BioWare confirmed back in November that Mass Effect: Andromeda is dropping the Renegade/Paragon morality system from previous games and replacing it with something featuring “more nuance and subtlety and giving the player more opportunity to express themselves”. Now the game’s creative director has explained exactly why you can’t punch people in the face anymore.
Basically, because you’re not Shepard.
“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,” Mac Walters told Official Xbox Magazine (via GamesRadar). “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.”
Instead, the new system is designed to eliminate those binary choices, and introduce some… ambiguity.
“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,” he added. “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?”
But, but, but, what if I want to express myself by punching people in the face? I suppose we’ll find out when the game launches on 21 March, and The Amazing Adventures of Interstellar Space Puncher can start.