I just finished the first game a few days ago lol. It was a grand adventure, and tuns of fun to play. As to whether this one is the same, it certainly looks to have similar themes, especially in the gameplay... the way elements interact, the focus on strategy in combat and the difficulty of enemies. The original has some very challenging fights, some of which aren't even boss fights. Granted the first game also has it's 'ridiculously OP' boss fights too that require a bit of meta-gaming to beat. Hopefully the sequel works out that difficulty curve a bit better.
The early access is apparently just the first chapter or some-such... a few hours of gameplay. But IMHO the original is well worth the time you put into it. My game was a little over 80 hours long, a bit on the long side I imagine as I tend to do everything, talk to everyone, take it slow.