Back to the Beginning: Bringing Mass Effect to PS3

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Back to the Beginning: Bringing Mass Effect to PS3

I’m Ryan Warden, the External Producer for Mass Effect Trilogy. I’ve been with BioWare for almost nine years now – lately I’ve been working to help bring you Mass Effect Trilogy for PlayStation 3, and today I’m honored to be able to write a post for PlayStation.Blog!

We began work on Mass Effect Trilogy in earnest last April, shortly after Mass Effect 3 had shipped. The trilogy was complete, but there was a slight complication — there were people who had missed out on one (or more) titles in the series. Clearly this included PS3 owners, who had never had the chance to play the original Mass Effect. Mass Effect Trilogy was a great opportunity to rectify that!

We partnered with Edge of Reality, an external team with whom we’ve worked on many previous projects. Edge of Reality has a deep understanding of how PS3 works, under the hood, so we thought the project would be a perfect fit. We had a huge head start because of the work we had done with Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 for PS3, but we still wanted to maintain the look and feel – the classic experience – of the original Mass Effect.

“We got some huge gains in performance.”

We tinkered with the audio engine, and with the way that memory was allocated to various chunks of the game. We brought over some lighting and visual effects improvements from Mass Effect 2 and 3, and combined them with the original Mass Effect systems. In essence, we invited the Wu Tang Clan to a rap battle… and it paid off. We got some huge gains in performance – especially with regard to texture popping, which has been dramatically improved – yet we were still able to maintain the classic look and feel of the introduction to the Mass Effect universe.

At the end of my first playthrough during development, I saw a scene that had once been so familiar – the Normandy jumps to FTL, the screen fades to black, and That Song kicks in. I had sat through this scene countless times during the development of Mass Effect. Every single time, the delay-soaked guitar of Faunts’ “M4 Part II” put a grin on my face, just like the first time I saw it. I’m lucky that I got to relive the eight years of my life that I’ve spent working on the Mass Effect series. And now PS3 owners can experience the full trilogy for the first time.

You can finally create your Shepard at the beginning of Mass Effect, and bring that same character through the rest of the series. You can stand on the moon, drive the Mako across an asteroid, chase a rogue Spectre to the edges of the galaxy, and deliver right hooks to your heart’s content. Then you can pop the Mass Effect 2 disc in the tray.

I’m really proud of the work that the team has done to bring Mass Effect Trilogy to the PS3, and I can’t wait for you to play through the whole series. I hope you enjoy it!

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29 Author Replies

  • I hope the protagonist will have a better haircut in ME4.

  • Once I finish all the other I need to finish, I will definitely hop on to this because I can finally start from the beginning!!!

  • Listen to yourself, you’re indoctrinated.

    first off, Thank you for bringing this to PS3. The incomplete trophy set was killing me and now my sister can finaly play what I’ve been enjoying on my PC all these years. Second, Elevators? Are they less evil? Third why not update the game play the first or offer a mode with updated gameplay.? Out of Scope? Many of the PS3 fans who played the second and third games aren’t going to understand (and no offense here) broken gameplay of the original. ME2 and ME3 are really the penicale of what the series has to offer, so ME1 now comes off as jaring and I say that as someone who has gone back to ME1 at least once already after completing the entire Trilogy.

    PS Remote Play? My Vita cries out for ME.

    • We wanted to stay true to the original Mass Effect experience. I think that it has a character all its own, and it’s neat to watch the gameplay evolve over the course of the trilogy.

  • Im so excited to sit and start from the begining. I have already platinumed the 2nd game but decided to delete all save data and start fresh with part 1. Trophies be damned I am going to let all actions play out as natural as possible over the next 75 hours and I could not be happier. Thanks for making my already favorite franchise even better.

  • Is The Mass Effect Trilogy composed of a 3-disc set or are all 3 games crammed into one blu-ray disc?

    • It’s a three-disc set. We couldn’t guarantee that loading times wouldn’t be b a n a n a s off of one disc.

  • @5
    It’s a 3 Disc set, one for each game. It was probably easier to just supply the game on 3 discs then attempt to create a menu that allowed you to boot into each. Plus reviewers (IGN mainly) docs a collection in points for not having a nice menu to choose from and return too. Just best to avoid the matter all together. though all three games probably could fit on a single bluray.

  • Downloaded last night, and many hours of sleep were stolen. I am however getting bad audio dropouts and it ruins the mood. Also had the game lock me into an unusable start menu, please fix.

  • thank you soo much for this!
    i installed the game this morning!
    cant wait to start it! (later when my kids sleeping)

  • @chemerie It’s a three disc set :)

  • Got my copy yesterday! I played Mass Effect 1 on the original Xbox, but didn’t get far. Haven’t played 2 or 3 yet so I’m set to go with the full trilogy!

  • Is The Mass Effect Trilogy composed of a 3-disc set or are all 3 games crammed into one blu-ray disc?

    Also, Why wasn’t the Extended Cut Dlc for ME3 included in the trilogy?

  • Add Ps vita cross-buy and or remote play and I’m sold! The Playstation Vita is an awesome piece of hardware. #Live Long Play

  • Some please get Edge of Reality to work with Bethesda now!!

  • actually im talking about Mass effect 1, already platinum 2 & 3!
    and one of the best N7 MP player :))

  • So I bought a used copy of ME2 earlier in the year for cheap, but wasn’t really motivated to play. ME1 on PSN sounds great because I get to play from the very beginning of the story. I got ME1 on PSN last night, will my used copy of ME2 allow me to import my character from PSN ME1 or do I need the ME2 in the ME Trilogy to do that?

  • Sorry for asking in my second blog about this, but I am thinking of getting this. Is the Mass Effect saga at least 50% as good as KOTOR was? If so I will def pick this up

  • Bought ME2 the day ME3 launched. Ended up loving it so much, I went out and bought ME3. Still have my copies, and even still I went out last night and bought a copy of the entire Trilogy Box Set. I may be late for the game, but I’m a fan! Thanks for letting us on the PS3 play the entire game trilogy! :D

  • @16
    Beats the pants off KOTOR.

  • got my ME1 yesterday, wish it was a physical copy, but sadly it is not. (Takes 7 gigs, FYI)

  • Thanks for your hard work! I have enjoyed all 3 Mass Effect games to their conclusions. ME1 on the X360 and ME2 and 3 on the PS3. I haven’t owned a X360 since 2009 so I am so happy to be able to play Mass Effect again on the PS3 with trophy support. Thanks again!

  • Has the audio quality been improved? Pop-in was a major issue, and I’m glad to hear it’s been minimized, but the explosions on the 360 version always sounded really flat in comparison to PS3 titles like Uncharted 2, etc.

    Are the cutscenes 1080p native with lossless audio to take advantage of bluray and other technologies unique to the PS3?

  • Does the trilogy include that comic you can go through at the beginning of 2?

    • It does until you patch ME2. Then, if you’re importing a ME1 save, you won’t see the comic. If you’re just starting with ME2, you will!

  • Thanks for bringing ME to PS3.

    I started the series on the 360 when it first came out, but I much prefer to play all games when possible on the PS3 (don’t like the other systems controller).

    It’ll be a lot easier to get my ps3 owning friends into the series now as well, since they’ve been hesitant for the most part to jump in on game #2.

  • I very much enjoyed the last half of the Leviathan single-player DLC – but was disappointed by the brevity of the underwater portion & lack of underwater combat. Will we see a future single-player DLC that spends much more time in an underwater environment & has underwater combat?

  • Awesome, very glad to see ME2 getting patched to support ME1 imports; it’s something that would have been easy to overlook, so I appreciate the commitment to the total experience that shows.

    Now we just need to get ME on the Vita… ;)

  • @22: That’s the kind of answer I’ve been looking for since the announce of ME1 coming to the PS3.

    I would very much like to get this game but I don’t have the means of getting it. Maybe I should get my paragon up and persuade someone to get me the game. I’m not convinced at what was stated about how Edge of Reality worked on this and made it possibly to work on the PS3 until I play it myself.

  • LOL!!! You’ve got a good sense of humor, Ryan, but I’d like a serious reply, if possible. Underwater science fiction goes back all the way to Jules Verne’s book, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

    Also, I’m a MAJOR FAN of the multiplayer in ME3 and I hope that this newly released trilogy will get more people playing ME3’s multiplayer. I love experimenting with different builds, weapons, weapon mods, & consumable items. Please keep up the great job with the multiplayer.

  • Will ME gets its own standalone disc release for those who already have ME2 and ME3 Disc copies? Not saying being able to buy ME alone on PSN isn’t appealing but it would be nice to have the whole collection in their individual cases on the shelf (or all 3 collector’s edition cases).

  • I always said i’d give the series a run if ME1 made it’s way to PS3. This trilogy jawn is at the top of my wishlist, thanks!

  • I love you guys at BioWare:) I just bought the ME1 game last night and downloaded and now I am doing a full run through of all the games. Since I wasn’t able to have both an Xbox and PS3 at the same time, making this finally come to the PS3 makes my day!

    Thanks a bunch!

  • Hello!

    As a fan of Role Playing Games, I wanted to play so much these games. But, I wasn’t sure about playing from the second game. I almost thought that I had to play it on PC (something that I don’t like very much).

    When Mass Effect Trilogy was announced, I couldn’t believe it, I’m so happy! I can’t wait to play it, all the three games one after another!!

    Thanks Bioware!! Now I’m able to play one of the most amazing videogames franchise on my PS3 :)

  • Why wasn’t it released for the PS3 in the first place? Was Bioware one of the companies that didn’t know how to develop a PS3 game?

  • Thanks for bringing it to the ps3 :) Glad you guys could work out the technical or license issues that prevented it. Look forward to doing a proper playthrough :) by time I finish ME1 and 2 again hopefully all the me3 dlc will be out ;p

  • I still would like to know what took soo long to bring the first ME to Playstation, is it true that microsoft had something to do with that or no?

    On topic though, I stopped playing ME3 because you guys release too much DLC, I wanted to play the whole experience in without extra content to worry about like I did with ME2. Now that ME1 is out, I may purchase ME1 and redo ME2 and hopefully by the time I’m finished you guys will be done with your ME3 story DLC cycle, so I can purchase them all and play the whole experience straight through without having to worry about an add on.

    Can you tell us how many more pieces of story DLC we’ll be getting for ME3?

    • This is actually a really good question. The answer, in a word, is “no.”

      When you work for a publicly-traded company, there are SEC rules that say “you have X period of time to recognize the revenue for something after announcing it.” I’m simplifying greatly, but that’s more or less what’s going on. So that’s why we have to be very specific about when and how we announce things.

  • Bioware developer, why was this game released on Ps3? What is the story behind the Ps3 release?

    • Because PS3 owners hadn’t had the chance to play Mass Effect previously. And we think that everyone should play Mass Effect.

      The story behind the PS3 release is detailed in my blog post.

  • So grateful to be playing the first game of a series I enjoy immensely! Just curious, do you plan to have any or all of the DLC missions that were available on other platforms (ie: Bring Down the Sky or Pinnacle Peak) converted for the PS3 version? I will gladly pay! :)

    • Bring Down the Sky is included on-disc, but due to technical difficulties we’re unable to bring Pinnacle Station to the PS3.

  • Any info you want to volunteer as to the whereabouts of the ME1 DLC for PS3? I really want to reply the entire trilogy but I don’t want to start it without that DLC.

  • I just want to express my gratitude and congratulations to the team at Bioware and especially the Edge of Reality for fantastic job on original Mass Effect for the PS3.

    I had purchased both ME2 and ME3 brand new for my PS3 and last evening ME1 from PSN store. The game runs and plays superb, great improvements on the textures, lightning and screen tearing. The game runs smooth as well.

    Probably the biggest surprise and this would almost be a deal break for myself, the ability to change the controls, especially to aim and shoot to L1 and R1.
    Whoever recommended this to be added needs to get a raise. This is how PS3 shooting controls are always more ergonomic and comfortable.

    Overall, well done both teams, my hard earned money well spent.

    Now, give us PS Vita version of more Mass Effect Universe. I did bought the system for a reason. :)

  • Question will there be a patch at any point to let us switch the L2/R2 aim shoot configuration (Id rather use L1/R1)
    and will be able to carry over decisions from ME1 to 2 an 3?
    Anyway, im glad to finally be able to play ME1 on PS3.

    Sidenote, found a odd glitch that loaded me into a debug room (I think) If I press the PS button right about the time the Bioware logo pops up, then press it again once the Press Start screen comes up

    • Change the controls in the options menu. :)

      And, yes, you can import your decisions into ME2 and 3. Just download the patch for ME2 (should happen automatically when you insert your ME2 disc into your PS3) and you’ll be good to go.

  • Now if you would only release a PS3 version of Infiltrator, my ME experience would be complete!

    Regardless, I’ll join the chorus of thanks for bringing ME1 to the PS3 and giving me a great reason to replay ME2 and ME3–again!

    Also, keep up the good work on keeping the ME3 MP fresh. I’m totally addicted to weekend challenges!

  • I am sure all those idiots on n4g. com(who think they know it all) said a few years back that ‘Mass Effect 1′ would never come to the PS3:D

  • I know I haven’t replied to everyone who’s said thanks, but it’s our pleasure! I hope you guys enjoy the game. :)

  • Will ME1 for PS3 ever be released with its own box (not the Trilogy Edition)? I’d love to add it to my shelf alongside ME2 and ME3. I know it’s available on the PSN individually (I actually already own the PC download of ME1), but it just sure would be sweet to see it on my shelf.

  • Oh man, I have to get this, I loved the secuels, ME2 and 3 were the very first games I got to play for more than 50 hours since 2001, and it’s absolutely my favorite series so far, thank you. I have ask for an Infiltrator version for Vita or PS3 (I would love to play a ME game on my vita) could you guys make it happen?

  • I was wondering why I got an ME2 patch automatically downloaded today. I finished that long ago, with my red head fem Shep but have ME3 in my huge backlog. So, I guess I’ll instead get ME1 & play out of order first. Thanks for answering our questions.

    Oh, and as long as you’re passing stuff on to your colleagues, have them bring back Alastair from DA:O. I still have a crush on him.

  • As a long-time 360 and PC player, I’m actually really interested in the PS3 version of Mass Effect. I love to play on my couch.

    Can you tell us what ME1 and ME2 DLC’s are included in the PS3 version? I see that it’s available for PS3 digital download, but I wouldn’t purchase a vanilla version. Some of the ME2 DLC is practically a must-have, particularly stolen memory and Lair of the Shadow Broker!

    • Bring Down the Sky is included for ME1, and almost all of the story DLC (with the exception of Arrival) is included in ME2.

  • I am loving ME1 thank you so much : ) Downloaded it last night and couldn’t wait to start. Have to get used to using the controller a little differently, but no biggie. Also the conversations are a little out synced and sometimes they r mute but other than that am enjoying the ride. Looks fantastic too!! Been gaming for over 30 years and seeing how games have improved over the years is an understatement!

  • @34 It did had something to do with Microsoft. Mass effect was Microsoft exclusives but not now. I never play mass effect 1 because it never came out for the ps3. I not going start now playing mass effect you guys are trying make more money on something that should have came out years ago. You guys will never get my support until, you guys make mass effect 2 free for playstation plus members. If I like it then I will buy mass effect 3 but not until you make mass effect 2 free.

  • hey is there any fixes for the ME 3 “searching for DLC” in the before you go to the menu button thanks!

  • Why isn’t the DLC included in the first Mass Effect? When will it be made available?

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