BioWare’s Kevin Meek and Mac Walters talk about the rebalanced boss fights in the upcoming remastered trilogy.
With every new detail BioWare have revealed about the upcoming Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, it’s become clearer and clearer that it’s going to be a pretty ambitious remaster, especially where Mass Effect 1 is concerned. From significant visual upgrades to gameplay improvements and polishing to tweaked character designs, the developer is refining the original trilogy in several ways with its upcoming remaster. Another area where BioWare have taken this opportunity to make some improvements is the boss fights.
Though not all of them, certain boss fights throughout the trilogy have been tweaked and retooled to make them more balanced and more enjoyable. Speaking recently in an interview with Game Informer, character and environment director Kevin Meek explained how that’s being done, using the boss fight against Matriarch Benezia in the first game as an example.
Specifically where Benezia is concerned, for instance, BioWare have added additional cover points, where in the original game, owing to the game’s conflicting ideas about whether it wants to be an RPG or a cover shooter, there were instances where there were no opportunities to take cover- such as in this specific boss fight.
“There is one thing about Benezia,” Meek said. “I think that was a very obvious example in Mass Effect 1 where they didn’t quite know whether or not they wanted to make a cover shooter where the keyword was ‘cover.’ So in the Benezia fight, if you remember all of the pathways that circle around it, there was no cover. No cover at all. And there was no place to add cover because the pathways were too skinny. And then you get to the corner and there would be cover, but they were all movable with biotics, so you couldn’t really ever go anywhere and hunker down to create a sense of plan or strategy about how you wanted to complete that battle.”
With the remaster, BioWare have expanded those pathways, allowing them to place cover points for players to use. “With this, you can always guarantee that there is some amount of cover that you can go and hide behind and that was actually real,” Meek said. “It’s the same exact layout, but everything is now double-wide with a few added cover points.”
Meanwhile, in certain instances, BioWare have also added auto save points to make things less frustrating should players die in the middle of boss fights, with the developers looking to make things fairer while still retaining a sense of challenge.
“What were the instances where people almost continuously struggled? In this case, we added more autosave,” said project director Mac Walters. “So that, you know, if at least you die, you know you can come back to it a little more quickly. But then we also just did things where a lot of Benezia’s powers can’t ragdoll you as much with the way that we spawned some of those enemies, but still challenging in its own right.”
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is due out on May 14 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.