Mass Effect Legendary Edition Devs Explain Rebalanced Boss Fights

BioWare developers have outlined some of the changes that were applied to the boss fights in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, tweaks and such that should make boss battles feel more fair. The studio finally showcased the remastered trilogy earlier this month, along with news of a May 2021 release date for consoles and PC.

Players can expect every entry in the trilogy to receive a pretty significant overhaul, though the first Mass Effect is, of course, benefiting from the remastered treatment the most. For example, Mass Effect’s notoriously long elevator sequences have drastically reduced in length. Other bells and whistles like 4K resolution, HDR, and 60FPS capabilities should also ensure all three titles look better and run smoother than ever before. But while quite a few features are being added, BioWare has announced that not everything players remember from the original games will make the cut. Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer suite counts among the most notable omission from the upcoming release.

In an interview with Game Informer, game director Mac Walters and environment and character director Kevin Meek spoke about how boss encounters have been improved for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. The developers specifically brought up a fight in Mass Effect, where players battle Benezia, Liara T’Soni‘s mother, in an environment with minimal cover. Many may recall the fight being difficult to navigate, especially since Benezia is as much of a powerhouse as her daughter. Meek said this particular section serves as an example of BioWare’s early uncertainties about whether the RPG would be a cover shooter. According to Meek, one of the original level designers helped devise a way to expand the level’s pathways, allowing for the insertion of better cover options. He told the publication, “with this, you can always guarantee that there is some amount of cover that you can go and hide behind and that was actually real. It’s the same exact layout, but everything is now double-wide with a few added cover points.”

Walters divulged that the crew looked at the more “painful” boss encounters, as well as non-bosses battles that players seemed to struggle with the most. In so doing, he explained, extra autosave states were added “so that, you know, if at least you die, you know you can come back to it a little more quickly. But then we also just did things where a lot of Benezia’s powers can’t ragdoll you as much with the way that we spawned some of those enemies, but still challenging in its own right.” Players need not worry about how these alterations may affect balancing, however. BioWare made sure not to nerf an enemy’s abilities; thus, those who prefer a challenge are still in for a treat. According to Walters, one question sat at the forefront when rebalancing became the topic of discussion: “What do we actually do to make this a more fun fight and more fair fight for you while you’re doing it?

The studio’s extra effort in improving the overall experience is nothing short of admirable. Changes aren’t just happening for the gameplay and texture-based visuals, either. BioWare previously stated the camera angles that fixate Miranda Lawson’s backside are being altered, for instance. Plus, animations are receiving a much-needed update.

It seems Mass Effect: Legendary Edition couldn’t have come at a better time. Late last year, BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts showcased a teaser trailer of the franchise’s next mainline entry. Based on said teaser, the new title will revolve around the trilogy’s story in some way, shape, or form. The Legendary Edition, then, will allow fans to refresh their memories about the sci-fi epic’s award-winning universe, while also providing newcomers with the perfect entry point into the beloved series.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition launches on May 14 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Source: Game Informer

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