Without a doubt, Dragon Age: Origins still holds up as one of the best RPGs of the PS3 era. How do you follow up a brilliantly filled world with a great cast of characters and extended lore?
Throw it away with a completely new hero, obviously. Well, Dragon Age II isn't that weak. Its story isn't as strong as Origins and its gameplay is virtually the same. Except for one thing. You have to hit X now to attack. Whereas Hitting X once on Origins was enough to leave them attacking while you activated skills from the hotbar.
Thr story is weaker as it starts at the destruction of Lothering in the original game and you take on the persona of Hawke and their family in escaping to Kirkwall. The weirdest dynamic of its storytelling is the idea to have each year split up by an interrogation scene of one of the games main cast, Varric, and an Chantry Seeker by the name of Cassandra. It sort of disjoints the story and over explains some parts of the stort that could have been shown through Hawkes eyes firsthand.
Although, the romantic side got an overhaul for the better. Gone are the gift giving and the companions only liking or disliking minor things or the conversations they are directly involved in. In are gift quests you can get for approval and then earn more when you give the gift to the character in question. Most of your actions now directly annoy/please those in your adventuring party. Also, helping characters in their companion quests may annoy others if they are in the party. Aveline and Isabella are the best example, Isabella the pirate involved in criminal activity whilst implicating the Guard Captain isn't really a good idea.
It's the DLC, however, that makes the game worth the play. Infact one of them directly flows in to Inquisition and lends the Inquisitor their main villain. The disappointing bit is that the game (arguably) best companion in Tallis doesn't come back with you in to your postgame adventure.
The main complaint many had about this game is still its main weakness though. It made a few hardcore Origins fan labelling Bioware as lazy and to a certain extent, you can see where they are coming from. There's not much variety in the dungeons you visit and some are used three or four times over. It is, perhaps, the most annoying part of the game. Although, of you are able to look passed this. The banter between characters and the script itself is worthy of at least a single playthrough.
Possibly one of thr easiest RPG platinums too, unlike both Origins and Inquisition it has no difficulty trophies and the only two that are a pain are two of the collectible trophies that require you to really explore the map, which you should if you're playing an RPG, but then one colectoble is hidden in a combat zone and if you miss it, that was your only chance to get it. Others are hidden behind side quests for companions, if you take a dislike to one of them and don't use them or do their side missions. You may miss the collectible.
Not the greatest RPG in the world, certainly not the worst, but lacks what made Origins so special.