The Mass Effect trilogy stays among the most fish stories in video gaming. The journey as Commander Shepard started with the very first video game, and from there, players were enthralled (however not indoctrinated) by the tale of joining a galaxy at any expense. Ahead of the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, we took a seat with character and environment director Kevin Meek from BioWare to talk a bit more about the pioneering very first video game and how dealing with this remaster restored the very best type of fond memories.
The initially Mass Effect video game had really various pacing than 2 or 3, and a big part of that was because of it being a brand-new IP. As such, world-building took top priority, and BioWare was still getting a feel for what this experience would eventually end up being. Despite being the earliest video game in the trilogy, there is no rejecting that Mass Effect 1 was innovative in numerous methods, and without the care and love that entered into it, we never ever would have seen the following 2 entries.
When speaking to Meek about his function in bringing the Legendary Edition to life, he spoke about his own mindset when approaching jobs like this and how that duration of reflection advised him what a gem the very first video game genuinely was.
When speaking about his method to video games and how in some cases it’s difficult to return to an experience currently finished due to the nature of his task, Meek opened about how being a naturally innovative individual has its drawbacks. “I generally do not wish to see a video game once again when I’ve completed it,” he informed us, “since as an imaginative individual I tend to just see the defects, right? When I pick a game up, I can only see the things like the bugs we didn’t fix as opposed to all of the great things. This is my job.”
While the job requires a more critical eye than many are used to, that didn’t stop him from relishing how truly magical the first game was in terms of innovation. “This is my job, to go through and play with the remaster and really see it for what it is, and there are so many times that it’s like…I just can’t believe we had people floating in the air and you could shoot them in Mass Effect. Like, who else was doing that?!”
The first Mass Effect launched back in 2007, and Meek reflected on how “archaic” the technology used for this game was when looking back compared to now. “When I think back to how frankly archaic our tools were to be able to bring some of those really meaningful and remarkable scenes together in Mass Effect 1, I just can’t believe we were able to do it with what we had.”
It’s one thing to go back and see some of the smaller changes in the remaster, like brightening up an area or providing just a little more detail, but it was something entirely different to see the new opportunities that have arisen thanks to more modernized technology. When talking about those seemingly small changes, such as lighting, Meek continued, saying “I look at how much better it looks now that we’ve lit [these areas], it’s like we finally reached what we had envisioned it to be originally. So having those opportunities has been really fulfilling because, a lot of the time, you do not get a chance to go back and repair those bugs and work on those things.”
Following the release of the first game, it was clear that the future of Mass Effect had a lot of potential. With that potential came a wider scope for the story, which of course required more people to help bring that vision to life. “The interesting thing about this remaster is that we started as a very maintained, tight-knit group on this,” Meek said. “As games have gotten bigger and more complex, they have more demanding team sizes and get bigger and bigger. This felt, for the first time in over five years, like what it felt like working on the original trilogy. I knew everybody who’s on the team, we’re all working together to solve the same problems. A lot of us are probably wearing multiple hats, a lot of us have all of these different things that we get to contribute to and, to me, it also kind of just harkened back to that sort of same feeling that we had back in the day of everyone just being a problem-solver. We’re just trying to make something terrific, you know, kind of scrappy.”
While the team that worked on the remaster is roughly about the same size as the original team that worked on the very first video game, there was that same bonding that happened when making something special. COVID-19 also had an impact on the closeness this team felt, a closeness that Meek mentioned he couldn’t imagine weathering a global pandemic without.
We’ll be able to recapture that magic felt when playing the initially video game when the Mass Effect Legendary Edition gets here on May 14. You can have a look at our other unique protection, consisting of interviews and video, right here with our center.