When I was in elementary school, there was a big illustrated book of Norse Mythology that I'd check out pretty often. A lot of those stories were in there, my memories of them buried deep in my sub-conscious.
Looking back, very weird I was into that stuff when I was young. Pretty dark stuff.
Norse mythology is one of those interesting things (like many mythologies I guess) where there are multiple versions of everything, and they can wildly vary depending on the source. A lot of the original myths were mainly told through collections of often-random poetry, which I'm pretty sure wasn't even internally consistent all the time, but then much later got compiled into a prose re-interpretation that became more or less a canon. Anyway the point is it's pretty easy to make it as light or dark as you want, and usually not too bad for kids. In the same vein that they teach Greek mythology to kids but don't say "and then Zeus got bored so he raped a bunch of women." GoW basically takes the darkest interpretations and then makes them 10 times worse, as they pertain to the actual game events lol.
Anyway I still haven't had time to finish the game for various reasons (my random guess is I'm like halfway through), but I'd say my biggest real issue is exploration and side-content. The actual story is pretty great, and if all you do is follow the main objective as a narrative and cinematic experience, I think it's super solid. But everything else is… not. There's a lot of problems. First of all, every damn side area (per realm) looks and feels the same, to the point that I literally can't tell them apart or if I've already been somewhere sometimes, and if I'm looking at my map to pick a warp point I usually have no clue what each location actually is. The lake is actually a pretty shitty hub, and it's made exponentially worse by the fact that the central area re-orients itself multiple times and that the water level keeps dropping (which, by the way, also makes it feel tedious as fuck to re-explore every single little beach to see what new things you can do).
There are also too many things you can't initially do. "Oh I found this cool hidden area, but I can't open this door, or read these runes, and I'm missing one random cipher piece, and oh there's some glowy thing I clearly can't interact with yet." I don't normally mind that kind of stuff in a general sense, especially in games like Zelda, but I think the main difference here is the aforementioned blurring and blending of all these little side areas so that I'm never really going to remember where a particular thing is later, coupled with the quantity of them and the fact that it genuinely feels tedious a lot of the time to trek back through an environment. I spent like 40 minutes beating a level 6 enemy that would one-shot me just because I didn't want to have to climb way the hell back there later.
And that brings me to the last thing about exploring, which is that the difficulty of areas and enemies feels super arbitrary. There's no real indication beforehand or pattern to it. One minute you're killing easy enemies, and then 10 feet away oh hey a horde of overpowered HP sponges. Level indicators don't even help that much because sometimes a level 7 enemy is a joke and may not even have that much health but then hey this level 5 recycled old boss is actually annoying as hell. What's that? He wasn't annoying enough? Okay here deal with a couple overleveled wulvers at the same time. And the rewards don't feel proportional, either. Not getting jack shit after a really hard fight is just a lame feeling and makes me wonder why I bother exploring instead of just coming back at the end of the game when I'm presumably going to be stronger.
On a mostly-unrelated note, I'm suffering from that RPG thing of being afraid to waste upgrade materials. I feel like the important resources are actually super scarce, so I'm never going to upgrade my mediocre armor when I assume I'm going to find better stuff soon. Same with the axe pommel or even upgrading runic attacks etc. It's something I don't feel like I should have to worry about; it detracts from my experience.