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The PF2 crit rule is definitely in, as it is part of the core math. As for AC concerns, it really depends on what enemies you are fighting. But especially against enemies that aren't higher than your level, critting on an 18 is common even without any bonuses. If you apply some teamwork, getting it on a 15 or 16 is just as common. It's mostly just strong single enemies that play the "20 or bust" game when you don't apply penalties to them.
I never had problems with players critting against same levelled enemies, but in Age of Ashes there were so many encounters against APL +2 or +3 enemies that were exceedingly difficult for any of the PCs to hit.
I did hear AoA was overtuned, though, and encounter design got more reasonable later in development, so hopefully that holds true for SF2.