Title: Monster Hunter: World
Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC (delayed until Fall 2018)
Genre: Action, RPG
Official Site: Monster Hunter: World
Release Date: January 26, 2018
Where to Buy: Local Retailers, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store
I will warn you up front: this is my first Monster Hunter experience. This epic series is one I have always wanted to get into, but, in the past, I was never able to get past the starting areas. Needless to say, when Monster Hunter: World was announced at E3, I was determined to learn the ropes. And this title did not disappoint. For those of you who have dreamed of feline companions and hunting dragons, this is definitely the game for you!
There is so much about Monster Hunter: World that deserves to be praised that it’s hard to know where to start. But, ultimately, its accessibility for new players to the series is one of the more prominent features. The game itself, and its encouraging community, is more inviting than the games that came before it. Don’t be fooled; there is definitely still a major learning curve involved in mastering the combat and the beasts within the world. My main advice to newbies like myself? Don’t rush through this experience. With a diverse selection of weapons and armor, everyone can discover their own way of taking down these towering creatures.
Once you have found the set that works best for you, it is time to take the fight to the monsters! However, learning the ways of your weapon isn’t all you must learn. The world is full of monsters, great and small, that all have unique attacks and elements to work around. A majority of your first few fights (because you will die) will be spent judging the monsters’ movements; this learning period is crucial for those of you using ranged weapons! That being said, once you hone your skills the strategic gameplay is chaotically fun and always keeps the fight interesting. There is nothing more satisfying than taking down a difficult monster after a few attempts.
While there is a bit of a loose storyline, the dragons and monsters clearly take center stage. Each monster has obviously been crafted and created with care, but that can really be said about everything concerning Monster Hunter: World. While incredibly terrifying, seeing some of these beasts for the first time is just astounding. They are each incredibly unique and they all come with their own sets of challenges. From tracking them through Monster Hunter’s immersive environments to facing them head-on, the monsters command your attention and respect from the very beginning.
Despite my high praise, there is one part of Monster Hunter: World that still needs some serious work: the multiplayer. While this is an experience I definitely recommend playing with a few friends, be warned; there are plenty of issues. The big one is playing through story missions. If you’re looking to play story missions with a friend the game will require you to jump through some hoops. One of you will have to start the mission, go through the cutscene, save, exit the mission, and then join the other’s session after they have viewed the cutscene. Exhausted yet? So was I. Going on an exhibition together isn’t much easier either. However, once you actually start playing together it is pretty great.
If you choose to use a ranged weapon, like the bow or the gun, it is going to be much easier with a group of friends. Can’t convince your friends to join in? No worries! Whether you’re in a private session or not, players can shoot off an SOS flare to let other hunters know you are in trouble. This is an awesome feature, and I have come across the some of the nicest, most supportive people during my monster hunting ventures. Monster hunting is something that can totally be done alone, for all of you lone wolves out there. But, for me personally, the quests were much more fun with a few friends.
In closing, Monster Hunter: World is a truly fantastic game. There are a plethora of things to do, places to explore, armor to make, and creatures to discover, making the game incredibly replayable. While this still isn’t a game for everyone, I would strongly encourage new people to stick with it. This isn’t a game you will conquer right away. This is a game that requires a lot of practice and actually taking the time to learn how you play best. To all of my other Monster Hunter newbies: take your time, pet your poogies, always eat before a mission, and experiment, experiment, experiment!
Verdict: If you have ever wanted to get into the Monster Hunter franchise, Monster Hunter: World is definitely your gateway. While there is a definite learning curve, it is much more inviting than games from the franchise’s past. Awesome monster designs, strategic gameplay, immersive environments, and tons of customization options come together to create a beyond stellar experience. If the multiplayer wasn’t such a hassle, this would be a 5/5 in my book!
- Awesome Monster Designs
- Strategic Gameplay
- Immersive Environments
- Character Customization
- Poogies and Palicoes!
- The multiplayer needs some work