Released at the end of 2009, it's testament to how good Dragon Age: Origins (henceforth referred to as DA:O) really is that the sequel is so anticipated.
DA:O isn't a game that gives it's rewards freely though, and it's likely that most people's impressions will be less than positive. The graphics are competent at best, downright ugly at worst, and the combat is quite old fashioned, doing nothing to hide it's old-school RPG roots. Some parts of the main story missions are overlong as well, so suffice to say then, that it's a slow burner.
Once it gets it's hooks into you though, and it will, you'll lap up every minute. The graphics suddenly stop mattering and you can focus on Bioware's typically excellent characterisation and dialogue. The meat of the game is certainly sizable enough, perhaps forty to fifty hours on your first playthrough, with lots of optional distractions en route to the final showdown that could easily add twenty hours to that total. In true Bioware fashion, your decisions in game affect a great deal; how other people, even your own party memebers react to you, and the game has multiple outcomes dependant on decisions made at the endgame.
Of course, the 'Origins' of the title allows you to shape your character from one of six pre set origin stories, and the likelihood is you'll want to replay the game as another class, another race, another gender etc just to see how these choices pan out in the grand scheme of things.
No, it's not quite the showstopper Mass Effect 2 is. It lacks that games polish, and is carrying a touch more flab in some parts, but it's still a great game in it's own right, as evidenced by the level of anticipation for DA2 (of course, my copy of that is already on pre order!) and it's a cut above the vast majority of the industry's output for the past few years. It doesn't hook you like Mass Effect 2 does, but stick with it and the rewards are very nearly as sweet.