I've logged a couple of hours on DA2 now. It's definitely a change from DAO - I wouldn't call it better or worse, just 'different.' The graphics and combat are much improved, but you are restricted in ways that, for better or worse, streamline and simplify the game. For instance, you can't change the armour of your companions anymore - only purchase upgrades that add certain buffs. And some companions like Varric are stuck with only one weapon throughout the game. Again, not necessarily better or worse than DA2 - just different.
My one serious complaint so far is that the story of DA2 is just plain boring. It's aimless so far. Probably 10 hours in, I'm still not sure what this game is about. With DAO, once you completed your origin story and hooked up with the guys at Ostagar, you had a pretty good idea that serious things were going on in the world, and your part was clear. But so far it feels like I'm just living out the life of a relatively average guy with no real claim to fame or objective. I'm just going around helping people with their mundane problems like lost items or kidnapped children. Maybe it'll pick up soon, I dunno.
"...for who are so free as the sons of the waves?"