I really love Metroid and games like Hollow Knight, Dandara, Dead Cells, Steamworld Dig 2, etc, but I’ve never really found myself enjoying open-world games outside of Breath of the Wild. Something about them always felt too large, unstructured, and intimidating for me to really get into.
Yet I decided to try out God of War, and something really clicked for me a couple hours in when I tried to enter an area but realized I didn’t have the necessary ability yet, and that it was something I’d get circled back around to later. This may be incredibly obvious to most, but it felt really similar to the core Metroidvania loop, and, after the mental shift that caused, I started really enjoying myself in a genre I’d kind of discounted before.
So I’m curious if any other fans of either (loosely-defined) genre feels that overlap. Is the difference a 2D vs. 3D focus, or something to do with sidequests, or are the distinctions more or less meaningless? Are there any games you’d characterize as specifically one or the other, but not both?