2020 - the new decade, the new era, new games. whats your most anticipated ones?

CritialGaming

New member
Mar 25, 2015
2,170
0
0
Specter Von Baren said:
CritialGaming said:
Yoshi178 said:
]he likes to criticise others like myself for not trying games that he likes but god forbid he'll ever try something new and outside his own comfort zone himself
Why not try to be civil about things and not deliberately call people out for no reason?
I say old chap, THIS is the internet!
Call people out all you want. But at least have a reason. Thats all im saying.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

Muse of Fate
Sep 1, 2010
4,691
0
0
CritialGaming said:
FYI your steam profile is private so we can't see it. But i did look into your PSN profile.

I like how you criticize loot, but you played the hell out of borderlands. There is also something in the Souls formula you like based on how much you've played DS1 and Bloodborne (At least on PSN), so I'm wondering why you are so down on the mechanics being in place in other games.

Enemies respawning is not a souls thing. Every First person shooter that I know of respawns the enemies. Uncharted, Tomb Raider, Crash, Spyro, all these games bring back the enemies when you die.

Much of what you label as Souls-elements are not strictly Souls innovations. Much of the Souls mechanics have been in place since the NES days.

The reason Sekiro respawns enemies despite how the combat serves as a 1v1 system is to prevent the player from being able to mindlessly face slam into the mini bosses, however even that isn't entirely true as there are lots of bosses where you can simply run past the fodder and go right into the fight with the boss alone. So that complaint falls through pretty quickly. Losing the exp and money on death is far less important than losing souls or echoes in bloodborne because the skills in Sekiro are niche at best and useless most other times. It's fundamental loop requires you to simply learn and master the parry, and therefore dying and losing out on the exp and money is virtually meaningless.

So if you take that away your only other complaint is Nioh's use of loot. Which again I look at all your Borderlands achievements and wonder why it's okay in one game but not the other. I would argue that Nioh applied itself to a looter better than Borderlands because Nioh is mission based and it's really easy to sort through your loot between missions before when you aren't in the middle of an action packed level. You simply gather gear during the mission and equip it afterwards before you jump into the next mission. There is no reason to constantly sort through the piles of loot that the level gives you.

This is definitively a YOU problem, not a game design problem.
I believe I made my Steam profile public enough.

I like Borderlands for the builds and different playstyles it affords, which is mainly done via the skill trees and different classes vs the loot system. Loot is just something I put up with in those games. Loot would be perfectly fine if RAW damage increases weren't tied to it (which is what literally happens at endgame, and people play the shit out of loot games at endgame). When loot is there only to personalize your character/build, it's great. Like I've said many times, when a purple/orange gun drops in Borderlands and I'm like level 10, it means nothing because a generic white gun in a couple levels is going to be better anyway. I don't get why changing when you sort through your loot makes Nioh any better when you shouldn't be sorting through your loot in the 1st place.

In most games, you just have to make it through each "encounter" and those enemies won't respawn after that. Sekiro being "open world", as there isn't levels per se, makes killing enemies accomplish nothing because they will all be back once you use the next bonfire. I think all the bosses are not by any mobs but there's quite a few mini-bosses that are. The fact that it's literally faster to quit the game, copy over a save from the cloud (with said mob killed and only the mini-boss left), then load the game again (instead of re-killing the mob) shows that game design is literally just there to waste your time. There's quite a few skills/upgrades that are rather important in Sekiro that losing exp/money just takes you longer to get for really no reason. There's skills that lessen your posture damage taken on parries along with a skill that increases posture damage inflicted on enemies, which is the very core of the game. The Mikiri counter is essential and the Ichimonji attack is pretty amazing. The prosthetic tools/upgrades can make many fights quite a lot easier like using the umbrella on the headless mini-bosses so you don't need divine confetti (really bad game design to begin with). Only being able to defeat an enemy with limited item that you'll have to farm if you fail so many times only wastes player time. The fact that you can Google search "Sekiro + farming/grinding" and get tons of results proves my point. The game then has items to increases said farming rates so it has stuff in the game to "fix" known issues, why not just remove the issues themselves?

Yoshi178 said:
as for your RPG comment, i've played the Pokemon games. those games are RPG's. nawwww what's that? Pokemon isn't a good enough RPG for you?
i've also played Earthbound. awww but that's a Nintendo game. my bad, nothing made by Nintendo counts in your eyes at all does it? how bout i fix that.
what about Star Wars KOTR and KOTR II? although i'm sure you'll find a way to make those RPG games not count either.
Any "RPG" where your only character choices involve how well your character performs in combat aren't RPGs IMO. RP in RPG stands for ROLE-PLAYING and you're not role-playing a character if all your decisions are combat decisions. Everyone's Shepard in Mass Effect is a different character (when ignoring class/skill/etc combat oriented choices) just like everyone's detective in Disco Elysium is different. Whereas everyone's Cloud from FFVII says and does everything exactly the same when not in combat; Cloud or say Nathan Drake are completely static and scripted characters, you're not role-playing as either of them. KOTORs are RPGs as there's very few devs that actually try to make real RPGs and Bioware was one of them, so is Obsidian.
 

Yoshi178

New member
Aug 15, 2014
2,108
0
0
Phoenixmgs said:
[
Yoshi178 said:
as for your RPG comment, i've played the Pokemon games. those games are RPG's. nawwww what's that? Pokemon isn't a good enough RPG for you?
i've also played Earthbound. awww but that's a Nintendo game. my bad, nothing made by Nintendo counts in your eyes at all does it? how bout i fix that.
what about Star Wars KOTR and KOTR II? although i'm sure you'll find a way to make those RPG games not count either.
Any "RPG" where your only character choices involve how well your character performs in combat aren't RPGs IMO.
Lucky for me than that in this case, your opinion means shit and all of the games i listed are classified as RPG's.

you wanted RPG's? i gave you some. nothing more to it.
now run along and go try nioh since you're so open to trying new games. :)
 

Yoshi178

New member
Aug 15, 2014
2,108
0
0
CritialGaming said:
Specter Von Baren said:
CritialGaming said:
Yoshi178 said:
]he likes to criticise others like myself for not trying games that he likes but god forbid he'll ever try something new and outside his own comfort zone himself
Why not try to be civil about things and not deliberately call people out for no reason?
I say old chap, THIS is the internet!
Call people out all you want. But at least have a reason. Thats all im saying.
oh i have a reason. :)
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

Muse of Fate
Sep 1, 2010
4,691
0
0
Yoshi178 said:
Lucky for me than that in this case, your opinion means shit and all of the games i listed are classified as RPG's.

you wanted RPG's? i gave you some. nothing more to it.
now run along and go try nioh since you're so open to trying new games. :)
Start at the 8min mark:
https://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escapist-podcast/5431-035-What-Defines-An-RPG-More-Mass-Effect

"We've gotten so used of RPGs being the RPG elements and not being RPGs anymore."

RPGs are more than just "chicken and pasta".

And the genre getting stuck in being about combat has greatly held back video game RPGs for decades. The core of an RPG is choosing your character's "character", player agency, and the world reflecting your choices back at you. Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Dragon Quest, etc. all do that as little as Uncharted does.
 

Yoshi178

New member
Aug 15, 2014
2,108
0
0
Phoenixmgs said:
Yoshi178 said:
Lucky for me than that in this case, your opinion means shit and all of the games i listed are classified as RPG's.

you wanted RPG's? i gave you some. nothing more to it.
now run along and go try nioh since you're so open to trying new games. :)
Start at the 8min mark:
https://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escapist-podcast/5431-035-What-Defines-An-RPG-More-Mass-Effect

"We've gotten so used of RPGs being the RPG elements and not being RPGs anymore."

RPGs are more than just "chicken and pasta".

And the genre getting stuck in being about combat has greatly held back video game RPGs for decades.
they're still classified as RPG's whether you like it or not. :3
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

Muse of Fate
Sep 1, 2010
4,691
0
0
Yoshi178 said:
Phoenixmgs said:
Yoshi178 said:
Lucky for me than that in this case, your opinion means shit and all of the games i listed are classified as RPG's.

you wanted RPG's? i gave you some. nothing more to it.
now run along and go try nioh since you're so open to trying new games. :)
Start at the 8min mark:
https://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escapist-podcast/5431-035-What-Defines-An-RPG-More-Mass-Effect

"We've gotten so used of RPGs being the RPG elements and not being RPGs anymore."

RPGs are more than just "chicken and pasta".

And the genre getting stuck in being about combat has greatly held back video game RPGs for decades.
they're still classified as RPG's whether you like it or not. :3
And because fish isn't classified as "meat" doesn't mean you ain't eating meat on Friday's during Lent.
 

Yoshi178

New member
Aug 15, 2014
2,108
0
0
Phoenixmgs said:
Yoshi178 said:
Phoenixmgs said:
Yoshi178 said:
Lucky for me than that in this case, your opinion means shit and all of the games i listed are classified as RPG's.

you wanted RPG's? i gave you some. nothing more to it.
now run along and go try nioh since you're so open to trying new games. :)
Start at the 8min mark:
https://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escapist-podcast/5431-035-What-Defines-An-RPG-More-Mass-Effect

"We've gotten so used of RPGs being the RPG elements and not being RPGs anymore."

RPGs are more than just "chicken and pasta".

And the genre getting stuck in being about combat has greatly held back video game RPGs for decades.
they're still classified as RPG's whether you like it or not. :3
And because fish isn't classified as "meat" doesn't mean you ain't eating meat on Friday's during Lent.
Salty fish is the best fish. :3
 

immortalfrieza

Elite Member
Legacy
May 2, 2020
2,047
75
53
Country
USA
B-Cell said:
Dying Light 2




I always impressed by this game when it was announced despite not liking original one. its world looks so amazing combat seem so improved and its not just zombie invasion game. its story driven first person immersive sim like game that i think we need more of this. plus techland are very talented and conumer oriented developers so bring it on.
I just hope that unlike the first game DLC or not the entire game is not rendered completely pointless by the endings, one nuking the city you spent the whole game trying to help and the other succumbing to the infection and spreading the virus undoing everything you did. I hate games that make moot what you spent the time playing it trying to accomplish at the end or worse have the threat only be a threat to begin with because of the player.

Phoenixmgs said:
Horizon Zero Dawn sequel
-Robo-dino hunting is so much fun. Hopefully a sequel can add in some systemic game elements and/or possibly important decision making. Oh, and make human combat good.
Two things I hope for the sequel. For one, I hope that this time the location of ALL the collectables can be put onto the in game map. The map had datapoint collectables that were realistically impossible to locate all or even most of them without a guide. I love it when Sandbox/open world games have collectables that can have their locations pointed out on the ingame map at some point even if only at the tail end of the game because otherwise I always end up having to search every last inch of each area with the last few by the end of it if I care to collect them all and doing so takes away a major source of frustation.

The other, I really wish they did more with the override feature. Sure, having robo dinos on your side is cool and all, but what if we could do something significant with them besides ride them around and use them as attack dogs. What if we could still do that yeah, but could do things like spend time with them, play with them, level them up, and/or craft and then attach armor and new weapons and such to them? Maybe even sell and trade them as they improve for more money and other stuff than what you could get elsewhere. It would make it a lot more worth it. That, and I think it makes the same mistake with the ridable robots that Skyrim did with it's horses, namely there's no reason to use them because the map is too dense with stuff to do and pick up. I ended up constantly getting on and off the ridable robo dinos about every 30 seconds because there wasn't really any long stretches of area to just ride around in the game and too much stuff to do everywhere, which combined with fast travel really just made those riding robots much more of a annoyance than a help.
 

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 18, 2020
7,465
2,123
118
Country
United States
Gender
Male
immortalfrieza said:
The other, I really wish they did more with the override feature. Sure, having robo dinos on your side is cool and all, but what if we could do something significant with them besides ride them around and use them as attack dogs. What if we could still do that yeah, but could do things like spend time with them, play with them, level them up, and/or craft and then attach armor and new weapons and such to them? Maybe even sell and trade them as they improve for more money and other stuff than what you could get elsewhere. It would make it a lot more worth it. That, and I think it makes the same mistake with the ridable robots that Skyrim did with it's horses, namely there's no reason to use them because the map is too dense with stuff to do and pick up. I ended up constantly getting on and off the ridable robo dinos about every 30 seconds because there wasn't really any long stretches of area to just ride around in the game and too much stuff to do everywhere, which combined with fast travel really just made those riding robots much more of a annoyance than a help.
Yeah, I rather liked doing the cauldrons for the change of pace and platforming and such but the override upgrades you end up getting for it don't feel like they end up doing much. If you could get overridden robos to help you in combat I never noticed where it could be particularly useful, so proper use of arrows and traps ended up being how you fight and win.
 

immortalfrieza

Elite Member
Legacy
May 2, 2020
2,047
75
53
Country
USA
Dalisclock said:
immortalfrieza said:
The other, I really wish they did more with the override feature. Sure, having robo dinos on your side is cool and all, but what if we could do something significant with them besides ride them around and use them as attack dogs. What if we could still do that yeah, but could do things like spend time with them, play with them, level them up, and/or craft and then attach armor and new weapons and such to them? Maybe even sell and trade them as they improve for more money and other stuff than what you could get elsewhere. It would make it a lot more worth it. That, and I think it makes the same mistake with the ridable robots that Skyrim did with it's horses, namely there's no reason to use them because the map is too dense with stuff to do and pick up. I ended up constantly getting on and off the ridable robo dinos about every 30 seconds because there wasn't really any long stretches of area to just ride around in the game and too much stuff to do everywhere, which combined with fast travel really just made those riding robots much more of a annoyance than a help.
Yeah, I rather liked doing the cauldrons for the change of pace and platforming and such but the override upgrades you end up getting for it don't feel like they end up doing much. If you could get overridden robos to help you in combat I never noticed where it could be particularly useful, so proper use of arrows and traps ended up being how you fight and win.
Not to mention the whole stealth mechanic works well for most enemies and having overridden robo dinos around gets in the way of that.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

Bound to escape
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,953
6
13
On the subject of a horizon zero dawn sequel - putting aside game mechanics as that ain't something I'm comfortable criticising - there is a flash of intrigue shown in the first game i'd love to see explored narratively; that being how Aloy could have grown overly dependant on her focus to the point of not being able to handle reality so great without it. As there was a brief moment it was taken away in the original where she did show a moment of proper panic upon realising before gameplay begun. I mean, she basically grew up with it providing her oodles of varying support which a shunning from her tribe would've caused a much greater need for. The biggest challenge would be incorporating it into fun gameplay, as it would essentially mean taking the hud away at the very least, and I'm not sure what level of fairness you could keep to such narrative/gameplay progression.
Edit: Oh, another addition more gameplay related would be to place the potions, traps and whatnot somewhere far easier to press during combat than the d-pad which you gotta keep moving your eye toward the bottom left of the screen to see what's what when trying to find those blasted proxy bombs for a cheeky getaway, which is not optimal for survival. I think something as simple as putting them all on a second wheel you can switch tabs to from the weapon wheel to get to would be enough to alleviate the niggle.

To add to the original topic enquiry, would probably have to be Hades, but more from an angle of trust in dependable quality from a team who have yet to falter, than anything, say, life-changing. Whereas all other promoted titles am currently aware of still harbour various doubts by the mere element of the unknown and a completely deflated hype gland.
 

Smithnikov_v1legacy

New member
May 7, 2016
1,020
0
0
Now that I've learned my rig is too puny to handle Cyberpunk, only got one on my radar.


Also looking for the second episode to Nightmare Reaper to drop.

And Carrion, can't forget that.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

Muse of Fate
Sep 1, 2010
4,691
0
0
immortalfrieza said:
Phoenixmgs said:
Horizon Zero Dawn sequel
-Robo-dino hunting is so much fun. Hopefully a sequel can add in some systemic game elements and/or possibly important decision making. Oh, and make human combat good.
The other, I really wish they did more with the override feature. Sure, having robo dinos on your side is cool and all, but what if we could do something significant with them besides ride them around and use them as attack dogs. What if we could still do that yeah, but could do things like spend time with them, play with them, level them up, and/or craft and then attach armor and new weapons and such to them? Maybe even sell and trade them as they improve for more money and other stuff than what you could get elsewhere. It would make it a lot more worth it. That, and I think it makes the same mistake with the ridable robots that Skyrim did with it's horses, namely there's no reason to use them because the map is too dense with stuff to do and pick up. I ended up constantly getting on and off the ridable robo dinos about every 30 seconds because there wasn't really any long stretches of area to just ride around in the game and too much stuff to do everywhere, which combined with fast travel really just made those riding robots much more of a annoyance than a help.
I feel like leveling robo-dinos and crafting armor for them would be adding systems for really no reason. I love how reserved Horizon was with its mechanics, it only had what it needed and nothing else. One of the great things about Horizon is how you can just do everything on the fly and having to level robo-dinos and craft armor and such would then probably greatly discourage players from finding mounts in the wild to just use as they'd be so much weaker than a leveled up one. I believe the expansion added the ability to pick up stuff while riding, but the world being dense is a good thing, I hate open worlds that are big just to be big (and to basically be a bulleted point for the marketing team). One of the coolest things in Horizon was to whistle for a mount in the heat of combat and fight the robo-dino (like a rockbreaker) on a mount; sure, it was harder than doing it on foot but it was so cool to pull off.

Dalisclock said:
Yeah, I rather liked doing the cauldrons for the change of pace and platforming and such but the override upgrades you end up getting for it don't feel like they end up doing much. If you could get overridden robos to help you in combat I never noticed where it could be particularly useful, so proper use of arrows and traps ended up being how you fight and win.
Overridden robo-dinos were extremely useful and game-breaking really and the problem wasn't the actual overriding of them but the corruption arrows making overriding basically pointless as it was far more work than shooting a few arrows. I house-ruled corruption arrows out my game because they are so OP. The sequel should definitely get rid of those arrows.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

New member
Aug 22, 2010
2,577
0
0
Smithnikov said:
Now that I've learned my rig is too puny to handle Cyberpunk, only got one on my radar.


Also looking for the second episode to Nightmare Reaper to drop.

And Carrion, can't forget that.
How did you find out your rig can't run Cyberpunk? Cos I need to know the same thing :p
 

immortalfrieza

Elite Member
Legacy
May 2, 2020
2,047
75
53
Country
USA
Phoenixmgs said:
I feel like leveling robo-dinos and crafting armor for them would be adding systems for really no reason. I love how reserved Horizon was with its mechanics, it only had what it needed and nothing else. One of the great things about Horizon is how you can just do everything on the fly and having to level robo-dinos and craft armor and such would then probably greatly discourage players from finding mounts in the wild to just use as they'd be so much weaker than a leveled up one.
Well yeah, that's kinda the point. Instead of just jumping on any random mount in the wild and have it be just as useful and disposable as any other, give us a reason to actually get attached to a particular mount. Throw in leveling, training/programming, maybe some minigames to bond with the thing, etc. Not to mention crafting armor and who knows what else for that mount could give us something to do with those mounds and mounts of junk we end up carrying around after a couple hours of play that have no real use besides selling them when we've already got more money than we could ever use, not to mention a money sink in itself. Hell, we could even take the mount itself and sell it for a decent profit after leveling and enhancing it, then picking up another in the wild and doing it all over again, creating another time sink.

More mechanics doesn't hurt a game so long as they are A. largely optional and B. make use of the resources you'd get anyway doing other stuff.

I believe the expansion added the ability to pick up stuff while riding, but the world being dense is a good thing, I hate open worlds that are big just to be big (and to basically be a bulleted point for the marketing team). One of the coolest things in Horizon was to whistle for a mount in the heat of combat and fight the robo-dino (like a rockbreaker) on a mount; sure, it was harder than doing it on foot but it was so cool to pull off.
Well, the issue with an open world having riding mechanics while being so dense is how often you have to get off the mount. Red Dead Redemption is the only game I've seen that did this right. Sure, there's tons to do all around the map but they are spaced out a lot which made using a horse to get around essential to getting anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, on top of the random stuff that could happen every so often as you were riding around. On top of that mounted combat and whistling for a new mount if your old one died or got lost was in there from the start. Horizon makes the mistake of having far too much clustered all together that the mount ends up being pointless due to it being much more practical to just walk around normally.
 

Specter Von Baren

Annoying Green Gadfly
Legacy
May 4, 2020
3,194
823
118
I don't know, send help!
Country
USA
Gender
Cuttlefish
Currently all I'm looking forward to is the Megaman Zero + Megaman ZX collection. Seriously, Inti Creates has become my favorite game developer. Their art style is very stylish and unique and they have a great track record aside from Mighty Number 9, which I blame more on lack of direction than themselves.

It'll be great to have my hands on a full collection of their Megaman games.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

Muse of Fate
Sep 1, 2010
4,691
0
0
immortalfrieza said:
Phoenixmgs said:
I feel like leveling robo-dinos and crafting armor for them would be adding systems for really no reason. I love how reserved Horizon was with its mechanics, it only had what it needed and nothing else. One of the great things about Horizon is how you can just do everything on the fly and having to level robo-dinos and craft armor and such would then probably greatly discourage players from finding mounts in the wild to just use as they'd be so much weaker than a leveled up one.
Well yeah, that's kinda the point. Instead of just jumping on any random mount in the wild and have it be just as useful and disposable as any other, give us a reason to actually get attached to a particular mount. Throw in leveling, training/programming, maybe some minigames to bond with the thing, etc. Not to mention crafting armor and who knows what else for that mount could give us something to do with those mounds and mounts of junk we end up carrying around after a couple hours of play that have no real use besides selling them when we've already got more money than we could ever use, not to mention a money sink in itself. Hell, we could even take the mount itself and sell it for a decent profit after leveling and enhancing it, then picking up another in the wild and doing it all over again, creating another time sink.

More mechanics doesn't hurt a game so long as they are A. largely optional and B. make use of the resources you'd get anyway doing other stuff.

I believe the expansion added the ability to pick up stuff while riding, but the world being dense is a good thing, I hate open worlds that are big just to be big (and to basically be a bulleted point for the marketing team). One of the coolest things in Horizon was to whistle for a mount in the heat of combat and fight the robo-dino (like a rockbreaker) on a mount; sure, it was harder than doing it on foot but it was so cool to pull off.
Well, the issue with an open world having riding mechanics while being so dense is how often you have to get off the mount. Red Dead Redemption is the only game I've seen that did this right. Sure, there's tons to do all around the map but they are spaced out a lot which made using a horse to get around essential to getting anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, on top of the random stuff that could happen every so often as you were riding around. On top of that mounted combat and whistling for a new mount if your old one died or got lost was in there from the start. Horizon makes the mistake of having far too much clustered all together that the mount ends up being pointless due to it being much more practical to just walk around normally.
Horizon doesn't even have armor crafting for Aloy let alone your mounts. Plus, the mounts are machines, not actual animals you can bond with. It's just a bunch of stuff the game doesn't need. When you don't have crafting or loot systems like Horizon, then you actually buy stuff with money. The Outer Worlds that I'm playing now has so many systems it doesn't need; I literally haven't utilized probably half the systems in that game. There's no reason to buy anything cuz loot, there's no reason to repair anything (besides unique gear) cuz loot, there's no reason to upgrade anything cuz loot, there's no reason to use mods (as you can't detach them) cuz loot, consumables are pointless except the standard health kit. Even though I'm not participating in any of those systems, it's wasting me time constantly junking everything which is directly caused by said systems. If the game just gave you a standard pistol, shotgun, rifle, etc that you used all game (of course, keeping uniques), you could then actually mod them to your playstyle while saving the player a ton of time while equaling the same exact customization afforded to the player. You can just have all the mounts in Horizon be "max" level and it accomplishes the same thing as leveling them and doesn't waste time. Time sinks =/= good. Instead of lengthening a single playthrough with time sinks, just give me quality content and I'll replay the game.

Rockstar's open worlds are too big and you spend way too much time traveling to actual content. You can make mounts better in combat to merit using them and also use them to go back to previous locations you've been.
 

B-Cell_v1legacy

New member
Feb 9, 2016
2,102
0
0
Phoenixmgs said:
immortalfrieza said:
Phoenixmgs said:
I feel like leveling robo-dinos and crafting armor for them would be adding systems for really no reason. I love how reserved Horizon was with its mechanics, it only had what it needed and nothing else. One of the great things about Horizon is how you can just do everything on the fly and having to level robo-dinos and craft armor and such would then probably greatly discourage players from finding mounts in the wild to just use as they'd be so much weaker than a leveled up one.
Well yeah, that's kinda the point. Instead of just jumping on any random mount in the wild and have it be just as useful and disposable as any other, give us a reason to actually get attached to a particular mount. Throw in leveling, training/programming, maybe some minigames to bond with the thing, etc. Not to mention crafting armor and who knows what else for that mount could give us something to do with those mounds and mounts of junk we end up carrying around after a couple hours of play that have no real use besides selling them when we've already got more money than we could ever use, not to mention a money sink in itself. Hell, we could even take the mount itself and sell it for a decent profit after leveling and enhancing it, then picking up another in the wild and doing it all over again, creating another time sink.

More mechanics doesn't hurt a game so long as they are A. largely optional and B. make use of the resources you'd get anyway doing other stuff.

I believe the expansion added the ability to pick up stuff while riding, but the world being dense is a good thing, I hate open worlds that are big just to be big (and to basically be a bulleted point for the marketing team). One of the coolest things in Horizon was to whistle for a mount in the heat of combat and fight the robo-dino (like a rockbreaker) on a mount; sure, it was harder than doing it on foot but it was so cool to pull off.
Well, the issue with an open world having riding mechanics while being so dense is how often you have to get off the mount. Red Dead Redemption is the only game I've seen that did this right. Sure, there's tons to do all around the map but they are spaced out a lot which made using a horse to get around essential to getting anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, on top of the random stuff that could happen every so often as you were riding around. On top of that mounted combat and whistling for a new mount if your old one died or got lost was in there from the start. Horizon makes the mistake of having far too much clustered all together that the mount ends up being pointless due to it being much more practical to just walk around normally.
Horizon doesn't even have armor crafting for Aloy let alone your mounts. Plus, the mounts are machines, not actual animals you can bond with. It's just a bunch of stuff the game doesn't need. When you don't have crafting or loot systems like Horizon, then you actually buy stuff with money. The Outer Worlds that I'm playing now has so many systems it doesn't need; I literally haven't utilized probably half the systems in that game. There's no reason to buy anything cuz loot, there's no reason to repair anything (besides unique gear) cuz loot, there's no reason to upgrade anything cuz loot, there's no reason to use mods (as you can't detach them) cuz loot, consumables are pointless except the standard health kit. Even though I'm not participating in any of those systems, it's wasting me time constantly junking everything which is directly caused by said systems. If the game just gave you a standard pistol, shotgun, rifle, etc that you used all game (of course, keeping uniques), you could then actually mod them to your playstyle while saving the player a ton of time while equaling the same exact customization afforded to the player. You can just have all the mounts in Horizon be "max" level and it accomplishes the same thing as leveling them and doesn't waste time. Time sinks =/= good. Instead of lengthening a single playthrough with time sinks, just give me quality content and I'll replay the game.

Rockstar's open worlds are too big and you spend way too much time traveling to actual content. You can make mounts better in combat to merit using them and also use them to go back to previous locations you've been.
The point of their worlds isn?t to have something to do every 10?. It?s more to provide a sense of place, as in feeling like a virtual inhabitant of a real environment. I know it?s not your cup of tea, but some of the best moments in RDR2 just happen by chance, exploring the world naturally. It?s the most well-realized form of Wild West escapism this side of Westworld, and then some.