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Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, the awaited remaster of the original trilogy of games, has been altered to remove aspects of the series' story and presentation that haven't aged well.
On the face of it, I was surprised to hear that things had been changed from the originals. I couldn't really recall much from Mass Effect that would fall into this bracket and need an overhaul or a little polish for new audiences. Then, it all came back to me. Those unnecessary angles during dialogue with Miranda, who is one of the companions in Mass Effect 2. Miranda wears a figure-hugging catsuit, complete with thigh-high boots and sleek sleeves that end with a pattern that gives the impression of a fingerless glove. Artistically speaking, it encapsulates a lot of Miranda's character and her confidence in her abilities. Practically speaking, it's a ridiculous outfit. It would take her an hour at the very least just to go to the bathroom.
When the player has a conversation or cutscene with Miranda, the camera angles are often positioned next to her bottom, which isn't acceptable today. Changing this was one of the alterations that BioWare put into the Legendary Edition, which is what project director Mac Walters and character and environment director Kevin Meek explained in an interview with Metro.
"Specifically around the animations, we couldn't really change a lot of those, but there were times where you could change the camera to not focus on one of those animations. So a male Shepherd animation would have him sitting with his legs quite wide open with a low camera where, if you were wearing a skirt, it would be a bit unflattering," said Meek. "So we can't necessarily change that animation, but you can raise that camera up slightly to reduce the problem.' Walters qualified that the team were not "ultra-concerned" about the state of the original games, but that they had "considerations" to take into account.
You know what, BioWare? I appreciate that. Years ago, it did feel awkward learning about Miranda and the journey she took to get where she is in the galaxy (no spoilers here, don't worry), while also seeing her bottom obscure almost a quarter of the space. Producer Crystal McCord also added that the direction of the Legendary Edition has been informed by the Mass Effect community.
"We did a lot of research and we looked at the internet forums to see what did people talk about in the trilogy. What did they like? What was the friction for them?" she said. "We brought in some community cosplayers, modders, and players, and had a community group with us throughout production that we had a lot of discussions with. And we said, 'If we're looking at adjusting things, what would you suggest?' To kind of see what they thought, what's the buzz out there, and really try to connect with the community and see what their thoughts are and what can we take away from that."
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition comes to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 14th.
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