Understanding New Game Plus in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Mariam Knight


Understanding New Game Plus in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

For countless gamers, replaying the Mass Effect trilogy is a beloved tradition. With the 2021 release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, EA and BioWare have remastered the iconic trilogy, introducing Commander Shepard to a fresh wave of players who will undoubtedly spend years safeguarding the galaxy. Naturally, these players will want to explore different choices and outcomes from their first playthrough, making the New Game Plus (NG+) feature particularly appealing.

This remastered edition not only enhances the graphics and gameplay mechanics but also includes all the downloadable content, making it a complete package for both veterans and newcomers. One of its standout features is the NG+ mode, which significantly amplifies the trilogy's replayability. Venturing back to confront Cerberus and the Reapers is a significant endeavor, requiring time and effort. Thankfully, with NG+, players don't have to start from scratch in their battle against the galaxy's greatest threats.

This article was revised on May 21, 2024, by Antonio Samson: The Mass Effect series has enthralled fans since its debut in 2007. With its multitude of choices and outcomes, the series offers unrivaled replayability. The Legendary Edition enhances this even further, introducing New Game Plus to the original Mass Effect for the first time. This update aims to provide a deeper understanding of how NG+ operates across all three games in the trilogy and aligns with CBR's editorial standards and formatting.

New Game Plus: Elevating Replayability

Mass Effect game screen

New Game Plus allows players to restart the game post-completion while retaining specific progress aspects such as character level, skills, and equipment. This means that rather than starting from zero, players can begin their new journey with a more powerful and well-equipped Commander Shepard.

This feature is particularly advantageous in a game like Mass Effect, where choices and character development are pivotal. NG+ lets players explore different storylines or make new decisions with ease, given their head start in the game. Experiencing various choices is a key incentive for replaying the game, as it can drastically alter the player's experience.

Expanding New Game Plus Across the Trilogy

Originally, NG+ was only available in Mass Effect 2 and 3, limiting players who wished to experience the entire trilogy with the same character upgrades. One main goal of NG+ was to enable Shepard to reach the maximum level required for the game's hardest difficulty, Insanity Mode.

Legendary Edition now offers NG+ for all three games in the series. A Shepard who completes the entire trilogy can start the first game anew with all the perks, levels, mods, and upgrades earned during their initial playthrough. While there is no longer a minimum level requirement for Insanity Mode, NG+ remains invaluable. It allows players to tackle the highest difficulty from the outset, fully equipped with all necessary tools and skills.

Initiating NG+ in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

mass-effect planet

To launch an NG+ for the entire trilogy, players must complete all three games and reach the ending sequence. Once this is achieved, they can start a new playthrough with the same Commander Shepard from their original game. This Shepard will retain their last level, along with level points, squad points, weapon and armor upgrades, and stats. Weapon mods will be available but need re-equipping. It's important to note that NG+ boosts Shepard's level from the beginning, providing more experience for upcoming battles.

This setup gives Shepard a significant advantage with increased levels and experience points from the start. However, enemies will also scale in level, ensuring they remain challenging. This balancing act provides a fresh challenge, even for seasoned players, who must employ new strategies and think creatively about their upgraded skills and equipment.

Elements That Don't Carry Over in NG+

While NG+ offers numerous 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 in their new playthrough. This reset provides an opportunity to experience the narrative from a different angle. For example, a player who initially played as a Paragon can now experience the story as a Renegade, making different decisions and observing their impact on the world and relationships.

In-game currency credits are also reset, requiring players to manage resources from the beginning and make different purchasing and upgrading decisions. Personal squad missions, essential in Mass Effect 2 for gaining loyalty before the suicide mission, do not carry over. Players must complete these missions again to ensure their squad's loyalty and survival. NG+ offers a chance to revisit Commander Shepard without starting entirely from scratch, making Shepard an even more formidable force in the galaxy.

Exploring New Choices and Relationships


NG+ isn't just about carrying over power and resources; it's also about exploring the extensive narrative possibilities within the Mass Effect trilogy. Relationships, both platonic and romantic, can be revisited. Mass Effect is renowned for its deep character relationships, and NG+ allows players to pursue different romance options. This replayability lets players see how various romantic choices unfold across the trilogy, providing a richer understanding of character development.

Players may choose different relationships or new romance options. Personal squad missions need to be completed again in Mass Effect 2 to regain loyalty before the suicide mission. For instance, they might save Ashley instead of Kaiden on Virmire or take a different approach to handling the Genophage, a critical plot point involving the Krogan species.

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