Just got around to playing this and wasn't expecting much given some of the negativity, but overall I was pleasantly surprised and happy enough with the game. For as much talk as there was about the combat being dumbed down, I don't really see it, at least on the higher difficulty levels where you need to control you whole party, the combat is pretty much exactly the same as Origins (although that isn't really saying much, combat in both games is serviceable but not great), with the exception of waves of enemies that appear out of nowhere (I don't mind the waves of enemies but I would preferred they out of doors or caves or whatever, instead of popping in). The general flow, control and strategies of the battles are very similar to the first game though. I don't mind the absence of non-combat skills because the ones in Origins were pretty useless and not used much anyway. The dialogue wheel wasn't as bad as I expected, although there were a few times were Hawke said things I didn't necessarily want to say, but it never ended up being a big deal. Playing other races would have been nice, but it wouldn't have worked with the story. What I liked about the game, is that it wasn't a continent sweeping epic and where you save in world, and the design was generally on the smaller scale; this made the game stand out as its own unique experience, rather than a regurgitation of Origins and also was likely easier for them to implement in its short development time (it does make the expansiveness of New Vegas look even more impressive given its short development time though). The cast of characters was pretty good (Varric is especially good) and the writing was solid overall. I probably didn't like the game quite as much as Origins, but I think it serves as a nice transitional game in the series, to next game which will probably be bigger budget, in development longer and more expansive in design and story (the game hints at a possible continent spanning war involving Orlais).