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.
Ultimately I guess we can agree to disagree. But I also think you take some of my negatives out of context.
My issue with the difficulty is specifically at the start, at a time when you are still learning what to upgrade, new elemental mechanics, new combos, shield requirement etc. I am perfectly okay with the game ramping up in terms of complexity and difficulty (even on standard mode) but it felt unbalanced at the start
With regards to cutscenes the game already has standard cutscenes that gives context to what you doing. But the additional chatter is too much for me - not to mention how all the companion characters are constantly giving you the dam answers to the few challenging puzzles.
Most PS5 controller additions are optional and can be turned off. But I personally feel the game could have at least added proper support for the dual sense. The axe mechanic I was talking about in my post is not during gameplay (it happens a handful of times throughout the game like when you are mining for material etc.). These are small additions.
5 years is a long time - im not saying build the game up from scratch but the formula as you mentioned needed to be shaken up a little bit more for me. We can get into how in another thread, but I feel I will head strongly into spoiler territory.
I also did not read any reviews etc. Came into it fresh. But I am leaning towards not being in agreement with the incredibly high scores - that being said I still rate the game a solid 9/10. Its okay for us to disagree on this.
Not sure how Elden Ring fits into the discussion but I guess I also had a number of issues with Elden Ring but still rate very highly.