Capcom’s Monster Hunter has been around since 2004. Ever since then, it’s a franchise that had its base of followers, but it also had a tough time making itself accessible to new players. After spending a while on Nintendo, Sony must be pleased to announce that the series is back to PlayStation 4. Furthermore, the creators also decided to release Monster Hunter: World for Xbox One and PC, hoping that they would reach a broad fan base with the new installment.
Meet Zorah Magdaros
In the opening sequence of the game, we can see the ocean and several ships sailing. Researchers and hunter are set to travel to the new world when a giant dragon emerges from nowhere and takes one of the vessels on its back. A handler and hunter manage to find their way off the creature and reach the land somehow. They travel to Astera where they find out that the name of the dragon is Zorah Magdaros. Apparently, the elder dragons are passing, and nobody knows why. As you might guess, it’s up to you to discover the reason!
The next screen will allow you to create a hunter and then the game will show you how the basics work. In Monster Hunter: World, you have a workshop where you can upgrade your gear and purchase new items. You can eat at Felynes’ canteen or visit the hunters’ home. You will meet NPCs that will help you research creatures or offer side quests. Before you get ready for the first hunt, you need to choose one of more than a dozen of weapons available.
The Story Matters
We loved the fact that story matter in this game. It was not the case in some of the previous installments in the franchise where the only focus was dealing with monsters and equipment. Here, you will interact with characters and watch cutscenes during missions. You can even play the campaign with other players. However, only one of you is the main protagonist, and he needs to watch the cutscenes before progressing to the next part. That can result in waiting, and impatient players might not appreciate it.
…but Battle Matters More
It wouldn’t be Monster Hunter if it didn’t focus on fighting against creatures. We can call them bosses if you prefer. They make up the most of the game, although there will be parts where you will need to gather items or deal with small monsters. A new feature in the MH: World is that you can see the amount of damage you inflicted regarding numbers. That will help you to discover weak points of your opponent. It can mainly matter because you can’t see the creatures’ health bar. Instead, you need to rely on observing them. If you see them limping, drooling, or breathing hard, the chances are you are close to finishing them.
Better Equipment Equals Better Chance in Combat
After all, that is only natural. You can upgrade the existing gear, including both armor and weaponry, but you can also purchase new items. Although some say that MH is an RPG, no character upgrading is involved. However, you can craft new equipment by using the body parts you harvested off dead monsters. As you could expect, single combat won’t be enough to craft a weapon. Instead, you will need to face creatures multiple times, and this might lead to repetition after a while.
Once you craft a weapon, you can try it in the training area. You will need it to master the new arm and teach the basics and combos. Once you are ready, you can head onto the battlefield.
The Expedition Mode
We’d like to mention the Expedition mode. Those who played Monster Hunter: World’s predecessors will remember it. It doesn’t have a death or time limit, and it allows you to explore new maps freely. You will encounter monsters that you can kill for bonus research points. In this installment, you will also have side missions while you are in the expedition mode.
The maps are vast, and it might be difficult to find creatures. That is where you want to make use of the scout flies. These small insects will show you the direction you need to go to track down monsters by discovering tracks and items they left behind. You need to collect multiple tracks to enable flies to show you the direct path to the creature.
As for the battle, you should face three monsters in each map. However, they are not fond of each other and might make things easier for you if they meet. Each monster has a unique set of movements. The AI seems a lot better than in previous installments, although some of the beasts’ actions are still predictable. The more you fight a particular monster, the easier it should become to defeat it.
Aside from the main quest, you can also select up to six challenges called bounties. These might include hunting a particular monster or collecting specific items. Not only they keep you busy while you are on the way to completing primary objectives, but they also come with a reward.
The crucial thing to note and the selling point of the Monster Hunter: World is online co-op. You can join other three players and fight monsters together. You can even make guilds and welcome even more players (up to 50). You also have a setting to allow others to join you while you are playing. However, if you don’t feel like others are welcome, you can turn the setting off.
It’s Beautiful and Worth Your While
The MH series always looked fantastic and gorgeous regardless of the year of the release and platform. However, we are still thrilled with the number of details in the MH: World. The maps feel alive with small animals jumping around. The audio and soundtrack fit perfectly. We would appreciate shorter loading times, but hey, the maps are vast, and that was to be expected.
Overall, Monster Hunter: World is an excellent entry to the franchise. Furthermore, it is also a solid release for all those who appreciate this type of games and they haven’t tried MH so far.