“Stand by for clearance Normandy,” bellows Captain David Anderson as the iconic ship approaches Citadel Dock 422. Shortly thereafter the wonder of the galaxy’s epicentre hits you like a sledgehammer, its empyrean skyline a majestic marvel among the cosmos. However, there exists a monumental issue that has plagued this cutscene for over a decade: it has aged like a fine wine, if only said wine had its cork removed long before it was shelved.
Fortunately, there is a fix. After the divisive denouement of Mass Effect 3 ripped a fissure in the community, a group of fans banded together to rewrite the series’ disgruntling culmination. Thus the Mass Effect modding community was born, brewed from a chaotically potent cocktail of discontent and desire for more. “We only have Mass Effect 3 mods because of the terrible endings,” Spectre Expansion Mod author Tydeous tells me in a recent interview. “People hated them with such passion that it spawned an entire community that wanted to fix them.”
Although the ensuing ending mods were relatively renowned within Mass Effect circles, the movement didn’t stop there: accepting the unlikeliness of an official remaster, these dedicated tinkerers decided to work on a complete 4K overhaul of the entire trilogy, as well as orchestrating their own original mods to boot. The aim of this enterprise is to complete Mass Effect Modding Workshop creator Ryan “Audemus” Ainsworth’s own labour of love, ALOV (A Lot Of Videos), which is the result of a community-wide effort to remaster Mass Effect’s inaugural iteration.