Mass Effect: Andromeda director Mac Walters explains the dialogue system replacing Paragon / Renegade

Mass Effect's Paragon vs Renegade morality system was one of the series' hallmarks - a way of defining your character that felt entertaining rather than uninspired. But it won't be a part of BioWare's next adventure amongst the stars. Speaking with Official Xbox Magazine, Mass Effect: Andromeda creative director Mac Walters explained why:

"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," Walters said.

"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."

I don't know about you all, but personally, I can definitely relate to that. When playing through Mass Effect 1 - 3, I usually held the thumbstick up and to the right, ready to select whatever the Paragon option was. I didn't really pay attention to what I was saying, just that it was the "right" thing to say.

Walters continued: "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."

Walters also said that you and other characters will be able to respond in specific tones of voice. "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?'"

Andromeda's trailers and gameplay videos so far have focused a lot on combat and exploration. And that's fine! But for me, the draw of the ME series was always its characters and story. If these new dialogue systems help flesh those out, maybe we won't even miss choosing whether or not to push that jerk out of a window.

Read more about Mass Effect: Andromeda and the future of BioWare in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine, on sale now. Buy future issues here.  

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Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.