Messiah Complex: The Mass Effect Series

The editors at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have published what they're calling "Messiah Complex" editorials for the Mass Effect series, the first of which debates ME2's lack of RPG and overall plot structure, and a second that speculates about the path BioWare will take moving forward with the franchise. A snippet from part one:
What's interesting about Mass Effect isn't how that it's cut away from the RPG what's interesting is that how, by using techniques of the RPG, it expands a shooter. The traditional way for a shooting game to extend the appeal of the same mechanics is multiplayer. At least in the modern days, a straight shooting game almost always starts to drag after 15 hours. By drawing from the RPG toolbox, they've managed to extend that to at least thirty hours, without ever outstaying its welcome. The 20-seconds-of-fun of Halo rhythm is turned into a dual structure the five minute loop (Five minutes of shooting, followed by a little plot element which gives you a reason for the next five minutes of shooting) and the one-two hour loop (the basic length of an episode of the game, moving from conversation to combat and back again). And the main reason why putting greater weight on the shooting works is because to state the obvious the shooting's a lot better and any RPG tropes which distracted from the thrust of combat has been jettisoned. The enormous inventory of weapons approach is a distraction from the combat, if the combat's good enough. The enormous inventory says (This is a game about choosing your weapons). Mass Effect is a game about shooting that weapon. If it's an RPG, it's an RPG which understands that Conan spent his time cutting apart dudes and making out with ladies, not shopping.

And a little something from part two:
ll the other abilities in the game are based on freely applying skill points you earn when levelling up. So if you kill dudes, you can get any ability you want. The Renegade and Paragon skills are an exception, based around you practising them. In other words, every time you actually select the sensible, middle-ground action, your character becomes comparatively weaker, giving up (XP). You'll always be better off going for the extremes. Any attempt to make your character show complexity or even-handedness is, in terms of developing your character's power, a bad move.

There are a few solutions the obvious one would be to weaponize the middle route, so that being reasonable is a skill too. Alpha Protocol, for all its apparent flaws, pretty much allows you to walk the game if you go for the (professional) options. Separating Paragon into its two component parts (Plea by Ethics) and (Plea by Authority) would work here. One is about being nice. One is about being in charge. And the renegade which picks up some of the (in charge) becomes a purer plea-by-anti-ethics intimidation skill. You're already offering three choices. This would just make each one an actual feasible option.