Some of these comments make me wonder if those people even played DA:O, but whatever, human memory is a finicky thing apparently.
I played the demo through Steam, attempted to keep an open mind. Dialogue wheels seem to dumb down the dialogue options. Also, Mass Effect style, the dialogue does NOT match at all with the wheel option. I personally dislike this style, but some people love it, oh well. I would rather have more dialogue choices and no character voice, but maybe I am in the minority in that.
Inventory was locked, BUT you could still open it by hitting "I" and see that this is also dumbed down(simplfied for no reason): apparently you are the chosen one because you are the only person in Ferelden who can wear gloves and a helmet. Every other character has a weapon, shield, belt, rings and "Clothes" slot, while you get additional chest, gloves, hat, feet slots. Why? Was it that hard to put gloves on a party npc? Mind boggling.
Combat has changed, pretty dramatically in my opinion. Tactical positioning seems to be removed, you cannot place characters and have them stand there, they instantly run to whichever character you have highlighted. Bug/feature, you cannot group select multiple characters and have them run to mouse selected spots. One or more of the characters will get locked/stand still. Two handed swords either weigh nothing, or these are the strongest people in the universe. Acceptable I guess, although I will miss dual wielding warrior setups, vs dual wielding rogue jokers. Missing top down tactical view also, makes bouncing back and forth from ranged npcs to melee npcs increasingly annoying with the chase cam style view.
Models: There seems to be only 1 model for melee darkspawn. I thought DA:O was bad with like 5-6 models.. this is pure console game memory conservation at its worst. Ranged darkspawn differ slightly, but only 1 model for them as well. Ogre is changed, for the worse, but that's just my opinion. Bioware seems to have dropped the ball here, on the PC version. Practically every modern game has variable models for different copies of the same level enemy. This would be less noticeable, but every 3 seconds there is a closeup of a darkspawn getting butchered by some npc.
Game crashed when I alt tabbed, initially no sound in the cut scenes/dialogue, until I clicked on Force Stereo and restarted. Default to 5.1? Not everybody has 5.1 speaker setups, but oh well.
TLDR: Some bugs, simplified models, weightless two handed swords, consolization, Dragon Effect dialogue style.
Looking forward to a Steam sale of this in a year or more. At about 5 dollars or so.