By greenygrey 44 Comments
This morality system is supposed to be the anti-thesis to KOTOR's and Jade Empire's black & white morality system. As Paragon represents idealism, while Renegade represents consequentialism or pragmatism. This is supposed to present a much more grey morality system, opposed to something that can just be defined as good or bad. But I can't help that it's basically the same morality system as KOTOR in disguise. You're mostly rewarded for committing Paragon options than Renegade options. Considering you gain more allies that can help you against the Reaper threat, it's as if BioWare are bias by favoring Paragons and resenting Renegades. While half of the Renegade dialog choices can be pragmatic, funny, and badass. The other half comes off as smug, petulant, bizzarely temperamental, arrogant, sociopathic, and downright racist in ME1's case. Not to mention that most of the Paragon decisions come off as better written than most of the Renegade decisions in the loyalty missions, like they gave more thought process to it. Especially in Zaeed's, Jack's, Miranda's, and arguably Garrus's loyalty missions.
I also believe it's much more meta-gamey approach to game design than actual role-playing. The game sometimes restricts you from successfully completing certain missions or situations when you don't have enough Renegade or Paragon points. This is especially a problem for those who like to play a hybrid between the two moral allignments, such as Paragades and Renegons. It's an artificial system that seems to just there to hide the fact that the story isn't as interactive as it claims to be. I wish the ME series could do away with morality bars, because they restrict actual role-playing and don't allow dire consenquences for your actions. Role-playing games like Dragon Age: Origins, The Witcher 2, and Alpha Protocol (Say what you want about the game, but it handles certainly handles story interactivity better than the ME series) handle morality choices better and allow direct consenquences for your actions because they don't use morality bars. I know ME3 is still going to use the same system, but I hope BioWare doesn't use a similiar system again in future IPs.
Does anyone else share the same views towards this system and morality bars in general?
BTW, I'm not a Paragon player. I'm more of a Paragade player (I have a bunch of Renegon sheps too), as I believe some of the Renegade lines are more memorable than the Paragon lines and I use all of the Renegade interruptions. Minus the one for Mouse, which was just needlessly vicious and cruel.