Yea we used to frag each other on the library computers. Shit was great. Ok after a couple days of playing here's what I found about animation cancelling:
K-style in the traditional sense doesn't exist anymore as it's impossible to dash, jump, block and shank people at the same time with very minimal time between blocks to render yourself pretty much unkillable, but a skilled player will be rewarded if they can time their blocks, melees and cancels well.
"Wallrunning" is an actual mechanic now you jump while running into walls and you run on them. Something interesting happened because of this though: Ivan and Rena (I've never seen a Max or Elena do this) are actually fast enough to wallrun, jump off, cancel then dash back. This makes it so that you pretty much are able to fly, block, shoot and generally jump around at insane speed while anywhere near vertical terrain, which is pretty much ALL OF ABANDONED MANSION. I heard it's called "wallposting"?
Also Elena can cancel her noob tube reload by changing weapons to shoot REALLY FUCKING FAST.
There's also other broken shit that you might want to learn like "cutdashing" (what I call it). Basically with this you can dash without hitting the direction key twice and you do a melee strike which is really useful. People call it "butterfly" but it's not the butterfly you remember. Your shield is down about half the time but it's a really useful technique for kiting and evasion while being able to deal some damage.