Mass Effect: Andromeda creative director Mac Walters confirms that the Paragon and Renegade system from the original Mass Effect trilogy won’t be in the new game.
One of the ways the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda is diverting from franchise norms is by removing the Paragon and Renegade system that governed player choice in the original trilogy. BioWare previously revealed that the studio was looking to “move away” from the Paragon and Renegade morality system in Mass Effect: Andromeda, but now we know that it’s being removed entirely, and we also know why BioWare made such a decision.
According to Mass Effect: Andromeda creative director Mac Walters in an interview with Official Xbox Magazine (as reported by GamesRadar+), the new game is dropping the Paragon and Renegade system for a couple of reasons. The main reason is that the system felt too tied to Commander Shepard, the hero of the original Mass Effect trilogy, and so the studio felt it wouldn’t feel right when using it with the franchise’s new hero, Commander Ryder.
“So, Paragon and Renegade is gone. The reason they’re gone is because they felt very Shepard – they were very tied to the Shepard character, so they didn’t really make sense if we weren’t going to have Shepard as our protagonist.”
Another reason why the Paragon and Renegade system is getting the axe has to do with how BioWare felt people played the original trilogy. There’s a sense that players were automatically choosing the Paragon or Renegade option out of their dialogue choices, as opposed to reading all the possible responses and selecting one that fit the narrative of their character. By removing the morality labels from dialogue options and other choices in the game, BioWare hopes that people will pay closer attention to how they’re interacting with other characters in the Andromeda galaxy.
Removing the Paragon and Renegade system seems like a bold move, but it’s not as though BioWare is stripping away the element of player choice. On the contrary, it is making an attempt to ensure that players are more actively involved with shaping the story of Mass Effect: Andromeda instead of making decisions purely in the interest of shifting a morality scale.
BioWare’s new approach to morality in Mass Effect: Andromeda could potentially result in a deeper, more engaging story than past entries in the series. Of course, if BioWare is hoping to top itself with Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s story, it will need to deliver in other areas as well, so companions like the Asari Peebee will need to be as memorable as past Mass Effect squadmates like Wrex and Garrus, for example.
When one considers the award-winning writing talent at BioWare, it’s easy to be optimistic about Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s story and characters, with or without the Paragon and Renegade system. With the game set to launch in a little over a month’s time, fans will soon find out if BioWare’s new morality system results in a story that’s just engaging as the Commander Shepard saga from the original Mass Effect trilogy.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will be available on March 21, 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.