I Missed Baldur’s Gate 3 So Much That I Started Playing Dragon Age: Inquisition

In this line of work, gaming time is money. Whenever I need to choose a new game to play, I try to gear my selection towards something that will contribute to what I write for this website. When I finished Baldur’s Gate 3 over the weekend, I instantly found that my life felt emptier without it. I seriously considered starting another playthrough, maybe as the Dark Urge this time, but I wanted to give the game some space before inevitably going back for another round.

I was still craving some kind of RPG, though, and briefly weighed the pros and cons of starting Cyberpunk 2077 before deciding on Dragon Age: Inquisition. Yes, I know the game turns a decade old this year, but it still makes sense. I was craving an RPG with similar DNA to Baldur’s Gate 3, and the Baldur’s Gate franchise originated with BioWare, who made Dragon Age. Before starting Inquisition, Dragon Age was the only major BioWare franchise that I hadn’t dabbled in.

And of course, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf is on the way, and may be released as soon as this year. I always like to play a game as informed as I possibly can be about it, so playing the game directly preceding Dreadwolf felt like a worthy way to spend my time. I’m praying for more news on the upcoming Mass Effect game, because I need a reason to go back and finally finish the original trilogy. It was the right choice.

Inquisition is obviously graphically dated, but it’s obvious just how much the two games have in common even just on a surface level. Both have party-based combat that you can control from the top down, both have endearing companions with approval systems, and both have strong stories that suck you in from the jump, with branching dialogue and choices that affect the world around you. Dragon Age is considered by many to be a spiritual successor to the original Baldur’s Gate games, which is clear to anybody who’s played both games. Of course, Inquisition doesn’t quite hold up to Baldur’s Gate 3, considering the latter is widely considered one of the best games of the decade because of its sharp writing, lack of fluff, and unprecedented level of player freedom.

Inquisition is limited by the time it was made in and the hardware it was made for, meaning it plays like a more straightforward, archetypal RPG with branching dialogue and a couple of important decisions to make. It’s very different from Baldur’s Gate 3, which has interwoven storylines, numerous interesting and decidedly meaningful side quests, and multiple endings predicated on what you did and didn’t do during the game. The best parts of Dragon’s Dogma 2 all come from Monster Hunter. But Inquisition is still pretty good.

I’m not super far into the game, since I’m balancing it with regular excursions into Helldivers 2, but I’m on my way to Redcliffe Village to speak with some rebel mages. Despite all my reservations about open world games with filler side quests (of which Inquisition has many), I keep going back because the central mystery and conflict are so intriguing to me. Other than Baldur’s Gate 3, I haven’t played any games recently where the story has captured me so quickly, which really proves that good writing holds up more than any other part of a game can. It’s still no Baldur’s Gate 3, but it’s doing a good job of scratching the RPG itch that my 2023 GOTY has left.

I still don’t quite know how to feel about Dreadwolf, but if it really does capture the things I like about Dragon Age: Inquisition, it might capture the things I love about Baldur’s Gate 3 too. Dragon Age: Inquisition is the third in the popular action RPG series from BioWare, and serves as a sequel to the events of Dragon Age 2. You must travel the continent of Thedas in order to seal the ‘Breach’, a kind of portal that is sending demonic enemies into the world.

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