Although PC is the platform of choice for maximum flexibility, Mass Effect Legendary Edition has impressive performance choices on consoles.
EA and BioWare have dished out some key performance details for Mass Effect Legendary Edition ahead of its May 14 launch, also running down what to expect from its graphics modes on each platform. Though the PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X appear to be the platforms of choice, it appears systems as old as the Xbox One and PS4 should be able to keep just fine.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a remastered collection of the first three Mass Effect games and most of their DLCs. Beyond enhancing graphics, there are significant feature additions and gameplay changes, such as a universal character creator and refined combat mechanics. The first game receives the most improvements, ranging from smoke effects and volumetric lighting to better enemy and squad AI. The Mako – a rover both loved and maligned by series fans – sports new physics to make it easier to control. Mass Effect 3 has actually lost a major feature, multiplayer, but that mode was never a hit following the game’s 2012 debut.
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According to EA, Mass Effect Legendary Edition has two performance modes on console: “Favor Quality” or “Favor Framerate,” with the second “scaling native resolution and reducing some graphical features” to meet targets. Both the PS4 and Xbox One are capped at 1080p resolution, hitting no more than 30fps in Quality mode and 60fps in Framerate mode. The PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, and Xbox Series S jump to 30fps at 4K resolution (Quality), or 60fps at 1440p (Framerate). Meanwhile, the PS5 is locked at 60fps in either mode, with only the Xbox Series X being able to break through to 120fps in Mass Effect Legendary Edition at 1440, also capping to 60fps at 4K.
PC Mass Effect players can reach frame rates up to 240fps, and refresh rates as high as 240 Hz. Both are of course dependent on a player’s CPU and video card, although there are also “several graphics options” that impact quality versus performance. It’s not yet clear what these might be, but PC games often let players adjust elements like resolution, anti-aliasing, and texture detail. It should be noted that most monitors and TVs don’t support 240 Hz, so console players may not be missing out as much as it sounds.
EA cautions that “the more powerful the hardware the more consistently you will experience the specified target framerate & resolution.” This means that the PS4 and Xbox One may occasionally see very noticeable slowdowns, since both rely on 2013 technology. Mass Effect Legendary Edition is arguably aimed at more recent systems, however, given the goal of bringing Mass Effect up to 2021 standards.
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Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on May 14, 2021.
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