Why Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Doesn’t Use A New Engine

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, a remaster of BioWare’s sci-fi trilogy, was not remade using Unreal Engine 4, the latest and greatest version of the popular game engine. As game designer Mac Walter explains, had BioWare chosen to go with Unreal 4, as opposed to sticking with Unreal 3, it would have too drastically changed the trilogy.

“One of the things we did early on, to sort of set some context, is we actually talked to the people at Epic and we said, ‘What would this look like if we brought it into Unreal 4?'” Walters told us during a presentation for the Legendary Edition. “And it very quickly became clear that that level of jump would really change fundamentally what the trilogy was, how it felt, how it played.”

As an example, Walters pointed out how Kismet–a visual scripting language in Unreal 3–has no exact equivalent in Unreal 4. “Which means every moment, every scene, everything would have had to have been essentially redone from scratch and we knew, at that point, that we’d really be taking away from the essence and the spirit of what the trilogy was,” he said.

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