CM – In the PC settings of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition all but the most basic options are missing

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Bioware went to great lengths to showcase all of the swanky new visual enhancements coming tomorrow in their revamped Mass Effect Legendary Edition, including support for 4K resolutions, ultra-wide monitors, redesigned lighting, sharper textures, and much more . The difference can be clearly seen in screenshots and their before and after comparison videos, but as far as the ability to play around with these settings yourself in the game’s PC settings menu … What is the equivalent of an intergalactic tumbleweed?

It’s just … not much. Open the Graphics menu on the Settings tab and that’s all you get for Mass Effect 1:

That’s it. No quality controls, no graphics presets, no resolution scalers … Nothing. Just six on / off settings (one of which is your standard V-Sync switch) and some basic resolution options.

This goes for Mass Effect 2 and 3 as well, as you can see below.

It’s disappointing to say the least and I was hoping the PC version would be a bit more comprehensive considering how many effects Bioware addressed in advance of the game’s release. Even console gamers have Favor Quality and Favor Frame Rate options in their settings menu, and it’s a shame that we don’t think of anything similar for PC. In fact, given the amount of work the developers put into creating 4K for the Legendary Edition version, even something like a simple resolution scaler would have been a welcome addition as it would allow those who want to go to 1080p or even play 1440p monitors Take advantage of these beautiful, razor-sharp new assets without having to hook up your PCs to a native 4K display.

There are at least some key basics here. The motion blur toggle is great news for those suffering from motion sickness when moving the camera quickly, and the option to limit the frame rate at various intervals, including 30 frames per second if your PC is struggling, or a maximum of 240 Frames Per Second if you have trouble I have a high refresh rate monitor which is also very welcome. Anti-aliasing is another important means of smoothing out jagged edges, which is surprisingly common in older games due to their less detailed character models – and the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect is no exception. When I turned it off to see what the difference was, there were tons of jags at 1080p and 1440p, and even playing at 4K had a fair part in that. As such, I would definitely leave AA on.

Other than these basics, the only vaguely fancy things you can control are dynamic shadows and ambient occlusion. The former adds effects, e.g. For example, if you give your group precise shadow silhouettes on the floor when you move, while the latter has everything to do with soft lighting. Ambient occlusion can often help make scenes look more realistic, but when I turned it on and off in-game I tried to see a big improvement.

In the defense of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, it even runs old Hardware excellent, so that Bioware may simply not have the need to rely on other people’s PC settings. Take a look at the game’s PC requirements for example and you will immediately see that they are pretty tame. As you can see below, the minimum requirements list graphics cards that date back to the heady days of 2013. So, if you’ve built your PC over the past decade, you should still be able to run it. The recommended requirements of the game should also be feasible for PCs built in the last five years. Bioware doesn’t state what kind of performance you can expect from any of these specs, but they do say you can run them without « required calibrations » – which is technically true as there aren’t any. There’s actually nothing to calibrate in the PC settings menu.

Aside from Jibes, Bioware really doesn’t joke about things without calibration. When I tossed my oldest graphics cards at Mass Effect Legendary Edition – my 2GB AMD Radeon R9 270, which is technically below the minimum GPU specification – I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The rest of my test PC is admittedly pretty up-to-date. I currently have an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and 16GB of RAM, which of course helps increase the frame rate a bit compared to systems with less RAM and a slightly older CPU model. But even my R9 270 below the minimum spec was still able to run the game at 60 fps at 1920×1080 with all six settings enabled without stuttering even when I got into major shootouts got. And let’s face it, if an old AMD R9 270 Mass Effect Legendary Edition can run at 60 fps at 1080p, what more do you really need?

Ultimately, I think my disappointment is more due to the fact that we With the PC settings from Mass Effect just can’t go into town here and make it look as « legendary » as the revised subtitle implies. After all, part of the reason so many of us play on PC rather than console in the first place is that we can really push the boat out on games like these, precisely because of our more powerful hardware. Unfortunately, the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect seems to be a kind of « One Size Fits All » remaster. Bioware has put a lot of work into making all three games look as new and shiny as them, but at the same time I can’t help but feel like a little more love could be shown to the PC version in particular.

Katharine Castle

Hardware editor

Katharine writes about all the pieces that go into your PC so you can play all the beautiful games we love to talk about. Really liked JRPGs and getting quests. She is also RPS ‘Resident Deals Herald.

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