How Mass Effect Legendary Edition's New Game Plus Works

avatar-user Ava Reynolds 2024-05-22
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For many gamers, playing through the Mass Effect trilogy over and over again is a treasured pastime. With the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition in 2021, EA and BioWare remastered the original trilogy and introduced Commander Shepard to a whole new generation of players who'll likely be saving the galaxy for years to come. The thing is, they will probably want to explore all their options and make different choices than those made the first time around, and that's where New Game+ comes into play.

This remastered edition enhances the graphics and gameplay mechanics and includes all the downloadable content, making it a comprehensive package for both new and returning players. One of the standout features of this edition is the New Game Plus (NG+) mode, which significantly enriches the replayability of the trilogy. Going back to the start of the trilogy to launch a new effort against Cerberus and the Reapers takes a lot of work (and gameplay hours). Fortunately, with a feature like NG+, players don't have to march back into the fray empty-handed against the greatest threat the Milky Way has ever known.

This article was updated on May 21, 2024 by Antonio Samson: The Mass Effect trilogy has captivated fans since 2007. With so many different possibilities and choices, the series offers some of the most replayability in a game. The Legendary Edition makes this easier than ever and even gives the Original Mass Effect a New Game Plus mode for the first time. This article was updated to provide more information on how New Game Plus works for every game in the trilogy and to meet CBR's editorial standards and formatting.

New Game Plus Enhances Replayability For The Series

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New Game Plus is a feature that allows players to restart the game after completing it, retaining certain progress aspects like character level, skills, and equipment. This means that instead of starting from scratch, players can begin their new playthrough with a more powerful and well-equipped Commander Shepard.

This feature is particularly beneficial in a series like Mass Effect, where choices and character development play crucial roles. New Game Plus allows players to experience storylines or different choices easily since they'll have a head start on the game. Experiencing different choices is one of the main incentives to keep replaying the game since it can change the entire experience for the player.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Extends New Game Plus To All 3 Games

In the original trilogy, New Game Plus was only available in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. This limitation made it challenging for players who wanted to experience the entire trilogy with the same character and upgrades. One of the original purposes of New Game Plus was to allow Shepard to reach the maximum level required to tackle the game's hardest difficulty, Insanity Mode.

Legendary Edition now provides the NG+ experience for all three games. Now, a Shepard who has fought through the entire series can start the first game again with all the perks, levels, mods, and upgrades acquired during the initial playthrough. There is no longer a minimum level requirement to play in Insanity Mode, but that doesn't make New Game Plus any less valuable. It means players can dive into the intense difficulty right from the start, fully prepared with all the necessary tools and skills.

How To Launch NG+ In Mass Effect Legendary Edition

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In order to launch an NG+ for the trilogy in its entirety, players need to have completed all three games and reached the ending sequence. Once accomplished, they can start a new playthrough with the same Commander Shepard from their original game. This Shepard will begin at the last level they achieved before completing the game, carrying over level points, squad points, weapon and armor upgrades, and stats. Weapon mods will be available, but they will need to be re-equipped. It is important to recognize that NG+ increases Shepard's level right out of the gate, granting them more experience to prepare for big battles.

This setup allows Shepard to start with a significant advantage, with increased levels and experience points right from the beginning. However, this also means that enemies will scale in level, making them more challenging than in the first playthrough. This scaling ensures the game remains balanced and provides a fresh challenge, even for experienced players. To succeed, players need to employ new strategies and think creatively about how to use their upgraded skills and equipment.

What Doesn't Carry Over In Mass Effect Legendary Edition's NG+

While New Game Plus offers many benefits, some elements do not carry over to encourage players to make new choices and explore different paths. Paragon and Renegade points, representing Shepard's moral alignment, reset, allowing players to take a different moral path than they did in their initial playthrough. This reset provides an opportunity to experience the game's narrative from a different perspective. For instance, a player who initially played as a Paragon (good) character can now experience the story as a Renegade (bad) character, making different decisions and seeing how these choices impact the game's world and relationships.

Credits, the in-game currency, are also reset. This reset forces players to think about their resource management from the beginning, making different decisions about what to buy and upgrade. Personal squad missions, crucial in Mass Effect 2 for gaining loyalty before the suicide mission, do not carry over. Players will need to complete these missions again to ensure their squad's loyalty and survival. NG+ is a great chance for players to revisit Commander Shepard without starting the game over entirely from scratch. Having those extra supplies, mods, and experience points will make Shepard an even more powerful galactic force, ready to put the fear of humanity into anyone who dares to cross them.

Exploring Different Choices And Relationships

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New Game Plus is not just about carrying over power and resources; it's also about exploring the vast narrative possibilities within the Mass Effect trilogy. Relationships, both platonic and romantic, can also be explored anew. Mass Effect is known for its deep character relationships, and New Game Plus allows players to pursue different romance options. This replayability means players can see how different romantic choices play out across the trilogy, providing a richer understanding of the characters and their development.

Players may also choose different relationships, including a new romance option than the one previously chosen. It's important to remember that things like personal squad missions do not carry over and will also need to be completed again in Mass Effect 2 to regain their loyalty before the suicide mission. For instance, they might choose to save Ashley instead of Kaiden on Virmire or take a different approach to handling the Genophage, a significant plot point involving the Krogan species.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition's New Game Plus feature is a game-changer for fans of the series. It enhances replayability by allowing players to carry over their progress, encourages exploration of different narrative paths, and offers new challenges. Whether you're a long-time fan of the series or a newcomer, New Game Plus provides a compelling reason to dive back into the epic story of Commander Shepard and their fight to save the galaxy. With all the upgrades, new choices, and strategic depth it offers, New Game Plus ensures that the Mass Effect trilogy remains a timeless and endlessly enjoyable experience for fans.

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