I have to confess that I haven't actually beaten Dragon Age yet. I am really close to the ending. However, I made a choice much earlier that will mean I will not get the ending I want. In addition, I have a problem in that I did some quest that required me to turn in 20 health potions, and now I don't have enough potions remaining to beat the fight currently blocking me.
My first thought was to go back to an earlier saved game, but I realized that I hadn't made a backup save in the timeframe I wanted. I'd have to redo a large section of the game.
It occurred to me that Saved Game systems are rather primitive. Most games have a couple of autosaves, a quicksave, and some manual saves. I think saving progress could be done much better.
For example, you could take a cue from various archival schemes. Consider a scheme where you saved the last 5 quicksaves, then retained every fifth quicksave after that. That would give you a solid history of saved games, while not wasting that much space.
Or since the "important events" tend to be known in a game, you could make a save after each section of the game is completed. This would make it much easier to go back to an earlier point and continue on.
I think saving games could be more automated. Relying on the player to keep correct saves is brittle. A game developer should look at saves more like the creation of a history of that playthrough. Of course, the difficulty part would be accounting for forks in that history.
Perhaps representing the saved game timeline as a tree would be interesting. A player could move through the tree to pick the point she wants to start a new branch. Older, or stubby, branches which did not go anywhere could be pruned away to save space.
Or perhaps just use a linear time model, with dense amount of saves closer to the present, and a sparser amount of saves in past. After all, there's only one instance of an individual playthrough running at any one point in time.
Whichever way, I think save game schemes could be better than the current standards.