I'm not quite sure what to think yet
I don't want to be that guy
who judges an entire game based on an early build demo. We've yet to see the whole thing, and it's likely this chunk was chosen specifically because it's fast-paced and action packed to grab more attention at the conference. But I'll admit I'm not entirely fond of what I saw.
While the visual style is more realistic in its details, the gameplay veers in the exact opposite direction. The original games made a point of not cluttering the screen with HUD and other icons, and felt more immersive and atmospheric as a result. You really got the feel of sneaking slowly through a cavernous and lonely factory, where one wrong step could get you killed. You walked slowly, planned every move in advance, and progressed with trepidation.
Now however, it's all running straight into the fray with reckless abandon, guns blazing with explosions and destruction. The screen is littered with visual cues and effects to the point it's almost difficult to appreciate the environment through the lights and flashes. Items, possession, even basic gamespeak have glowing rings and visual cues (which seems odd, as the characters simply responding or not was sufficient a cue before).
It almost felt like the video was playing at 1.5x speed or something. The gameplay is quite erratic with little sense of acceleration/weight, and Abe can now double-jump flip in mid air for some reason, which makes things seem even more frenetic. I also found it weird that Sligs die immediately from fire yet Abe and the Muds could hot-potato through it no problem.
I was hoping the new visual style would translate to a slower pace, more believable experience with a greater focus on hiding, planning and strategy. This segment was a hyperactive free-for-all that feels more to me like Munch in some parts that AE. Granted, it's been said that there are many ways to approach the game and it could be the case that the player here simply chose to run through full-throttle, and other players would have a different experience. It doesn't look bad by any means; it does look like a fun game. However, so far I'm not convinced it'll be the type of game I'd personally hoped for.