Will Mass Effect 4 Be Missing An Important Feature From The Trilogy?!

Mass Effect 4, as the fourth instalment in the main series (fifth game overall), will likely do away with the Paragon and Renegade morality system. But why?



Very little is known about Mass Effect 4. But there’s a good chance it’ll be missing the iconic Paragon and Renegade features that were so prominent in the original three games. The system is often considered one of Mass Effect’s key elements.

But BioWare’s decisions regarding Andromeda, as well as more general trends in the gaming industry, suggest that the binary system may be a thing of the past.

Depending on who you ask, the morality system is one of the best or worst features of the original three Mass Effect games. Proponents of the system argue that the strict Paragon/Renegade duality allows for unique gameplay, exciting decision-making, and increased replay value. Critics say the binary nature of the mechanics hurts the role-playing experience overall. Undermine nuanced narrative solutions and scenarios. For better or worse, the morality system is an integral part of the original Mass Effect trilogy. Its removal in Mass Effect: Andromeda was a notable departure from the series tradition that could be repeated in ME4.

Leaving the binary morality system out of Andromeda was a deliberate move on BioWare’s part, with the game’s creative director, Mac Walters, citing identity and storytelling goals as the main reasons for the omission.

Essentially, BioWare saw the system as an integral part of Shepard’s story and personality. Thus, it made sense to eliminate the system due to the introduction of the new protagonist and new characters. With ME4 also likely to introduce a new protagonist, it’s possible that BioWare once again decides to skip the Paragon and Renegade choices.


Other reasons for cutting the Paragon and Renegade system from Mass Effect 4


While Mass Effect 4 may be the franchise’s return to its old form, perhaps it would be better to abandon the Paragon and Renegade systems. Even if Shepard is back as the protagonist. The original Mass Effect trilogy was released in an era when binary moral systems were popular in games. Successful franchises like Fable and Infamous used the Paragon/Renegade mechanic.

But the gaming world is very different now, and RPGs like Baldur’s Gate 3, Undertale, and Disco Elysium have shown what can be achieved with more nuanced choices that aren’t tied to a strict, binary morality system.

This fluid and expressive election system is more lifelike and much more satisfying to deal with.

The development of Mass Effect’s morality system could benefit the RPG aspects of ME4. Especially since the series has to contend with newer RPGs. Because the dialogue controls in Mass Effect, especially Mass Effect 2, work in such a way that players stick strictly to the Paragon or Renegade route, or they miss out on powerful dialogue opportunities. If ME4 ditches the morality system, the game could instead encourage players to experiment with different combinations of decisions. It is allowing them to express themselves in the game. Make decisions that you really want to make, not just those that align with your previous choices.

Although Andromeda wiped it out, it’s still hard to imagine Mass Effect without the Paragon and Renegade mechanics: it’s important to note that Mass Effect 4 can bring back the morality system while also addressing its shortcomings.

For example, while morality in the original games shouldn’t boil down to “good vs. evil”, certain Renegade decisions, such as killing Samara in ME2, can be clearly seen as immoral. ME4 could allow for more gray areas within the boundaries of the Paragon and Renegade continuum. Thus fulfilling the original intention of the system. Avoiding the red “Sith” Renegade eyes would probably also help…

Source: IGN

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