My problem with parrying is that some bosses will run through your parry like they will do three attacks doesn't matter how many perfect parries you do, so there isn't much difference between evade and parry except perhaps that you can add status to the boss (like poison) with the parries and slowdown with roll. My strategy to stun is throwing stuff at the boss in the head all along =p perhaps I'm playing the wrong way but I plat 2018 like this on GmGoW. It takes a lot of effort and time.
Totally agree with you. One thing I don't like about direct sequels that it seems like the char forget everything from one game to the other (at least in the original GoW trilogy they made it the right way as you have an excuse for being drained for power). And you are also absolutely right when you say gamers want small tweaks and improvement to the formula, without messing what was working fine, they complain if to much is changed (even if great) and just later will come to accept.
You have to hit the shield bash right after the parry to interrupt, if you delay they will continue. There are some bosses that do multiple hits you cannot shield bash through but you find that out quickly.
I know I was one of those people who was like, why is this new studio moving away from the GOD of War previous games to this over the shoulder look. I played every GOD including the PSP versions so I was pretty much invested in that game mechanic but I also was willing to see how this new mechanic would work. I was hoping they would nail it.