agreed with both of you, but i think that this lack of imagination (let alone diversity of experience) is something we should be fiercely critical of and actually take the time to pull apart when evaluating a piece of media. if these were made by small teams or independent designers i’d be willing to be much more charitable - “well, it’s very tied to their own experiences and what speaks to them, which is limited by their own lives” - but when it’s a billion dollar project then too many potentially interesting and creative voices have been effectively silenced by being economically shackled to a frankly boring narrative for me to let it ride.
let me put it this way: if you took the billions which went into God Of War and instead paid all the workers in those production houses pursue their own projects, would you get something better? more interesting? i almost guarantee you would.
i know speaking speculatively in that way is always a little bit of a high bar, a dreamy dead-end way of thinking, but shit, i want to shoot high and do better, and i believe boring-ass dad games which money-sink away resources from potentially more interesting things should be actively criticised for doing that. it should play into our evaluation of them, always! if you’re taking up that much creative oxygen, you have an obligation to Do something with it!