For those who have played through many of Bioware’s RPG titles, you’ve likely encountered the choice system and how decisions can change your character’s overall alignment. In Mass Effect Legendary Edition, your Shepard will be going down two unique paths: Paragon or Renegade. You can increase your Shepard’s progression down these two paths through dialogue interactions and leveling up the Charm and Intimidate talents in your level-up screen. These points can carry over to each game.
Should you go Paragon?
Paragon is the ‘good guy’ influence route in the Mass Effect series. Your Shepard who leans into the Paragon tree will be kinder to individuals they encounter throughout their adventure, and they’ll be more understanding, welcoming, and thoughtful of other people’s endeavors. It’s the Captain America side where Shepard wants to help people and believes there’s good in everyone.
For the first Mass Effect game, if you’re going up Paragon, you want to make sure to place as many points as you can in the Charm talent. The Charm talent opens up additional dialogue options in your adventure. These dialogue options make it so you can complete certain quests or even avoid conflicts when interacting with certain characters you meet on your adventure.
Should you go Renegade?
A Shepard going down the Renegade route will have a cold heart. They’re willing to get the job done at whatever cost, and if someone loses their life on the way, it had to be done to complete the mission. In the first Mass Effect game, a Shepard going down the Renegade tree was much colder and mean during certain points. This does become better in Mass Effect 2 and 3.
During Mass Effect 2, you want to make sure you’re adding up points in the Intimidate Talent tree. Similar to the Charm tree for Paragon, the more points in Intimidate you have, the more dialogue options you can explore to complete missions. If you have enough Renegade and Intimidate points unlocked, you can avoid fights and complete unique missions much more easily, and even save certain party members you would otherwise lose.
In Mass Effect 2, there will be no Charm or Intimidate skill. Instead, it’s all up to how many points you’ve earned throughout your adventure. The more Paragon or Renegade dialogue choices and actions you choose, the more points you have to explore unique options. You want to make sure you’re adding up as many of these points as possible to receive the best outcome through each game.
Regardless of what route you pick in the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, we highly recommend you stick with it. You won’t complete as many missions or receive the best outcome if you start half of the game with Paragon and then spend the last half of Mass Effect playing through the Renegade options.