We just got both into the lab here and we’ve been playing them back to back.
With regard to story I think GOW does a better job, I can’t really say why without spoiler tags, so I’ll let you all see for yourselves. But I will say that I think that the difference is in flow. GOW2 is more about great pieces of story rather than a great story start to finish.
Some of the visuals take a step up in GOW2, but I hink the reason it seemed so much better for was that the setting in GOW2 is simply more colourful.
As for the gameplay, does anyone else feel the introduction of the powers/weapons is getting a bit towards Zelda or Metroid. Metroid especially considering how the game starts.