The Mass Effect trilogy remains one of the the most incredible stories in the game. The journey as Commander Shepard began with the first game, and from there players were captivated (but not brainwashed) by the story of uniting a galaxy at all costs. Ahead of the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, we sat down with Character and Environment Director Kevin Meek of BioWare to talk a little more about the first breakthrough game and how working on this remaster brought back the best. type of nostalgia.
The first Mass Effect game had a very different pace of 2 or 3, and a big part of that was because it was a new IP. As such, the construction of the world has been a priority, and BioWare still had some idea of what this experiment would become. While this is the oldest game in the trilogy, there’s no denying that Mass Effect 1 was groundbreaking in many ways, and without the care and love that went into it, we would never have seen the next two entries.
When he spoke to Meek about his role in bringing the Legendary Edition to life, he spoke of his own attitude when approaching projects like this and how this period of reflection reminded him of how much the first game was truly a gem.
Talking about his approach to games and how sometimes it is difficult to return to an adventure that has already been completed due to the nature of his job, Meek explained how being an inherently creative person has its downsides. . “I usually don’t want to review a game once I’ve finished it,” he told us, “because as a creative person I tend to see only the flaws, not isn’t it? When I pick a game, I can only see things like the bugs we haven’t fixed as opposed to all the big things. That’s my job.
While the work requires a more critical eye than many are used to, that didn’t stop him from savoring how magical the first game really was in terms of innovation. “It’s my job, to play with the remaster and really see it for what it is, and there are so many times it’s like … I can’t believe we had people floating around in the air and you could shoot them in Mass Effect. Like, who else was doing that ?! “
The first Mass Effect was released in 2007 and Meek reflected on how “archaic” the technology used for this game was looking back from now. “When I think back to how our tools were downright archaic to be able to put together some of these really meaningful and remarkable scenes 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 a little more detail, but it was something completely different seeing the new opportunities that have arisen. presented using more modernized technology. Talking about these seemingly minor changes, such as the lighting, Meek went on to say, “I watch how much better this is now that we’re on. [these areas], it’s like we’ve finally achieved what we originally imagined. So having these opportunities has been really rewarding because most of the time you don’t get the chance to go back and fix 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 this potential, the scope of the story widened, which of course required more people to help make this vision a reality. “The interesting thing about this remaster is that we started out as a very tight knit group and very united on this subject,” Meek said. “As the games have gotten bigger and more complex, they have more and more demanding and bigger and bigger teams. It felt, for the first time in over five years, what it was like to work on the original trilogy. team, we are all working together to solve the same problems. A lot of us probably wear multiple hats, a lot of us have all of these different things that we can contribute to and, for me, that’s also a little bit. I just just got back to that kind of feeling we had at the time. era when everyone was just a problem solver. We’re just trying to do something big, you know, a little bit disjointed. “
While the team that worked on the remaster is roughly the same size as the original team that worked on the first game, there was the same connection that happened during the making of something special. COVID-19 also had an impact on the closeness that team felt, a closeness that Meek mentioned he couldn’t imagine surviving a global pandemic without.
We’ll be able to recapture that magic felt when playing the first game when the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect arrives on May 14th. You can check out our other exclusive coverage, including interviews and videos, here with our hub.