Mass Effect Gets Sharpened Up With 2K & 4K Texture Packs
Stephan Jukic – December 3, 2017
The PC versions of Mass Effect have long been the subject of attempts to freshen up and basically modernize its appearance. This has now achieved what could be called the best culmination yet seen of these efforts in the form of special texture packs in both 2K and 4K resolutions for editions 2 and 3 of Mass Effect. In other words, the games now can claim to look more like they belong in late 2017 and early 2018.
Gamers who want to download the two texture packs for both games can do so here for Mass Effect 2 and here for Mass Effect 3, and it’s worth noting right off the bat that these are some very large damn downloads, with the 2K version taking up 2.8GB and the 4K version some 4.9GB. Then again, if you’re downloading these for 4K PC gaming, you probably have space to spare on your hard drive. We should also note that these textures don’t make Mass Effect 2 and 3 into full blown 4K PC games, so you probably won’t need something like a NVIDA GTX 1080 or higher to run them.
Now as for what the packs actually do. Well, they enhance specific textures during play of both games for even and sharpened resolution across the board. In other words, certain formerly blurrier smaller details now get a major boost to how clear and textured they look while items that were features in marketing and promo trailer screenshots will actually look as they did in these visuals while you’re playing either game. The creators of the texture packs have also made up a bunch of new textures for additional items and scenarios, and more updates are reportedly coming down the pipeline later on.
According to the builders of the Mass Effect texture packs:
“ALOT is a one-step download to upgrade Mass Effect 2’s graphics to today’s standards. 1200-ish high resolution (2K, 4K) textures have been carefully chosen from the works of other mod authors or crafted by myself. We have strived to achieve the best look possible, while remaining very close to the vanilla (default) style.
Among many others, this project includes HR textures for : squad mates, environments, cerberus, geth, quarians, reapers, the galaxy map, NPCs, weapons, armors, et cætera.”
Further technical details for either version include, in the creators own words:
We compiled hundreds of mods made by various mod authors into a single, exhaustive package. No need to scour the Internet for hours, we’ve done it for you :).
– We created a complete database of “portable” (ie identical) textures between the 3 Mass Effect games. This means comparing through various means about 44 000 textures.
– Bioware downscaled many textures and upscaled others throughout the development of the 3 games (eg a texture could be 1024px in ME1, 512px in ME2, 256px in ME3). We normalized these textures (same, highest resolution everywhere).
– Some of the original, not downscaled textures are still present in the game files (promo textures). We restored those we could find. Jack’s face, some of Shepard’s armor, and more, benefit from this.
The video below actually also does a pretty good job of showing off what these texture packs offer during live action gaming: