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Saturday, July 20, 2024

What choices will you make differently in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition?

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We’re revisiting the choices we regret as we look forward to Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition has finally been confirmed, and revisiting Garrus and the gang in higher resolution and with enhanced visuals is an exciting prospect.

It’s also a great chance to explore some of the paths untaken. With so many choices to make in the Mass Effect trilogy, we’re wondering what you might do differently this time around.

Will you romance a few Mass Effect companions you gave the cold shoulder to last time? Will you make different decisions when it comes to saving the Council, curing the genophage, or how much you prepare for the suicide mission? And the biggest question of all—who will it be this time, Ashley or Kaiden?

We’ve got our answers below, but we’d love to hear yours in the comments.

Jody Macgregor: I’ve already played through the trilogy twice, and I don’t know if there’s much left to try. Maybe romance Thane, or Jack? See what hardcore mode is like? Play an engineer? 

My first time I went infiltrator and the second vanguard. They were both fun—the first all about lining up sniper headshots at a distance in slow-motion, and the second using biotic charge to get up close, followed by a shotgun blast—but I don’t know if a different set of combat abilities will be enough to shake things up. I was hoping for more than just a graphical remaster, because what would really make a third run interesting is if there were new mechanics to play around with, or cut content restored, because without that I worry that it’ll feel like going through the motions. Maybe I’ll romance Garrus.

James Davenport: Honestly, I can’t remember much about Mass Effect. I chose the green ending, whatever that meant. Maybe I’ll do the blue ending this time. Is there one of those?

Phil Savage: Years later, I’m still convinced that romancing Thane was an A+ choice, so no regrets there. In fact, I’m happy with most of the decisions I made in my first playthrough, and so I’ll probably use this release as a fun nostalgia tour—an excuse to spend more time with my space pals, making exactly the same decisions as before. 

The only things I might change happened all the way back in Mass Effect 1. Letting the council die didn’t resolve in a way I was entirely happy with, so good news guys: This time you’ll get to live. And arguably my biggest regret as the series rolled on was saving Kaidan instead of Ashley. Sure, Ashley is, er, problematic in a handful of ways, but Kaidan is so boring that I had to go and look up his name just now. He’s dead to me, basically, metaphorically and—pretty soon—literally.

Richard Stanton: I tend to play these games with a sense of irreverence, choosing whatever options seem ridiculous and/or funny. I always loved the slight disconnect between the dialogue choices and how they play out: one of the funniest things I’ve ever done in a game is the infamous moment when you choose to say ‘no’ to a journalist, and Shephard socks them in the jaw. 

This carefree attitude is probably what got my favourite character killed. At some point in the original game you’re on a mission with Wrex. I can’t even remember what the choice I made was, but the next thing I knew one of the crew blew him away. I missed that guy so much, but could never face restarting, and even though I enjoyed Mass Effect 2 it kinda killed my enthusiasm that the big lad wasn’t around. In the Remaster, I will right this cosmic wrong.

Jorge Jimenez: Not punch the journalist for doing their job.

Morgan Park: The only choice i can remember in those games is punching the journalist, which I think I’ll do this time around. Why not.

Chris Livingston: I only played through each Mass Effect game once and never reloaded a save to change a decision (except for Wrex getting wasted out of nowhere, which was really poorly telegraphed, as Richard said). It was technically a renegade run, but I wasn’t evil, I was just sort of an asshole. I wound up with glowing scars because I punched reporters and was rude to shopkeepers and didn’t suffer fools. But I usually did the right thing when it mattered.

And I’m not sure I’ll even play the remaster! I never wanted to go back through Mass Effect again for fear of overwriting what, to me, was the one true story of the one true Commander Shepard, based on the cumulative decisions I made. But maybe sometime in the future, when the details of those decisions have completely faded, I’ll jump in again and be a little bit nicer to reporters and shopkeepers.

Andy Chalk: I’m not interested in replaying it at all. I view Shepard’s story as complete and “true,” and neither updated graphics nor fiddling with a few incidental details here and there—who do I bang, who do I punch—have much appeal when there are so many other things waiting to be played. And I’m not terribly interested in re-immersing myself in the whole “ME3 ending” debacle, either. Yes, BioWare biffed it, but the reaction was completely out of proportion to the offense, and EA’s response to that reaction—effectively telling “fans” that appalling behavior gets results—soured me on the whole thing. So, thanks, I hope people who missed Mass Effect the first time around will enjoy it (I’m sure they will, it’s great), but I’ll pass.

(Throw in remastered soundtracks from all three games, though, and if the price is right I’ll probably throw money at it anyway.)

Fraser Brown: I’m making the bold choice to not play Mass Effect again. I played through 1, 2 and most of 3 last year anyway, and came to the realisation that I’ve changed a lot since my first playthroughs and don’t really dig this style of RPG now. 

Wes Fenlon: Like Fraser, I think my tastes have probably moved on from Mass Effect. I think the series as it exists in my head now is better as a memory than it would be in reality if I went back for another round. But imagining what I’d do differently, I think in a new playthrough of ME2 and ME3 I’d side completely with Legion and the Geth, just to see exactly where that storyline goes. I was always attached to Tali and was gutted when I didn’t have quite enough Paragon or Renegade points to make her and Legion resolve their differences amicably. I felt really burned by how that storyline turned out. I’m pretty sure I had to shoot Legion? I’m sorry, robot buddy. If we meet again, I promise things will be different.

I’ll never save Kaidan, though. Never regretted leaving his ass on Virmire for a second.

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