The sequel to Dragon Age:Origins is one part disturbing and 1 part exciting shaken together for an enticing blend. I'm not one to overhype a product, but be warned, if you liked DA:O, there is something here for you, something that looks like DA:O and tastes kinda like it, but is definitely not the first game.
I won't delve into story for spoilers, but suffice to say you play as Hawke, a Fereldan refugee from Lothering who barely escapes the Blight. Don't expect any other backstory, unlike the first game, Bioware has decided to bring more action RPG to the series this time. *Note, I played the console version, I do not know how this affects the PC.
You will of course meet a band of fellows and engage upon an epic story, but don't expect to really leave Kirkwall. Unlike the first game, DA2 is primarily confined to the Island City for it's story (and rightly so). The best part here though is that the tradition Bioware personality conventions aren't there, so expect things to not exactly go as planned. Bioware is using the Mass Effect wheel for conversations, something that is fairly straightforward in it's attempted results, but the nice part is that rather than people leaving the group if they don't like you, they stay with different results for rivalry vs loyalty. It's a nice touch in my opinion.
The game does expand on the lore of Dragon Age though, as it references alot of material hinted at in the first game. The Free Marches, Orlais, Antiva (and not just the Crows), if any of this means anything to you, then expect to see more about it here. I do however think it could have expanded into the other city/state kindoms in the Free Marches to give a bigger feel for the differences between Kirkwall and Fereldan.
This game focuses more on the relationships of mages, however than the first one ever did. Well that and Tevinter, and the Qunari. I honestly thought the Qunari were an interesting concept in teh first game, but fairly undeveloped. Sten, as a group partner in DA:O had some interesting insight into the Northern Warriors, but was just off-putting enough to stop you frm caring. I think that allowed them to fine tune the ideas there into something better. I am glad they don't choose to focus as much on the elves as other dark fantasies though. Origins was fairly dwarf heavy, with the Deep Roads and thaigs, DA2 moves away from that to focus more on the Chantry and magic.
Honestly, I'm still hoping to one day deal with Antiva and Orlais.
If you get the chance, import your save from DA:O. While it won't make a game changing difference to the end, it is nice to hear references to your exploits as a holding together point.
I can say it, play this game.