Modders have managed to recover the lost DLC package from Mass Effect, Pinnacle Station, and add it to the PC version of Mass Effect Legendary Edition.
The DLC released on November 7th (N7 Day) 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, noting, “This was the most ambitious modding project I’ve ever tackled as it touched pretty much every aspect of the design. We had to design several new custom classes, code a very complex porting pipeline, improve our tools to make it easier to find assets, invent new debugging tools, and much more. “
Screens – Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Originally released for the first Mass Effect game in 2009, Pinnacle Station is a pretty straightforward battle simulator mode. Success in the simulator will unlock Shepard’s Apartment, a small home base. It was developed by Demiurge, who also ported Mass Effect to the 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 was able to use their tools to port the DLC from the original PC version of Mass Effect to the Legendary Edition.
Not only did the modding group get the DLC up and running in the Legendary Edition, but they also put significant effort into making the DLC a better experience. Pinnacle Station originally had very little audio, with no music during the fight, so the modders chose tracks from the score that felt appropriate for each card. A lot of work was also put into the difficulty scaling, as the Volcano Hunt Insanity mode of the original was punished too severely due to the fast time and the survival mode could easily be cracked by simply not attacking enemies. Now, Volcano Hunt Insanity has been toned down by reducing the time decay granted per kill, giving a little more time to kill the required enemies before the time runs out. Survival will now force enemies not killed after 25 seconds to rush towards you, making it a more interesting challenge.
A variety of other fixes have been made, including reducing texture pop-ins, corrected lighting, dialog-level errors, and buggy character models. The team also discovered a large amount of cut content, suggesting that Pinnacle Station was originally supposed to be a more story-heavy piece of DLC than it eventually became. While much of this content cannot be restored because the full script cannot be seen, the team was able to restore some disassembled turian bombers that were supposed 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 information on the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, check out our reviews of the first, second, and third game and how their remastered treatments fare, as well as news that sales were “way above expectations”. If you’re interested in the future of Mass Effect, take a look at the poster heralding the future of the series.
Matt Purslow is the UK news and entertainment writer for IGN.