1 - That is the new standard for GoW. In Give me God of War you seem like a mortal fighting gods, you die taking 3 hits (sometimes a single one) and need at least 12 to kill enemies. Some arrangements are quite hard with enemies that fight close, others with projectibles and some that close the gap instantly and laser aimed. Since the number of enemies wouldn't change on easier difficult if the enemies died to fast you wouldn't have much combat at all.
2 - I love the talking, a lot of people talk when they are walking and traveling, they don't chit chat during combat.
3 - I don't see that as a problem even more as the game is a PS4 one and the added aspects for PS5 can't break the gameplay between versions.
4 -There was basically no need to have major changes as the game was basically on very high level on almost all aspects so improvements and increments were the way to go, even more considering this is on the same storyline and pantheon so changing to much would make less sense. If they do a new storyline then bigger changes could be expected.
Either way im not impressed after 4-5 years. Ragnarok will sell well...but if Sony thinks another GOW with the same mechanics will do well they are wrong.
The same issue with Horizon Forbidden West - barely any changes to the core mechanics so many years later and on new hardware. I guess all the points of continuity apply here as well, but I have a sneaky feeling that if Sony releases a 3rd entry in the Horizon series with relatively unchanged mechanics the game will fall way off in terms of popularity. I actually think the second entry has already fallen off in popularity despite being better in all areas than the original.
I hope we don't see the same trend with Spiderman 2.