Modders have managed to recover Mass Effects’ lost DLC package, Pinnacle Station, and add it to the PC version of Mass Effect Legendary Edition.
Released on November 7 (N7 Day), the DLC was restored by the ME3Tweaks group, a team of modders who have been working on Mass Effect mods for years. Modder Mgamerz discussed the project in a blog post that “This has been the most ambitious modding project I have undertaken before, as it touched on pretty much every aspect of design. We had to design several new custom classes, code a very complex porting pipeline, improve our tools to find assets more easily, invent new troubleshooting tools and more. “
Screens – Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Pinnacle Station was originally released for the first Mass Effect game in 2009, and is a fairly simple combat simulator mode. Success in the simulator will unlock Shepard’s Apartment, a small home base. It was developed by Demiurge, who also transferred Mass Effect to PC. The source code for Pinnacle Station has since been lost, which is why the PS3 and Legendary Edition versions of Mass Effect 1 do not include it. But the ME3Tweaks group has been able to use their tools to transfer the DLC from the original PC version of Mass Effect to Legendary Edition.
In addition to just getting the DLC running in Legendary Edition, the modding team has also made a significant effort to make the DLC a better experience. Pinnacle Station originally had very little sound, with no music during combat, and so the mods have selected tracks from the score that feel appropriate for each card. Considerable effort has also been put into scaling, as the original Volcano Hunt Insanity mode was far too punitive due to how fast time would run out, and Survival mode could easily become cheeses by simply not engaging enemies . Now, the Volcano Hunt Insanity has been toned down by reducing the time allotted to decay per second. killing, giving a little extra time to kill the necessary enemies before time runs out. Survival now forces enemies that have not been killed after 25 seconds to attack you, making it a more interesting challenge.
A host of other fixes have been made, including reducing texture pop-in, fixed lighting, dialog wheel errors, and bugged character models. The team also discovered a large amount of clipped content, suggesting that Pinnacle Station was originally intended as a more story-heavy piece of DLC than it eventually became. Although much of this content cannot be recovered because it is impossible to see the full manuscript, the team has been able to recover some cut turian bombers that were intended to fly over Ahern’s map. The team notes that there is no audio feedback on these bombers, but they will try to improve this in future updates.
For more from the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, check out our reviews of the first, second, and third games, and how their remaster treatments are doing, as well as the news that sales were “well above” expectations. If this is the future of Mass Effect you’re interested in, take a look at the poster that teases the future of the series.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s British news and entertainment writer.