@teddie: Like I said above (although it is extremely reductive) KOTOR, DA:O and Mass Effect are structurally the same game with different skins and combat. Prologue area, Four dungeons/planets/levels you can do in any order and then a final mission.
Which isn't to say that breaking away from this structure hasn't been successful, Mass Effect 2 largely kept this core, it just didn't give you a choice on the four planets instead giving you choices around your crew members. But as they get further away from that, I've just become nostalgic for what we had...for admittedly 4 games (if you include KOTOR2 which keeps the structure despite not being a BioWare game).
I think BioWare were just too reactive to the success of open world games and Bethesda RPGs and decided that their games needed to be bigger. It's also hard to argue that it didn't work with DA:I with the success that game saw, it just wasn't my thing.