Mass Effect Graphics Mod Makes Garrus' Scales Even More Detailed

Illustration for article titled Mass Effect Graphics Mod Makes Garrus' Scales Even More Detailed

2017 came and went without any word from Bioware on when and if a proper remaster of the Mass Effect trilogy will ever happen. Fortunately the first game in the series is still getting new updates via mods that add new textures and character details, including better beard hair for Joker.

MEUITM is a Mass Effect mod that was first released in 2013, several years after the game had come out. Modder CDAMJC has continued working on it ever since, polishing the textures and performance improvements. On January 1, CDAMJC released an “Anniversary” update for the mod celebrating ten years since Mass Effect started that significantly reworked characters faces and how lighting and shadows reflect off different surfaces.

“I’m trying to fix some of the ‘uglies’ in ME1 and give it the polished look the epic story line deserves,” they said in the note for the latest version. “This was achieved by texture editing (up-scaling, re-painting, adding details, adding texture, and rebuilding normal maps.” In addition to overhauling the look of the all the alien races and getting rid of seams on character models, the updated mod also makes more minute changes ranging from touching up the scales on the side of Garrus’ neck to redoing the lettering on the inside of the Normandy.

Illustration for article titled Mass Effect Graphics Mod Makes Garrus' Scales Even More Detailed

The exact texture and patterns of the cracks on a Turian’s skin are a matter of some debate, having changed as the series evolved graphically. The latest game, Mass Effect Andromeda, blows up things entirely by recreating the series inside of an entirely new game engine. If you want to try and rekindle that feeling of the first time to stared into Garrus’s eyes and wandered whether you should offer him some moisturizer then, MEUITM isn’t a bad place to start. 

CDAMJC says their favorite improvement comes in the form of a new Film Grain Texture to make certain cutscenes look more like Mass Effect 2 without diluting the cinematic effect. “Now you can keep film grain on and still have a crisp picture.”

You can see the full list of changes that come with MEUITM’s Anniversary Update over at Nexus Mods. Mass Effect 2 and 3's DLC were recently, after many years, made available for download on EA’s Origin game client. It’s the middle of winter and nothing’s coming out, so I definitely recommend you continue to ignore your backlog and go replay the greatest sci-fi RPG series of the last console generation. 

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at

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Random thought, but:

If EA/Bioware want to bring back Mass Effect and make it work, they need to bring back Shepard. I was all-in on Andromeda and starting over with a new galaxy and new cast, but I honestly believe that most fans weren’t. The actual problems with the game aside, I think it was somewhat doomed to disappoint simply because all of those connections and character arcs that made Mass Effect’s fanbase so rabid were no longer present or even regarded in any way. And since their first try at leaving the Milky Way failed to present any new worthwhile lore or anything that felt collectively just as good as the original trilogy, let alone better, another attempt in Andromeda or any other rebooted galaxy would likely be doomed to disappoint as well.

I think that, even though narratively Shepard’s story should be finished, they’ll need to bring players back into Shepard’s world, specifically, because that’s the world players want to be in. Ignore the blue and green endings that shake up the lore beyond repair. Stick with the red ending, with Shepard gasping for air at the very end, and start to rebuild your universe as all those forces you gathered begin the painful process of reconstruction after losing the mass relay system. It creates possibilities for political drama, seeing consequences for all your time spent in the original trilogy, another chance to see characters players already know and love, and, most of all, sort of brush the Star Child and the alternate color endings thing under the rug that have been a sort of albatross around the franchise’s neck since ME3's release.

One step further, I’d argue that this return to Shepard’s world shouldn’t be a planned trilogy. Let the game play out according to your decisions, all their own, a la Dragon Age: Origins. Let there be tangible consequences as Shepard tries to unite multiple races struggling to survive against an internal threat. Let the game play out very differently with whole sections only available based on difficult decisions, a la The Witcher, to make it worthwhile of multiple playthroughs in a way Mass Effect hasn’t had before. And let Shepard get his/her proper farewell saving the galaxy one last time before handing the torch to a new character, in this galaxy, with this supporting cast, a la Halo 5— only not, you know, absolutely terrible.

Tangent from the article but hey, I felt like sharing my opinion.