Shattered Worlds, Episode 2, Part 1: Crimson Hearts (yes, they're now subdividing episodes into parts) is out now and I played it recently. I'd say it's a significant improvement over Episode 1. Surprisingly, this installment doesn't follow the same characters; it follows one of the alternate realities with different incarnations of the girls and a nice surprise in the form of new male characters.
The story gives us a lot more information about the multiverse and the villain, and once again I'm pretty pleased with where they've taken it (well, aside from naming the villain "Dr. Dark"... lol). It also shows us the history of Vengeful MC and Silent MC from Episode 1. The ending is also really good; in particular I like the credit it gives to Yuri.
As far as the message that lying to one's friends is okay that is very common in DDLC mods, Crimson Hearts did much, much better than the previous installment. At least all the girls know the truth, and not telling the boys is more defensible than it would have been in the previous installment because the girls don't believe that these boys have anything to do with what's going on and if they're right then they probably wouldn't be able to help much anyway. It's still wrong to lie to a loved one, of course, but beyond that it's pretty clear that the tragic ending is at least partly due to the secret-keeping, sending the opposite message, if very weakly.
There was one big plothole, which I didn't notice at the time, and that is that it's totally not believable that Sayori still tried to kill herself. Modders seem to forget that it only got that bad in the original game because of Monika's tampering. Not only that, but given what this version of Sayori knows about Dr. Dark and the multiverse, it's even harder to believe that she would be driven to suicide over nothing more than an (entirely unjustified) internal lack of self-worth.
The only other concern I would have about the story is the reference to a "prophecy" foretelling the downfall of Dr. Dark, but I messaged the developer on reddit about why that would kill the story and received a vague but comforting response saying that "the prophecy isn't really going to matter much in the end".
One thing I'll criticize about the writing is that at least in the beginning of the game, the three boys' dialogue was the pinnacle of uncreative. They mostly just echoed everything each other said nearly verbatim. I imagine it's because the writer(s) wrote the beginning of the game before the boys developed distinct personalities in their minds, and they didn't go back and edit it later.
There's just one other possible objection I could make, which is the scene where Monika slaps Yohan and Yohan doesn't hit back (invoking the sexist trope of asymmetric violence rules). On the bright side, Monika apologizes later, so it's not that bad.