Another preview of Dragon Age II can be found on Gameranx today, though it doesn't appear to be based on any hands-on time with the game. Instead, the author bases the text on existing information while interjecting some personal opinions and suggestions:
Although the player can still customize the main character's gender and class, the protagonist's race and name cannot be changed, and the name we are stuck with here is Hawke. I mean, ok. I'll take that. It's kind of badass in a Top Gun name sort of way. And I guess I don't care about the race too much. As long as I get to choose how I fight, I'm fine. I don't even care about gender that much, and I totally dig the idea that there is the potential for romance with a variety of party members and NPCs, both of the opposite and same sexes. Kudos to BioWare for depicting relationships that are inclusive of a variety of people, since gamers as a demographic are revealed to be increasingly diverse. And before anyone says a single disparaging word about this, allow me to issue a gentle reminder that this is not in any way a threat to heterosexual players' sexuality. In this game, as in real life, if you are a straight dude, you will simply aim your romantic advances at ladies who like straight dudes, hope for the best, and that will be that.
So anyway, the only big thing I see as being a problem, protagonist-wise is that Hawke will be fully voiced, which may prove to be annoying. Even if done well. When you're used to a silent protagonist, it often becomes one of the distinctive features of a game. For example, the original Kid Icarus. Pit, as was necessitated by the audio constraints of the time, was silent. In the upcoming 3DS sequel, Kid Icarus: Uprising, the trailer has already revealed to me that Pit's bratty, arrogant trash talking make me approximately 70 times less likely to purchase this game. I mean, I will probably play it. But maybe with the sound off. I'm not saying it's a mistake to give Hawke a voice, but I hope that the reaction of testers is being taken into account in this respect, as it can be a really simple way to ruin a game aesthetically, even if there are no visual bugs and the fighting is flawless.