“We kicked off phase 1 by identifying and cataloging every aspect of the trilogy, explains community manager Jay Ingram. How many particle effects, 3D models, textures, levels, GUI elements, sound effects, cutscenes, etc. are present in the trilogy? What is their average quality? Do the source files still exist? What percentage of these items can be improved and, on average, how long will it take for each of these types of items? Knowing the number of elements to modify, as well as their quality, allowed us to determine a strategy to improve each type of element present in the trilogy.“
Then came the modernization phase. “During this phase, the artists in charge of the environments went through all the levels of the trilogy to make targeted fixes on the places and settings that visibly clashed with the overall experience., says the man. This involved adding elements back to empty areas, redoing some stretched or low-resolution textures, polishing chipped 3D elements, and updating the shadows of certain surfaces that react poorly to lighting. At this point, we also needed to start fixing hundreds of bugs. Some were minor, floaters for example, while others were more problematic and could ruin the overall experience. For example, a frequent bug saw players teleport to certain items to get stuck there.“
“During Phase 3, we started looking for ways to make bigger improvements to the levels and features of the game, rather than just improving the items one by one., continues Jay Igram. By this point, we had made thousands of manual improvements, but there was still a significant quality gap between the first two games.
To steer our efforts in the right direction, we compared the selected levels to their original artistic conception, conceptual intentions and inspirations that gave birth to them. We also took dozens of screenshots of the higher-res levels and passed them on to Derek Watts (Artistic Director of the Mass Effect Trilogy), who used them as a basis for this in-depth overhaul. It was easier and faster to make these adjustments using photo editing programs.“
Obviously, we advise you to take a look at the post from the PlayStation Blog where the various maneuvers of BioWare are particularly well detailed. As a reminder, the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition is set for May 14 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS4, PS5 and PC.