Mass Effect: Andromeda's developer reveals its plans on "moving away" from the Paragon and Renegade morality system found in the franchise's previous games.
Although relatively little is known about BioWare's forthcoming action-RPG Mass Effect: Andromeda save for the myriad story leaks and other unofficial information making its rounds online, it seems as if developers are intending to make a major departure from the groundwork laid with the series' first three installments. For instance, just yesterday, it was revealed that the game would ignore Mass Effect 3's controversial endings, as they would have no bearing on the newest entry's plot, and now, new details involving small, but important gameplay changes have been divulged.
When speaking to the outlet GamesRadar, BioWare's creative director, Mac Walters, declared that Mass Effect: Andromeda will have a different kind of morality system than its predecessors. Instead of the games' familiar Paragon/Renegade classifications, developers are set on making the whole concept of labeling players as good or bad more nuanced.
If Walters is to be believed, then Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to have a looser definition of what it is to be a moral or corrupt protagonist in the game. Interestingly enough, the studio's creative director has said that the influence behind providing a more subtle scale of determining the ethics behind a player's choices in-game was due to the increasing complexity of narratives in video games and across all artistic mediums, as he said, “I think in general, with all this sophistication of games or engaging in any kind of entertainment right now, [gamers are] looking for more of those shades of grey."
Of course, Walters doesn't dislike the reputation system found in prior Mass Effect games. As a matter of fact, he praises the feature, saying that it “was a core part of who Shepard was” and fit with the original trilogy. However, the BioWare creative director simply doesn't see how it could operate within within the framework of future titles for the franchise, as he believes the studio won't be using the Paragon/Renegade idea for Mass Effect: Andromeda, or perhaps ever again.
“I think now we’re moving away from that. We’ve been looking for other ways to engage more of those shades of grey; less about it being obviously being right or wrong and more about giving people a sense of choice.”
While many fans will rejoice over the decision to do away with Mass Effect's Paragon and Renegade system, as a lot of gamers criticized it for being an oversimplification of morality, it's important to note that without any concrete examples of how such choices will impact Andromeda's narrative, we're left to just take Walters at his word that it's going to work out for the best. With this being the case, let's hope we get more information on the matter before the game's early 2017 release date.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to release sometime in March 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.