I have to sadly agree with GribbleGrunger on this one. I just managed to finish the game, and i found myself wondering what the justification was for all the perfect review scores.
Perhaps a 90 metacritic score I would probably understand, as that would mean an average score of 9/10. Given it a score range between 8's,9's and 10's. Which i can certainly understand.
Did nobody else feel like the game ended about 6-7 hours too soon? In terms of main storyline. There were so many references to Odin, Thor, the giants and the other realms etc. I get that this is a set up for the next installment, but it feels like there were indications given in the game that it was coming, but it never does.
I feel like the above issue leads to another issue, after the opening 2 - 3 hours (which is probably gaming's finest opening hands down) the game suffers from pacing, I often found myself wondering when the story would progress? Every time you think the story is about to move along, some arbitrary blocker comes in your way. At some point this causes major frustration, where the puzzles and mini boss fights start feeling tiresome. Then just when you think the game is picking up the pace again, it ends.
Perhaps i have been spoiled by God of War 3, where there were so many boss battles with Gods, Titans, and monsters etc. keeping the pacing up.
And as visceral and satisfying as the combat can be, I feel as though its a missed opportunity. Most fights rely on timing your attacks against enemies, regardless of what attacks you use (except when its clear your axe/blades is useless). This makes the skill system, and overall rpg system feel ineffective.
These are all in addition to the points raised in the OP, which i dont feel overly strong about but are valid. There are good arguments for the game not being a masterpiece, although despite my issues, I would still give the game a 8-9/10 quite easily.