BioWare is pulling out all the stops for the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition: Better gameplay, hotter companions, and a really good looking photo mode, among other things. Today, it rolled out a very sweet "bonus content download" package including a beefy soundtrack, art books, and digital comics, and a separate online tool that enables fans to create their very own customized cover art.
The art tool is really simple and clever. You begin by selecting your morality—Paragon, Renegade, or Neutral—and then your two favorite squadmates. The selection is limited, but you'll add more as the process continues, through Trusted Companion, the Cavalry, and the Backups. After that, choose from one of five Mass Effect locations, and then sit back and wait while the machine mashes it all together for you. You'll then be able to download your masterpiece as 4K wallpaper, box art (complete with a back page), or in "social share" formatting.
This is mine:
And here's a more Renegade-oriented take, with a different supporting cast:
It's fun to fool around with, and plenty of people are sharing and comparing their creations on Twitter with the #MyShepard (opens in new tab) hashtag. It's a bit of a shame that you can't lay out a fully customized squad—I'd happily put Zaeed in the top spot and I make no apologies for it—but given the ease of use and how well it works, I'd say the placement limitations are a fair trade.
For my money, though, the bonus download is where the real action is. It includes an 88-track soundtrack with music from all three games in the Mass Effect trilogy, digital art books from Mass Effect 2 and 3, two digital comics from Dark Horse, and a high-res "digital lithograph" of the Normandy.
It's a fantastic package, particularly the soundtrack, which was outstanding across three games and at least eight composers, and best of all you don't have to commit to buying Mass Effect: Legendary Edition if you're not really interested in doing it all over again: You can just grab the stuff and be on your way. It's a fairly hefty download, about 1.7GB, so if you prefer you can also listen to the entire thing on YouTube.
The only disappointment is the absence of M4 Part II, which may be the greatest videogame credits song of all time, and so I've embedded it below. You're welcome! And for the record, I took the matter up with BioWare and a rep confirmed that while the song isn't in the soundtrack, it is still present in the game.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition comes out on May 14.