BioWare finally remembers that forcing ‘good or bad’ choices doesn’t work for every game

Dragon Age: Origins is one of their only recent sparks of their past

BioWare used to be a master of nuance. Growing up I’d play their RPGs in awe of their ability to tell a story without having to resort to rote “this is good or bad” moral choices. Often times the outcome was grey, and you’d have to live with it (CD Projekt Red is a master at this now with Witcher 1 and 3). Those dichotomies worked for some BioWare games (KOTOR, with its light and dark force balance), but when overused, they really cheapen the “role-playing” bit of an RPG. Thankfully, they’re moving away from “Paragon and Renegade” with Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Speaking to the Official Xbox Magazine, creative director Mac Walters noted, “What we have now [in Andromeda] 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. 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 themselves 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.'”

I know some people dug the Paragon/Renegade thing, but I’m glad they’re hinting that there will be more choices to make in Andromeda. Without resorting to forced “cool and collective/hot-headed” scenarios, we can reasonably expect the ability to have more control over the game’s dialogue. The “four tones” thing scares me into thinking it’s still going to be a little gamey, but the “two different ways” combination sounds more open than two choices in total.

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

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!