Mass Effect Legendary Edition PC settings are missing all except the most basic options
Bioware has taken great care to show off all of the chic new visual enhancements coming tomorrow in their remastered Mass Effect Legendary edition, including support for 4K resolutions, ultra-wide monitors, redesigned lighting, sharper textures and much more. Moreover. The difference is evident in the screenshots and their before and after comparison video, but to be able to manipulate these settings yourself in the game’s PC settings menu … well, what’s the equivalent of a intergalactic tumbleweed?
There’s just … not much there. Open the Graphics menu in the Settings tab and that’s all you get for Mass Effect 1:
That’s it. No quality sliders, no graphics presets, no resolution scalers … Nothing. Only six On / Off settings (one of which is your standard V-Sync toggle) and a few base resolution options.
The same goes for Mass Effect 2 and 3, as you can see below.
It’s disappointing, to say the least, and I was hoping that the PC version would have something a little more complete given the number of effects Bioware had mentioned as the launch approached. release of the game. Heck, even console gamers have the option “Favor Quality” and “Favor Frame Rate” in their settings menu, and it’s a shame there isn’t something similar for us for PC. Indeed, considering the work that the developers put into creating any 4K for the Legendary Edition version, even something like a simple resolution scaler would have been a welcome addition here, as it would allow those playing on monitors. 1080p, or even 1440p, to continue enjoying these charming and crisp new features without having to connect their PC to a native 4K display.
There are, at least, a few important basics here. The Motion Blur toggle will be good news for those who suffer from motion sickness when moving the camera quickly, and the ability to limit the frame rate to different intervals, including 30 fps if your PC is struggling or maximum of 240 fps if you’ve got a high refresh rate monitor is also very welcome. Anti-aliasing is another big part of helping smooth out jagged edges, which can be surprisingly prevalent in older games due to their less detailed character models – and the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect doesn’t. exception. When I turned it off to see what the difference was, there were a lot of jaggies in 1080p and 1440p, and even playing the game in 4K had its fair share of that as well. As such, I would definitely keep AA on.
Outside of those basics, however, the only vaguely whimsical things you can control are dynamic shadows and ambient occlusion. The former adds effects like giving your group precise shadow silhouettes on the ground as you move around, while the latter is all about soft lighting. Ambient occlusion can often help make scenes look more realistic, but when I turned it on and off in-game I struggled to see much improvement.
In the defense of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, it performs extremely well even on older hardware, so maybe Bioware just didn’t feel the need to go all out on superfluous PC settings. Take a look at the game’s PC requirements, for example, and you’ll immediately see that they’re pretty tame. As you can see below, the minimum system requirements list graphics cards that date back to the heady days of 2013, so if you’ve built your PC in the last decade or so, you should still be able to run it. The recommended game requirements should also be quite achievable for PCs built in the past five years. Bioware doesn’t say what kind of performance you can expect to see in either of these specs, but they do say you’ll be able to run it without “any calibration needed” – which is technically true, being given that there is none. t actually anything to calibrate in the PC settings menu.
Minimum PC requirements for Mass Effect Legendary Edition:
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570 / AMD FX-8350
RAM: 8 GB
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 / AMD Radeon 7970 or R9 280X
GPU VRAM: 2 GB
Storage: 120 GB
BONE: Windows 10 (64 bit)
Recommended PC requirements for Mass Effect Legendary Edition:
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700 / AMD Ryzxen 7 3700X
RAM: 16 GB
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 / AMD Radeon Vega 56
GPU VRAM: 4GB
Storage: 120 GB
BONE: Windows 10 (64 bit)
Jibing aside, Bioware isn’t really kidding about “no calibration”. When I threw my oldest graphics cards to Mass Effect Legendary Edition – my 2GB AMD Radeon R9 270, which is technically below the minimum GPU specification – I was pleasantly surprised with the results. The rest of my test PC is pretty up to date, admittedly. I currently have an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and 16GB RAM, which will naturally help increase the frame rate a bit compared to systems with less RAM and a slightly more vintage processor model. But even my below-min R9 270 was still capable of running the game at 60fps at 1920 x 1080 with all six settings turned on, without stuttering even when I got into big gunfights. And let’s face it, if an older AMD R9 270 can run Mass Effect Legendary Edition at 60 fps at 1080p, what do you really need?
Ultimately, I think my disappointment stems more from the fact that we just can’t go to town with Mass Effect’s PC settings here, and make it look as “ legendary ” as its remastered subtitle. implies it. After all, part of the reason many of us play on PC in the first place rather than console is that we can really push the boat on games like this, precisely because of our more powerful hardware. Alas, Mass Effect Legendary Edition seems like a sort of ‘one size fits all’ remaster. Bioware put a lot of work into making all three games as new and shiny as they are, but at the same time, I can’t help but think that the PC version in particular could have been loved a bit more.