Good review and I agree.
I think one little small bonus I liked was that walls with shortcuts have "hints" that there's a shortcut there, so you don't need to turn sideways on every panel, since the wall panels have a new design or coloring variations. This definitely saves time and I wish I had noticed it before the very obvious 4th Stratum. Next someone will tell me that it's been there in the earlier EOs and I never noticed.
The flowers on the walls of the first and second mazes, water down the walls in the third, so on, that mark the passage.
Once you recognize it, it's easy.
On a similar note, that cave where 80% of the secret passages damaged you was an absolute and utter nightmare.