 is still pretty damn popular (as it should be). That's not to say it's not one of the roughest games in the series, with some of the jankiest combat, wackiest vehicle controls, or the mind-numbing slog that is the menu and inventory options. (forget the Reapers; this is the real terror of Mass Effect 1) I want to say that 50% of my time in ME1 was spent just turning weapon mods into medigel because I kept running out of inventory space. There was no way to sort them by type or name or strength, no way to mass-delete unwanted mods, no way to screen them based on when you picked them up, and even scrolling down the list was painstakingly slow. More so than the other games, this menu needs an overhaul. It's cumbersome, slow, plodding, and inconvenient and it's been called all those things since the day ME1 came out. Other quality of life improvements could definitely be faster load times (and faster elevator rides). Yes, the often-mocked elevator rides hid the loading times, but hopefully that speed could be boosted as the games would be able to load more areas at a time. ME2 and ME3 stuck with traditional loading screens, but even lowering those waiting times would be appreciated. Again, many of the games were developed before you could install them to systems; even installing them on base model Xbox 360 or Xbox One showed dramatic improvements in this regard. There are other, more minor QoL tweaks to the UI and menus, something all three games had issues with. They're honestly nitpicks, but even something as simple as removing the floating faces from Shepard's butt in ME2 would be nice... (they're always there... ruining the bottom of my screenshots...) That, I think, wraps up the "expected" part of a Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster. Improve the visuals, enhance the gameplay, include all DLC, and streamline the UI and inventory where needed. But that's just what's expected... I'd definitely want to hear what you WANT from a proper Remaster, and I've come across several more ambitious ideas.