The Mass Effect: Legendary Edition remasters have a litany of updates to try and modernize all three games in the original trilogy, but the first game is definitely the one that got the biggest overhaul. From a holistic visual update to some significant gameplay tweaks, Bioware has put in work to make Mass Effect more palatable after a decade of improved cover shooter design in hopes that folks won’t skip it and will play the whole trilogy. One of the major updates was to the Mako, a big tank protagonist Commander Shepard and friends drive around the open terrain of space. Back in 2007, the unwieldy mess of a vehicle was lauded for its floaty controls and horrific, bouncy physics. So it was a major point that Bioware sought to alleviate when it came to remastering Mass Effect.
However, the developers failed to consider one thing in the midst of trying to make this wretched monstrosity drivable: I am gay, cannot drive, and will always find a way to crash even the most stable of vehicles into a wall.
The first mistake Bioware made was putting a booster on the Mako, because I have been keeping the L1 button held down as I drive around these environments so I can reach my objectives in record time. Regardless of whether I’m in a wide, open space, or in the cramped hallways of Ilos. I’ve gotta go fast, and have been given the tools to do so. Yet, I often forget to pay attention to whether or not there’s a small, elevated piece of terrain that one of the Mako’s six wheels might lightly graze, throwing me and my squad into the air to do spins that would make The Gravitron blush.
Despite the added weight and heft to the Mako in Legendary Edition, the environments of Mass Effect constantly require you to drive the car up mountains to get where you need to go. This tends to lend itself to repeated falls and wheels getting caught on the geometry, ensuring the rover spends non-insignificant amounts of time off of stable ground. Some of these planets might as well be a themed bounce house with geth squads and ample amounts of waist-high cover.
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That’s not to say every improvement Bioware made has been for naught. The camera controls are better, making it easier to aim at and delete enemies with your rocket launcher. And because there’s no more XP penalty for taking enemies out safely from behind the Mako’s steering wheel, it’s an easy way to win fights and not be punished for it.
But all of that doesn’t really account for much when the car still fumbles about and the world you drive around in is still designed in ways that require it to. Nothing short of redesigning entire levels around new physics would have made the Mako anything less than the jerky, turbulent nightmare it was 14 years ago. So if you’re among the purists who wanted Shepard and company to be constantly recovering from motion sickness, worry not. The disaster of human ingenuity on wheels is still the same busted wreck you remember. Especially when a gay who can’t drive is behind the wheel.