As you may have noticed from the recent Daily Game Log entries, I have been replaying the first Mass Effect game in hope of completing the entire trilogy again, this time with a male Shepard named Tchad, whom I wanted to mold into a more gentle, Paragon-ish commander compared to my previous creation, the downright bitch of the galaxy named Ingrid Shepard whose tale ended rather tragically. You know, it was definitely easier for me to tell myself that Tchad Shepard is going to be a very good boy throughout this new playthrough but the truth of the matter is, it is much harder to stick with that goal while actually playing the game. Though I have been able to steer clear of the more direct and sometimes obviously brash way to tackle things so that I do not incur the Renegade "penalties", it sometimes is harder to force myself to select the Paragon responses to bigger and more important dilemmas. During the climax of the "Bring Down the Sky" mission, even though it was clear that to stay on that Paragon path of goodness I would need to negotiate with the terrorists, I just couldn't convince myself that it would be something that should be considered whether you are a Paragon or Renegade thus I chose not to. To me, terrorists should never, ever be given what they demand. Instead, they need to be delivered what they so deserve... In spades. The result of that action of course lead to plenty of Renegade points being forced down my throat and that is enough to keep someone like Tchad awake at night for many lonely space travels. Being a Paragon shouldn't mean that you're incapable of logical conclusions but such is the nature of the game's morality system. It is obvious now that replaying this game with an alignment goal in mind will lead to a lot of internal dilemmas on my side. Perhaps it was natural for me to see the Renegade view of things and that was why I didn't have much of a problem staying that course with Ingrid, though there was one decision that still haunts me until this day from the third game. Playing through the trilogy will be a more complex and rich experience than I initially anticipated.
Mass Effect still manages to engage and surprise me. A true sign of a great game.