Why Mass Effect: Andromeda does away with Paragon and Renegade systems

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Mass Effect Andromeda ditches paragon and renegade systems 2

Mass Effect as a trilogy was somewhat defined by the actions you took as Commander Shepard, which often felt incredibly binary. As with many other BioWare developed titles, dialogue options often fell into one of two categories: incredibly soft, understanding and subtle, or “I’m going to punch your face in” responses. In Mass Effect that was defined by the blue and red of both Paragon and Renegade respectively – a system which Andromeda won’t feature.

Speaking about the imminent role-playing release, Creative Director Mac Walters detailed how the previous system was intrinsically tied to Shepard and how he (or she!) conducted themselves. With the Pathfinder, BioWare want to branch out to something different. Something far less predictable.

“What we have now is based more around agreeing and disagreeing. The reason I like that is because in the trilogy it’s like, ‘I’m gonna play Paragon,’ and then you know which way you’re moving the stick on every conversation. You don’t have to think about it, because you’re just going to hit Paragon every time.

“With agree and disagree it changes by the circumstance and it changes by the character you’re talking to, so you have to actually be more engaged in what’s going on, to know if you’re going to do that.”

Taking things a step further, Walters explained how players will have options to also set the tone of their response, to a certain degree. Often tone is lost in text-wheel responses (much like text-based social media), so giving players more control over how they present their answer enhances the type of role-playing Andromeda is aiming for.

“We’ve added in four tones and we’ll talk a little more in the future, but they basically allow other types of characters to express them[selves] in one of four different ways, and sometimes one of two different ways. And I think that gets back to that more traditional role-playing sort of feeling which is less about ‘Do I want to be good or bad,’ and more about ‘How do I want to express myself?’”

Mass Effect’s strength has always been in its characters and the relationships or feuds you choose to enact with them. So this rather large changes suggests Andromeda won’t just be following that trend, but attempting to reinvent it in some sense. We’ll see how it all plays out when Andromeda launches on March 21st.

Last Updated: February 9, 2017

Read  Mass Effect Andromeda single-player DLC drama is a sign of the changing games industry

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff's a bastard.

  • konfab
    • HairyEwok

      Paragade…. Sounds like a energy drink.

      • PurplePariah

        Made from mother’s milk and baby’s tears. The perfect blend.

        • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

          Should be fight milk – made from real crows eggs and milk

        • HvR

          But it is the perfect blend diplomacy and violence so should be mixture of mother’s milk and baby formula

          And 1-in-11 red cooldrink and organic free range gluten free unpasteurized blueberry juice

          • PurplePariah

            That latter part would incite much violence. XD

  • PurplePariah

    I guess I have to save for this. Because 1) It’s MASS EFFECT OMFSKJFHGKSJFHGKSJKSDF. And 2) That sounds rather much more fun than the good or bad binary. Last time that binary was challenged was in KotOR 2, where Kreia challenges your actions.

    • konfab

      Kotor explored it quite well with Jolee Bindo:

      “Well, I assure you, I see more grey than dark or light. I’m just a stubborn old man, tired of the foolishness of others.”

      • PurplePariah

        Sure I agree 100%. But KotOR 2 was more recent than its prequel, and I was just mentioning the last time (and to a large degree, within the BioWare IP stable). 😛

  • You know it is going to be a good day when there is a Mass Effect article (well one about the good things and not the crappy ending of 3)

    • PurplePariah

      I really like the vanilla ending of the third game. But I know I’m a special snowflake in that regard. XD

      • The ending would have been passable if they did not announce a year earlier that there would be like 30 different endings all based on the choices you made across all 3 games. Well just barely passable.The DLC ending was …. okay. They made up for it with the Citadel DLC.

        • PurplePariah

          I’m a sucker for a good anticlimax. 😛

  • Original Heretic

    Better. Much better.
    The Paragon/Renegade weakness was revealed in second playthroughs. You knew that later in the game you would only be able to perform certain actions if you were completely one or the other.
    Hopefully this won’t end up being the same.

    • PurplePariah

      I’d actually like it if there was a lot more locked behind certain choices – but nothing as obvious or binary as the trilogy. I’d like it more nuanced, so that it’s subtle and gradual, rather than one big event where you choose “blue or red please”. Like the ending of 3 everyone hated, which was just an extension of every choice they made the entire trilogy, really.

      • Original Heretic

        I’m all for subtlety. If the game makes it too obvious that “this is the good choice, this is the bad choice”, it becomes too much of a no-brainer to play. I hate that in RPG’s.

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    End of March, cannot come sooner.

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