Mass Effect Legendary Edition highlights graphical upgrades with new trailer

Last week, BioWare and EA offered a detailed look at how they were improving the gameplay in Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Now, as promised, they’ve followed up with a similarly deep dive into the remastered collection’s graphical upgrades.

If all you care about is a bunch of impressive before-and-after shots, there’s a new trailer that offers two minutes of them, nonstop.

But if you’re interested in the nuts and bolts, BioWare has you covered there too. The studio has outlined just about every major step it took to improve the graphics, and some of them are quite impressive.

Here’s a quick rundown of the biggest points.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition graphical upgrades

  • Improvements to every single texture in all three games, a total of more than 30,000
    • Updated the engine to allow for larger textures
    • Used AI to up-res original, uncompressed textures by four times
    • Incorporated modern texture compression techniques to allow for higher in-game quality
  • Brought higher quality character and prop models from the later games into previous games, with further improvements and changes to maintain continuity
  • Worked with textures and materials to make sure plastics, fabrics, and metals react to light in a realistic way
  • Improved skin, hair, and eye shaders across the trilogy
  • Reskinned animations using the higher quality meshes
  • Improved and added environmental particle effects
  • Completely rebuilt many GUI images as vector art to display clearly at 4K
  • Whenever possible, re-rendered pre-rendered cutscenes in 4K
    • Tweaked color correction and visual effects
    • Smoothed out edges so cutscenes match gameplay
  • Fixed dozens, if not hundreds, of bugs in live-action cutscenes and conversations
  • Gave every environment in the trilogy a pass, adding props and upgrading textures, shaders, and geometry
  • Added bounce lighting to maintain high contrast look with more consistent lighting
  • Made eystemic upgrades to shadows
  • Added new post-processing effects
  • Added new real-time reflections
  • Made substantial improvements to some levels, including Feros, Noveria, and Eden Prime to better match the concept art and original vision

As you can see, that’s a fairly long list of improvements. Judging by all the footage we’ve seen so far—including today’s trailer—the work should have a massive effect on how the game looks.

For even more detail, you can check out the full blog post on EA’s site.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC on May 15th.

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