Here are my impressions from the PC version of DAII. You can share your own if you like.
- The combat is much faster paced than in DA1. Rogues feel like rogues, warriors are more vicious, and even mages seem to have a slight boost in fire rate. Everything is more flashy and visceral. You can still pause and direct orders, or you can go about it like an action game. Skill bars and tactics are still there as well, and most of the other interface is also similar to its predecessor. One criticism I have though is that it feels like your character is aiming at enemies' hitboxes rather than the enemy models themselves. For instance when I strike with the rogue's daggers, they swipe about half a feet in front of the enemy rather than on or in them. Also, if your character currently doesn't have a target but is getting attacked in melee they will just stand there rather than retaliating, a flaw carried over from DAO, and one which I see no point in existing. Overall however I would have to say the combat is improved from DAO.
- A few things are similar...
...but you get more action-oriented aspects as well.
- You still get Bioware's typical mix of voice acting, ranging from cringingly poor to breathtakingly believable. Overall however, it seems like an improvement. I found a lot of the voice acting from DAO to be "rote", that is, like reading from a script. There is still some of that (if the demo is any indication) here, but the proportion of nice, inflected voicework seems to have increased.
- Speaking of talking, your character now gets dialogue options from a wheel a la Mass Effect. Your typical 3 responses are "polite", "cheeky" and "mean" (and also additional options depending on the dialogue, and usually also an "Investigate" option). The good and bad options seem par for the course, but I'm not too sure about the cheeky one. Dragon Age tends to be dark most of the time, so whenever you choose the cheeky option during dialogue it just sounds awkward and forced. We'll just have to see how that pans out in the full game I guess.
- As noted EA interviews and as shown in this demo, there are cameos. And they may not necessarily be as you remember them...
- The default female Hawke is actually well-designed and on par with the male Hawke! Congratulations Bioware! Only took 10 years! You can also customize your character, but that functionality wasn't available in the demo.
- From the demo, the rest of the characters don't seem like they'll disappoint either, looks or personality wise.
- The art redesign and graphical changes are...interesting.
On the one hand, faces and character models have been greatly improved. Even the darkspawn are more detailed.
However, everything looks a little "sterile", or empty. Bioware's notoriously bad ground textures are still there, as are the low-res uniforms (in closeup scenes they are hard to ignore). Some of the eyes could also use a little work, as I experienced the uncanny valley effect several times throughout the demo, and I'm not usually the one to notice that sort of thing in games. Basically, the character models and faces are an overall improvement over DAO, the rest of the game's visuals and some minor aspects...not so much. Not from what I can tell from the demo anyway.
- Can't really say much about performance; the demo didn't support SLI so I had to force it through drivers, therefore I'm not sure the performance I got is necessarily that of the full game. I ran it at maxed DX10 settings, 1920x1080 with 4xAA; the performance was about the same, maybe slightly more demanding than it was for the same settings in DAO.
- The game has a DX11 Renderer, which utilizes DX10 for most of the effects, but some extra dynamic lighting and ambient occlusion effects are reportedly included for those that have strong enough DX11 hardware.
- As a whole, the game looks promising, and other than a few minor issues I had trouble faulting the demo. What was included was good and many aspects were improved over its predecessor. I think most people who liked DAO will probably like this game too.