Did you play the "Trespasser" DLC? Just curious -- it definitely provides a more complex overview of who Solas is. But I'm so biased, since I think he's the best character in the game, along with Bull. There are things you will learn about Solas (and the core game story) that you'll only get if you romance him. Or, on the flip side, things Solas only reveals to a deeply loathed, low-approval Inquisitor there, too.
(Although I was the opposite -- I played DAI through the first time as a Bull romancer, and totally loved the storyline, then when the end postscript scene happened, I basically let out a screech and immediately started a new playthrough romancing Solas. It was really funny.)
I admit that I have a tougher time with Blackwall -- Solas did what he did in a genuine attempt to save the world. Blackwall did what he did for money, which will always ick me out, although I do like his redemption path.
I loved some aspects of MEA but I felt like it was sometimes jarring -- some writing and character moments would be really lovely and complex, then others would be seriously clunky. Like, I romanced Jaal with a FemRyder, but by the end I hated the romance (and found Jaal adolescent and disappointing), and worst of all, I felt like my character was objectified in a creepy way during their cringeworthy love scene.
But some of the game's moments I thought were gorgeous, and it was fun to play overall. Not anywhere near as good as the original ME trilogy though. I just felt like it was obviously, painfully rushed to release (all the Asari with the same faces!). The saddest thing for me is that within two weeks of release, so much had been fixed and improved, but there was a really toxic, vocal portion of the fanbase that had already written MEA off completely, and I don't think that was deserved. It ended up being a decent game -- I'd give it a 7 overall. And I do plan to play it again eventually at least once more.
That's awesome. I love Trevor Morris's work for DAI -- it's just so sweeping and cinematic -- but Inon Zur's work for Origins and DA2 was wonderful too. It's darker and more haunting, I think. And I love all the bard songs (and the instrumental versions too).
I'm so with you on Anthem -- I'm going to support Anthem as a BioWare fan, and I'll give it a shot, although I admit that the fact that it won't have any romanceable characters is a bummer for me -- it lessens the immersion. But all I want is for Anthem to come out so DA4 can show back up on the radar!
As I mentioned above, I feel bad for BioWare about MEA -- my perception is that the team on the project was a little inexperienced, so they got bogged down during production on a few elements that (for instance) took over a year but were then completely abandoned. And then they ended up having to crunch like crazy (and bring in some of the Edmonton folks) to meet deadlines, and I really do think the release should have been delayed so that the game's little weak spots could have been tweaked. The fans were just savage over little things (like the dead-eyed character faces) that were 100% improved within just a few weeks, but that badly affected sales (because the word was out).
I did enjoy it, and know a ton of people who did, but I also found it a little disappointing and ultimately not as memorable as it could have been -- the characters were just so tepid, and felt very young and naive. By the end, I felt like I was playing a teenaged character in a group of other very nice teenagers... which is part of the problem for me -- compare the nice MEA crew to the complex very grown-up people we met in Mass Effect 2 or Dragon Age: Inquisition -- characters who were lofty or lonely, cruel or kind, honest or deceptive, seeking redemption or coldly following orders...? There's just no comparison for me.
Meanwhile, I definitely feel the same way about Dragon Age! In terms of the fantasy series, while I liked Skyrim, it didn't have the same dramatic impact (and I couldn't get into Witcher -- the fact that I had to play Gerault just irked me, since I like building my own characters and prefer playing females). For me it just comes down to the characters and the writing, and that's where I think a lot of games let you down. It's also why thousands of people still play Dragon Age: Origins or Mass Effect a decade later. (I also love DA2 and feel like it's underrated -- it's so much fun, and the characters are fantastic.)
I do love several other titles -- The Last of Us was gorgeous (but so tough!), as was Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but Dragon Age will always have a special place for me.