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How Mass Effect Andromeda is changing the Paragon-Renegade choice system

Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s celebratory N7 Day revealed a stack of exciting new information about the game. Its shiny new cinematic trailer lifted the lid on new characters and enemies, while the release of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 on backwards compatibility has diehard fans of the sci-fi series contempt until Andromeda hits in six months. Be sure to check out our Mass Effect: Andromeda guide so that you don’t miss any of the important news!

We now have more tidbits floating out of the Mass Effect underground, this time about the game’s morality choice system.

Mass Effect: Andromeda will reportedly be doing away with the traditional Paragon (good) and Renegade (evil) options, which were reflected in dialogue and action choices that determined how your character was perceived by others in the game world.

Anyone that’s played the system knows that while it seemed complex in design, it was actually rather simple: lean towards one or the other more often, and the game will simply play out to fit the line of that option.

In the fourth game, however, we’ll get a completely new choice system, one that promises to be far more dynamic and unpredictable. This information comes from the folks at Game Informer, who ran an exclusive preview of the game. The details were then dumped on NeoGAF.

In creating a new choices system, Mass Effect Andromeda developer, Bioware, wanted more nuance and subtlety in giving the player the opportunity to express themselves. While players will still have the option of agreeing or disagreeing, these black-and-white choices won’t necessarily corner the player into a paragon or renegade choice.

The dialogue option tones — which are also a reflection of your character’s personality — are defined as: heart, head, professional and casual. Go with heart, and you might be perceived as an irrational and emotional captain. Go casual, and some might think you don’t care enough. However, these won’t actually lead to make-or-break consequences, and they’re designed and implemented to ensure players don’t feel swayed to go one way or another as a means to avoid said consequences.



Most interestingly, the interrupts feature — now called “Narrative actions” — will return in Mass Effect: Andromeda, but it will be far more ambiguous than in past games. Previously, interrupting another character may have been defined as red (bad) or blue (good choice). However, the option now will simply say something like, “shoot”, without informing you either way of whether it’s good or bad.

Finally, in another break away from the original trilogy’s black-and-white scenario design, decisions won’t always be down a path of “right” or “wrong”, as each decision has pros and cons. It will just be a matter of making a decision and playing the game as you want.

These changes all sound great, and while the choices system in the original trilogy wasn’t bad, it’s unsurprising to see it go the way of it offering a more ambiguous progression line.

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