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Shinobi-san said:

Anyone else feeling a bit let down by the game? Especially after exceptional reviews.

While I am not complete, I do feel like I am in far enough to give comment on the experience. A few complaints in comparison to the first:

1. Standard difficulty mode is a lot harder than before - making you feel very underpowered especially as Kratos. Personally I feel at the start of the game enemies should have had less health. I understand that enemies are weak to certain weapons and strategies but it shouldn't be that fixed.

2. Constant chatting between characters - not a fan. I prefer some more impactful cutscenes and then a bit of a break from the story and chit chat. Sometimes it does work - but other times its too much.

3. PS5 controls woefully underused. Certain scenes when you push R2 to swing the axe down, could have made a huge difference if they synced the pressure of the button with the swing down of the axe.

4. In hindsight i know this is basically a continuation of the story but almost 5 years have passed since the original game. For me GOW 2018 was a fresh, visceral and exciting experience that truly ushered in the PS4. Ragnarok feels solidly like a PS4 game, 2 years after the PS5 has released. I get that some new mechanics are introduced with the weapons but i feel like something a bit more drastic needed to be done. Those that played the game will know that there are other additions to Ragnarok ( I will not spoil here) but even that felt underwhelming and personally I think they picked the wrong direction in regards to that. Santa Monica studio is probably holding back all the crazy ideas for there first true PS5 game...which at this rate will release when the PS6 comes out.

I would have to say all your negatives I did not see them that way.

I had absolutely no problem with the difficulty in the balance portion of the game.  Late game or side quest sub bosses I expect to be a challenge as they are optional.  Just going through the story is pretty much a breeze.

I do not like a bunch of cut scenes breaking up the flow of the game, I prefer the characters talking and giving substance to what you are doing during the game instead of a bunch of cut scenes taking me out of the game.

I prefer no extra BS with the PS5 controller.  This really isn't the game I want anything distracting me from pulling off the moves I am trying to do.  Its neat for about a few minuets than it becomes a chore and a bother.

I have no problem with the game, its a sequel and I did not expect it to stray from an already tight formula.  Now if they have another GOD in another setting, I would expect some changes but I am not sure what exactly you expected in 5 years.  The game is mostly bug free, all the controls elements are as tight as expected and the game as a whole has over 90+ hours of content to get through.  I pretty much almost 100% the whole game and it took me about 90+ hours to complete with all side quest and end game content.  

No, I am not disappointed with GODR at all, I read no reviews and care little about score as I was going to purchase the game anyway because of the first.  I came in the game with no grand expectations as I find that always kills a game for me, instead I want to play the game and enjoy what it offers.  I have my quibbles with the game and there are definitely situations I believe could have been improved on but the total package was a great experience for me.  One thing I wish they had was New Game +.  I would love to go back through the game with all my upgrades and amour.  There are amour and upgrades you cannot get until late game and it would be great to go through the harder difficulty with them.

I do not know if this game beats Elden Ring for GOTY but its definitely can be in the running.  Its an exceptional game which does side quest better in my opinion then Elden ring but the reply value is much lower.  The 2 games are really nothing alike but there are few games I would say is worth my 70 bones.