I definitely like AVWW 1 better, personally, but I'm also not much of a strategic player, preferring tactical games. Odd that I play Arcen's games, then, right?
I wonder if its sales might have recovered/been better if ya'll had stuck with your original plan of updating its graphics rather than making a second game, but I certainly have no information to base that speculation on! I think the game would have at least turned off fewer people at a glance, certainly, with its unusual art style, lol.
But then again, people who are that shallow probably wouldn't make it past the tutorial level anyway, much less the rather bizarre world and sometimes almost disjointed feeling dichotomy between the world map and survivor mechanics, and the platforming stuff.
All in all, I think it was a wonderful experiment and a fantastic revival of some oldschool Metroidvania/open world concepts with a really fresh, different feel, and I have more hours logged on it than any other game you guys have made.
Offtopic a teeny bit, but, incidentally, Bionic Dues is probably my favorite Arcen game.
While I won't try to objectively evaluate the quality of your individual games, I think it is the "best" in the sense that it's the most straightforward--which is good for business if nothing else! I agree that the default difficulty is a little too low, though.
But despite some of the recent news, I think Arcen is going in the right direction, and I feel like the occasional game like Bionic Dues that is a little more approachable to those uninitiated in Arcen's style would definitely help draw in new players.
Just my 2 cents on that.
But I'm definitely glad AVWW happened, and I'd love to see another Metroidvania style title out of you guys again!