I thought the game was really good. It wasn't quite up to par with DAO, but I definitely don't feel that it deserves the criticism some fans are giving it.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It wasn't totally fractured. I thought there were plenty enough hints laid out to see what focus the ending would take. I do think they could have focused a little more on main quests instead of so many side quests. That way it wouldn't have felt so much like a game with little more than loads of random quests.  It wasn't quite as epic as DAO, but then every game doesn't have to be about saving the world. I suppose it doesn't hurt that the main focus of the story was one I was hoping to see from a DA game after having played the first.

I also really liked the step away from a silent protagonist. I don't have to feel that I'm the hero. It's much better to me to play out a story in this fashion. Hawke has more personality and depth than the Hero of Ferelden could ever have. The dialogue was done well. Voice acting was great.

I was very happy with the combat. I didn't dislike DAO combat, but DA2 feels much more fun. Since turn-based RPGs aren't really around anymore, I don't see any reason for combat to not lean a little more toward the action side. I was a little bored at first due to the lack of abilities, but by Act 3 I was having loads of fun playing as a Warrior.

My biggest disappointment dealt with inventory. I know this may not be a big deal to some, but I hated how they took descriptions away from inventory. If I pick up a Tarnished Orzammar Clan Pin in the Deep Roads, I want to know what it looks like. Little descriptions on items like this add flavor to the game, and not including that sort of thing makes it seem rather bland. Also, while I wasn't devestated by not being able to change companion armor, I was baffled by their not being a screen to tell what their upgrades added. There wasn't really any status screen like in the first game, so you're left guessing about these things often.

I didn't like the companions at first, but I warmed up to them by then end, and I think they're at least as good as the ones from DAO. The game looked pretty much the same as DAO to me, so I'd say I enjoyed the art style. Running around Kirkwall gets boring.

In conclusion: No, it's not as good as DAO. But if you enjoyed DAO, I can't imagine any reason you wouldn't want to pick up DA2.