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Though Mass Effect Legendary Edition has made many fans and newcomers excited to play through the entire Mass Effect trilogy from the beginning, not every player will want to play all three games each time, and some may wish to start with Mass Effect 2 or Mass Effect 3. In the original Mass Effect trilogy, players who did not import a character could use Mass Effect: Genesis, an interactive comic experience by Dark Horse, to input some of the most important, plot-altering choices from Mass Effect and begin their playthrough with either of the sequels. Once Mass Effect: Genesis was no longer operational, players had to settle for the default world state, which often set up Shepard with Renegade choices like choosing to kill Wrex on Virmire and allowing the Council to die during Sovereign"s attack.
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With the release of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, Mass Effect: Genesis has returned and is now integrated seamlessly into the start of a new game. While the comic doesn"t account for every possible choice players would make, it can help a player select a more fitting world state for their preferences before jumping into one of the sequels. Each Mass Effect: Genesis comic takes about 15 minutes to complete, though it is possible to skip through each panel if players are in a hurry. Additionally, depending on whether the player selected Male or Female Shepard at the start of a new game, Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale narrate the comic as Shepard telling their story so far. Here"s how to start and use the Mass Effect: Genesis interactive comic in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.
To begin using Mass Effect: Genesis in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, players will need to start either Mass Effect 2 or Mass Effect 3 from the launcher. When the game loads, they will need to start a new campaign and choose either a Male or Female Shepard without importing a saved character. In Mass Effect 2, they will go through the Prologue cutscene with the Collector attack first, then be prompted to begin Genesis. In Mass Effect 3, they will be prompted to begin the comic right away. In either case, a popup will appear asking if players want to begin Genesis, and they should click Yes to launch the experience. If they would prefer to use the original default world state, they can select No instead.
In Mass Effect 2, only the first Genesis comic will play, detailing the events of the first game. In Mass Effect 3, both the first and second Genesis comics play and recap both games. Whenever there is a choice for the player to make, a traditional dialogue wheel will appear at the bottom of the screen, and the narration will pause until the player makes their choice.
The choices players can input with Mass Effect: Genesis appear below by game:
Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 2Save or Kill Wrex on VirmireLeave Ashley or Leave Kaidan to die on VirmireSave the Council or Let the Council DieSupport Udina or Support Anderson for Human Councilor
Mass Effect 2 to Mass Effect 3
Take your time and Recruit all squadmates or Be expedient and Recruit fewer squadmatesStay true to your friends (Ashley/Kaidan and Liara) or Move onResolve squadmate conflicts or Ignore squadmate conflictsRescue crew immediately or Prepare ship and teamStart something with a Tali/Miranda/Garrus or Prepare for the assaultDon"t trust the Illusive Man (blow up the Collector Base) or Agree with Illusive Man (preserve the Collector Base)
Players should note that choosing Prepare ship and team can help the entire squad survive the Suicide Mission by completing all Loyalty missions and Normandy upgrades, but it will cause most of the Normandy crew except Dr. Chakwas to perish. Alternatively, if players choose Rescue crew immediately, they will lose about half their squadmates in the Suicide Mission. It also seems that Tali, Miranda, and Garrus are the only squadmate romance options available when using Mass Effect: Genesis.
After completing the interactive comics in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, players will be taken to character creation, where they can choose their Shepard"s name, appearance, background, and class. The game should proceed as normal from there, with all Shepard"s major choices accounted for. If players only want to begin with Mass Effect 2 and play the rest of the series normally, they should still be able to import their character, along with all the Mass Effect: Genesis choices they made for Mass Effect 1, into Mass Effect 3.
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Mass Effect Legendary Edition is available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.