I completed the game on both the PS3 and the PC. The PC version has a number of changes from the PS3 version in terms or UI and controls - the story stays the same. There is a tactical combat setting in the PC version which allows you to pause and command your individual characters similar to Baldur's Gate. The style of gameplay is different than Baldur's Gate, but I found it engaging enough to stick with twice over, so...
In all honesty, I enjoyed the stories in the Dragon Age series. Areas can be explored as they are quite large (for the time). It may not be a fully open-world game, but the lore is comprehensive and interesting. The game is somewhat linear until you get to a certain point, then opens up and allows you to travel to a number of places. Don't judge the game too harshly after only playing for an hour -- after you get through your character's origin story, you end up in a larger area where you can stretch out and explore more.
A couple more areas, and you'll be in Lothering. From there, the game's world opens up and you can travel about anywhere you like. If you have the Ultimate Edition, you can also access many of the DLC missions after Lothering as well. There are a couple that are separate from the main adventure and are accessed from the main menu instead.
Each Dragon Age game has a different pacing to combat that the other. Dragon Age II opts for a faster paced combat style with less control over the party members. There are fewer and smaller areas to explore than the previous game and the game does suffer from major map reuse. The story is also somewhat weaker. But, strangely enough, I really enjoyed the game despite its glaring flaws. The combat has a nice flow to it, feeling somewhat more fluid than the first game.
The story also leads directly into Dragon Age: Inquisition. It returns to the large areas to explore similar to the first game. It also retains the tactical combat option and even makes it available on the consoles. However, the combat doesn't feel as fluid as DA2. Also, the game feels something like an MMO in the way skills and other systems work in game. I still enjoyed the story though and the exploration areas are varied and well designed.
Overall, the first game is my favorite from a story perspective, but I enjoyed the combat in DA2 more. Party control is best in the first game with far more options for developing a companion's AI. DA:I is not bad - solidly in between DA:O and DA:2 in terms of story and combat.
Is it as good as BG? Too subjective. To me, I really enjoyed both series for different reasons. =)
I tried Dragon Age on Ps3 and found it to be not even a game compared to kotor 1 and 2, jade empire and baldurs gate series. I found it to be unplayable because I cant explore around town, you cant do anything other than advance the plot, you get little to no choice in character variation for your class, the combat is basically just hack and slash with real time combat-none of the tactics and strategies work or apply.
Thats just what I can gather after playing 1 hour of the game. Can someone tell me its actually playable for 3 hours or is it really just the end of bioware as we know it. I found mass effect was playable (for about 8 or 9 hours) then that game ran dry.
I just cant find an honest opinion on any of these games but if thats the case that bioware threw in the towel then fine I will only play western rpgs on pc.