The editors at Dealspwn have penned a retrospective for BioWare and Black Isle's popular Infinity Engine-powered titles, during which they look back fondly on the engine that "delivered arguably the best RPGs of all time". It was a good time to be a CRPG enthusiast:
When you can't rely on flashy cutscenes or celebrity voice actors to tell your story, you only have words to work with. They say that a picture is worth a thousand of them. and since you've got far less than that to work with in each text box, BioWare and Black Isle had to get every single one of them exactly right.
And they did. This focus on tight scripts provided us with the best dialogue, the most memorable characters and some of the most heartbreaking, thought-provoking decisions that have ever featured in a game. The fact that the writers had to think about every single word meant that every single word meant something.
Without exception, the Infinity Engine games also utilised one of the best and hence most difficult - ways to get your players to invest in its characters. Your character was you: right down to his (or her) name, background, skills, specialisations and decisions. Players could completely read themselves into their character, making every character interaction and plot point personal and powerful.
I'm not some guy called Hawke or Shepard. My name is Jonathan Lester. I've got high dexterity but low endurance. And I had a child with Aerie, sacrificed my mortality and brought the fires of hell to the Spine of the World. The Infinity Engine let me do that. Not some random proxy.