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Mass Effect Andromeda Ditches Paragon And Renegade Labels

The Paragon and Renegade labels, the heart of Mass Effect's classic morality system, won't survive the transition to Mass Effect Andromeda, according to creative director Mac Waters.

While speaking with the Official Xbox Magazine (helpfully transcribed by Games Radar), Waters says that Mass Effect's old dialogue system, in which Paragon and Renegade options (which translated to "good" or "bad" moral decisions) were always in the same place on the dialogue selection menu, didn't always engage players in the right way.

"In the [original] trilogy it's like, 'I'm gonna play Paragon,' and then you know which way you're moving the stick on every conversation," Waters says. "You don't have to think about it, because you're just going to hit Paragon every time."

In addition, Waters says that the Paragon and Renegade dichotomy was "very tied to the Shepard character." Mass Effect Andromeda features a brand new cast, and as such it made sense to create a whole new morality system to go along with it.

Instead of Paragon and Renegade, Andromeda will use an "agree" or "disagree"-based dialogue system, which will allow for more nuanced storytelling and help immerse the player in Mass Effect Andromeda's open world. "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," Waters says. Players will also be able to choose which tone of voice they're using when communicating with other characters, giving players more control over how their characters express themselves.

Dialogue and morality aren't the only systems getting a major overhaul in Mass Effect Andromeda. Sidequests in the game will take inspiration from the story-heavy optional content found The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and will be more "meaningful," according to PC Gamer's interview with BioWare's Fabrice Condominas.

Mass Effect Andromeda releases on March 21, 2017 for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One. While reviews are still pending, if the game lives up to fans' expectations, it could be one of 2017's life-changing experiences.