Mass Effect Legendary Edition isn’t the best way to play the trilogy, at least not yet

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is coming out, and one would think it’s the best way to enjoy the trilogy. Graphical and gameplay updates bring the series (especially the first game) more in line with modern titles. That’s not the case, though, at least not for me.

Unfortunately, Mass Effect Legendary Edition isn’t compatible with the mods produced for the original trilogy. Furthermore, creators may not bring their mods to the new collection since the porting process will likely be arduous. It’s unfortunate because a particular set of mods make up my canon ending of the series.

I recently completed a playthrough of the Mass Effect Trilogy. Mass Effect 3, in particular, has a wide range of mods that significantly change the experience. A few of these (the Citadel Epilogue Mod and JohnP’s Alternate MEHEM) combine to change the order content is played in the game and seek to give players a more satisfying closure. The key to this is moving the Citadel DLC to serve as an epilogue to Mass Effect 3.

Why these mods make the perfect ending to the Mass Effect Trilogy

Mass Effect Citadel DLC 2

Playing through the Mass Effect Trilogy takes players through a massive journey to save our galaxy from the cycle of destruction the Reapers bring to bear. While there’s plenty of comedic moments, for the most part, the tone is rather dark, and Shepard and the Normandy crew’s responsibilities take center stage. Across three games, allies come and go, but we never get a chance to unwind. After all, with the galaxy’s fate at stake, how can anyone relax?

In the stock game, the Citadel DLC comes off as a bit awkward. The Normandy crew takes shore leave, has a short adventure, and parties down, only to return to the war. It’s available from right after the Citadel coup – which is maybe the worst time I could think for Shepard and party to take a vacation – up to the attack on Cerberus Headquarters. At no time between these two points does it feel appropriate to kick your feet up and hang out in Shepard’s swanky new apartment.

Mass Effect Citadel DLC 3

However, the Citadel DLC works absolutely perfectly as the epilogue to the game, at least if the Destroy ending is chosen. Instead of ambiguity as to Shepard and the crew’s fate, you time skip, and the Citadel has been moved back to its original position in the Serpent Nebula. The Normandy docks for some servicing and refits, and the crew is still together helping the galaxy rebuild and holding together the tenuous alliance between the races.

Placed at the end of the game, the Citadel DLC’s humorous tones feel perfect. The last mission against Shepard’s clone is a great way to reflect on how your choices shaped Shepard and has the whole crew working together to take down one last foe.

The party is maybe the best conclusion to a game I’ve ever experienced. You’ve guided Shepard and crew through three titles to defeat the Reapers, and now they can finally hang out as friends and comrades without the impending threat of death and destruction. It’s fantastic to see everyone mingling together, and it’s a great way to say goodbye.

Mass Effect Citadel DLC 1

By the end of Mass Effect 3, I felt like these people were real friends. It was hard not to feel a bit of melancholy, knowing that we’d be parting ways. It seemed like the party was as much for me as it was for them. We’d saved the galaxy together, but it was time for me to move on to my next assignment. Goodbyes are always hard, but moving the Citadel DLC to act as the prologue gives you a chance to let the game gradually come to a halt instead of just abruptly ending.

It really struck me how much all these characters meant to me and how much of an impact these games had when the party was over and it was time to board the Normandy. For Commander Shepard, the Normandy crew, and all the other friends I made along the way, it was time to move on to the next mission. Having the game end on one last shot of the Normandy and knowing we’d made it together was precisely the way Mass Effect 3 needed to end.

Unfortunately, since Mass Effect Legendary Edition launches without these two mods, I prefer the original versions of the trilogy. The better sendoff far outweighs the advantages the Legendary Edition brings, though, I have my fingers crossed these mods will be ported sooner rather than later.