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Good Writing & Baldur's Gate 3

September 12, 2023

Good writing, when dealing with a product or service, is often invisible. The opposite cannot be said: poor quality writing can often distract or surprise users. This applies everywhere the written word can be found.

Good writing can benefit your product, your marketing materials, and will leave a better impression on customers and clients everywhere.

If you are, like me, a person who plays video games on PC, there’s a good chance that you have heard about Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield, two very popular releases at the moment.

Both of these games are a ton fun to play, but one is leagues better than the other in regard to its writing. That is to say, the writing of Starfield is rather bad compared to Baldur’s Gate 3, which has phenomenal character writing that just makes sense. You will instantly notice the difference between both games as soon as you’ve spent about an hour with each game.

In particular, two of 2023’s largest games that I’ve played have stood out to me as having poor character dialogue: both Starfield and Final Fantasy 16 fell short in this department. FF16 was just plain bad at times, and Starfield’s writing appears to be all over the place.

I’ve often heard the criticism from players who have enjoyed Baldur’s Gate 3 and who now can’t go back. I have heard it before from folks who’ve played Disco Elysium before.

What can I say? I am not surprised. Like most things in life, once you’re exposed to the good stuff, it’s hard to go back. The same applies to writing in video games.

I’ve played a good amount of games in my life so far. In general, games with fantastic writing are quite rare, since the most important focus of a game is often the gameplay systems. But the writing ends up mattering, a lot.

After all, what good is a plot twist or a character development if it is not believable or plain predictable? Or how helpful is a journal if the journal entries are not properly written, i.e. lacking in information or clarity?

So yes, I’m always happy to see games like Baldur’s Gate 3 raise the bar. Hooray!

Tagged as: Games Writing