So much worse!
In my not so humble opinion this incarnation of the Dragon age series seems to me to be worse in almost every way to it's predecessor, which is not something that bodes well for those of us that actualy want a good next incarnation of the game.
While DA:O in my opinion was not quite as good as some others thought it was a very good first effort for a new world and gamesystem, what DA2 fails to do is build upon what was good in origins and fix the shortcommings.
I will give you a number of my pros and cons bellow.
The game is not finnished, there are qute a few bug issues that should never have made it past testing to a release version.
Shipping highres texture as a download? ok for a digital download version I can understand that, to cut down sice for those not interested in it, but with install media, think again!
The inane reuse of dungeons. Apparently there are some very strict laws inplace detailing the layout of mines and sewers since they all looks just the same, after running through the n:th identical looking dungeon you start wondering just how much preassure EA put on Bioware to release the game fast!
The story feels rather disjointed and for a very long time i keep wondering when the main plot is going to take off, for your interest it never does...
Mostly everyone seems to agree what the problem is and it being mostly one single person, simply removing that person using the time honored methods of poison or a dagger in the back never seems to occur to anyone...
In my opinion most of the companions are rather lackluster compared to Origins + expansions. The only two memorable character is the lovable but rather dimwitted Merrill, and the well rather amusing Varric, to me the rest is easily forgetable, give me miniature giant space hamsters any day!
Combat is mostly uncontrolable. while in Origins you could actualy control the way a fight went, and who was getting hit by what in DA2 that is almost impossible.
Related to the above is the problem with what you see is never what you get, 99% of all fights in this game spawn in additional waves of enemies, nomatter how carefully you clean out a dungeon there are allways a horde of enemies still hiding behind you waiting to run into your mages.
Assuming the qunari you fight are standard military issue, and that the hordes of locals apparently hellbent on your death / purse / trinket, chose whatever is appropriate in chapter three are standard issue thugs any future qunari invasion is going to be a very short and blody affair. While oposition ofcourse has to be harder when you get better there surely must be better ways then having your average goons level at about the same pace you do!
DA:O made it self out to be the spiritual successor to baldurs gate a tsk that it in my opinion fell way short of, DA2 seems to be aiming at more of a Diablo style gameplay it don't do very well at that either.
The new and worse runesystem is to me very lackluster.
The rest of the "crafting" system is just as bad, just buy it from your personal potion shop...
The protagonist gets half a share in a mine, while said mine does have problems any profit it does manage to make is obviously swallowed up by the protagonists estate since none of it finds it's way in as any form of spending money. Supposedly decently well off i find myself rather poor!
The lack of armor options / customizability for your companions, why can't I give my companion tank that armor of ridiculous invulnerability that I can't wear myself?
While in origins you travelled around to different locations now the number of locations you visit are laughably small
Feeling rather negative so far lets skip the rest of the issues and go to some
The voice acting is decent.
While not filling your urge for a real rpg, it does give you a fix of monsterbashing action.
Not having a save the world from the big monster story is rather refreshing.
Automatic healing between fights is good since the game is combat intensive.
The mana/stamina seems a bit more well ballanced this time around
While somewhat amusing and not that bad way to kill a couple of hours, I would recomend you to dig out your old copy of Baldurs gate 2 + throne of amn instead or even better if you aren't in a mode for a save the world story, dig out that box with Planescape torment. Both of those games are old, but are still eminently playable and from gameplay and story infinitely better.