A lot of people had issues with the story in Dragon Age II. Whether you think the plot was compelling or the characters were memorable, it’s inarguable that Dragon Age II had fewer customization options than Origins. The upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition is restoring at least some of that good ol’ player agency by reintroducing race selection.
Race is a lot more than just cosmetic in Dragon Age. In the first game different races had completely different starting areas, and other characters would sometimes treat you differently depending on your chosen race. If you’re an elf a guard might hassle you because he doesn’t like your pointy ears, but when you run into an elven hunting party you have an easier time talking them out of a confrontation. Fans of Origins who were disappointed with the sequel should be pleased.