IGN has a little preview up on some of the observations they made about Dragon Age 2. There are some notable bits that anyone who is following the game will be interested in.
First it appears that combat has been left untouched at the moment:
Different attacks are mapped to the X, Y, and B buttons of your controller (we were playing on an Xbox 360). Hawk, the hero of the game, had a typical sword swipe mapped to X, a thrust mapped to Y, and a twirl that would take down all the enemies around him mapped to B. By holding the right trigger you can access a second set of attacks, so it seems you'll have six moves available to you at a time. Each move has a recharge time, so you can't just keep mashing the X button to chop through enemies.
With the bumpers you can switch between characters in your party. Anyone you're not controlling will be handled by the AI. If the action is getting a little too hectic you can still stop it and issue commands to your party by holding the left trigger. This ability seems to work much like the squad commands in Mass Effect. You can also pause the action to carefully set spell target areas. Alongside our hero Hawk we had a female mage fighting with us in this battle. Her fire spells deal damage in a radius, and we were able to pause the fight and move the circle of death around the battlefield before casting.
However, conversations have been overhauled a bit:
We also got to see the new conversation system. Dialogue has been simplified so that you only have up to three choices. Each choice is represented by an icon that indicates whether or it's a "good," "nasty," or "badass" choice. Good choices are represented by an olive branch, nasty by a Greek comedy mask, and badass by a red fist. This is an easy way to gauge what response your dialogue choices will produce.
At key points in conversation you'll have the opportunity to let your companions handle a situation. When a fresh group of orcs approach, for instance, you can decide whether or not you want Hawk or his female companion to take care of them. Whomever you choose will dispatch them all in one shot during the cut scene.
Also, Bioware has reiterated (on numerous occasions it seems now) in this preview that they will be improving the graphics of Dragon Age 2.