Dragon Age 2 now has a demo--something the first game never did. By this point it should be available on PC, PS3, and the Xbox 360 (but only if you have Gold membership for right now) where ever such services are available worldwide.
The demo has some spoilers.Tthough most weren't earth-shattering, there is a pretty big one that occurs at the end of the first section. What reasons could you have for trying the demo then?
It starts you off in the very beginning of Hawke's quest, gets you adjusted to combat and the new conversation options, and explores a later portion of the game featuring Varric and Isabela--it doesn't seem to be too far into the storyline, at least. What it does not have is character customization, or the ability to later be ported to the full game--I imagine as the events it depicts are not linear.
Also, in an effort to get people to try it, and theoretically lead to sales, BioWare is offering an item called Hayder's Razor. Furthermore, if one million people play it linked to their EA accounts (another possibility is checking to see how many people have an account, or will make one), they will release two more items, both books: The Far Cliffs of Kirkwall and Lothering's Lament. The former gives money, the latter experience when read.
As for the demo itself? I tried as both male and Lady Hawke yesterday, and found it an all right experience. If you're worried about the changes to either combat or dialog, it's a decent way to find out how everything will play. I imagine the demo is probably pretty similar to what Digital Lit previewed for us earlier this month. Which is to say, it has strategy components, but is open to a more action-oriented gameplay if you'd prefer. Overall, the game feels like it has more mobility and motion--even in the cutscenes/dialogs.
Also, there is some slight flirting between Lady Hawke and Isabela if you play that portion (also between she and male Hawke, but I've yet to play the first game as heterosexual, so eh).
So, if you'd like to give it a whirl, feel free to grab the demo on your console of choice. For PC users, the link is right here. As of right now, the goal of a million is inching toward the half-way mark. Anyone else tried it and have thoughts on what was present?