There hasn’t been a better time to get into Dungeons & Dragons than right now. Roll20 and Discord chats are teeming with socially distant groups trying to play through a one-off, or continuing long-standing campaigns. While the books, miniatures, and dice can run up a hefty price if you’re going for the physical real deal, video games offer a great D&D substitute in 2021. If you’re looking to fill that craving, check out these great video games like D&D to play in 2021.
Baldur’s Gate 3
Larian Studios’ Baldur’s Gate 3 is still in early access, but don’t let that deter you from playing. This Divinity clone has a full Act 1 available for players to play through, giving 10-20 hours worth of content. It plays exactly like a 5e D&D campaign and continues to be updated with the early access data in mind, with more content to be added throughout 2021. Multiplayer is also enabled, so you can tackle this world with friends.
Baldur’s Gate 3 offers D&D classics like Mindflayers, Owlbears, Hags, an unhealthy amount of perception checks, and gnolls you won’t feel guilty for killing. Characters are highly customizable, although lacking a few key classes until the full game rolls out. There are also a handful of ways to solve most issues in the game, so if hacking and slashing isn’t your thing, you can usually talk your way out. Larian Studios are even making a point of properly rewarding players for taking the peaceful approach.
Paradox is well known for their grand strategy games like Europa Universalis IV, Stellaris, Crusader Kings, and Mount & Blade. They made a bit of a departure from that genre when teaming up with Obsidian Entertainment for the hit RPG, Tyranny.
Tyranny is set in a fantasy Bronze Age where a great power, the Overlord Kyros, seeks to conquer the world of Terratus with their armies. Offering an array of customizable play styles, stats, classes, talents, and a pre-story determining your character’s origins, Tyranny is very much the single player substitute for a D&D experience. Its art style gives Tyranny a uniquely evil and fresh feel that sets it apart from other games. It’s not often you walk past a mountain-sized statue that appears to be bleeding red waterfalls from its eyes.
World of Warcraft
16 years later and World of Warcraft still finds ways of staying relevant. Having just recently released the new World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion, WoW has been reinvigorated for long-time players by reintroducing characters from the past, flipping the past of Azeroth on its head.
For those not keen on venturing into the Shadowlands or living in a world where Sylvanas was Warchief of the Horde, players can opt for World of Warcraft Classic (Vanilla). Players can relive the grind of 2004, going back to the setting that started it all.
Solasta: Crown of the Magister
If you’re dead set on playing a video game like D&D, keep an eye on Solasta: Crown of the Magister. Developer Tactical Adventures are so dedicated to embodying D&D that they obtained the license from Wizards of the Coast to use the Dungeons and Dragons SRD 5.1 Ruleset. Solasta: Crown of the Magister might be the most authentic video game D&D experience for 2021, taking its time in early access to truly craft the gameplay to perfection.
Solasta: Crown of the Magister deservers high praise for its dynamic combat mechanics, which take elevation, cover, obstacles, and size into consideration. While the story might not be as immersive and reactive as Baldur’s Gate 3, this game fights like an authentic 5e D&D encounter.