Welcome fellow hunters to the world of Monster Hunter. With the franchise returning to home consoles once again and more so multiple home consoles and not exclusive to just one, it’s really opened up the game to the ‘world’…pun intended. For centuries the art of hunting has been passed down through the generations, locking away the secrets of what it was to become a hunter but now Capcom has changed all that with the release of Monster Hunter World. The game has not only made it easier for newcomers to learn and jump in but also has revitalised the franchise for veterans.
The story in Monster Hunter World is deeper and much more involved than the previous titles. This time the game allows players to venture into the story quests together whereas before the multiplayer was limited to only the guild hall and multiplayer quests. Capcom has developed and created a world fit for players to categorise this title in its true essence, an RPG. The world is in danger and it is up to you the player/hunter to investigate and hunt down the terror that is an Elder Dragon and become a part of the salvation of humankind. There have already been four fleets of hunters sent out ahead of you so the question is, can you and the fifth fleet make the difference needed to protect the world?
A better quality of life
Just as it is with every Monster Hunter title your character will start off with the bare minimum. The weakest armour set in the game along with the weakest weaponry on offer. The good thing however as always is that although your weapons may be of the lowest grade, you are offered a choice of all 14 weapon types to select from. Players will discover early on that crafting armour and weapons is made a lot easier in this instalment. Hunters can participate in the story quests together, taking down monsters faster and easier. Indeed the quality of life improvements that Capcom has created in World is by far the most impressive. And I believe it is this that makes the game much more accessible to newcomers. For example, all armour sets are grouped together, making it easier for players to see the full set. And since the 14 weapon types also branch out into their own individual parts in terms of elements and characteristics, having the weapon tree in front of you when forging makes for a much simpler outlook on the path you’d like to take in forging these weapons. Although the world may seem overwhelming at first due to the sheer number of items that players can craft, Capcom has also included what is quite possibly the best tool in the franchise for hunters and that’s auto-crafting. Whilst players are out in the field gathering items during quests they’ll be able to set auto-crafting on for certain item combinations. For instance, if you find a Herb and a Blue Mushroom in the wild the auto-crafting mechanic will automatically combine them to create a Potion. Yet again just another way that Capcom has improved the quality of life within the game.
Monster Hunter World is filled with content that may overwhelm a player at first but once players find the path that they’d like to follow things tend to become a bit more focused. Players will also be able to select expedition quests which unlike the normal quests do not possess a time limit. So you’re free to travel across the land and gather as you’d like without the hindrance of time. Unfortunately, the rewards at the end of the expeditions are not as great as they would be during an actual quest. But yet again it is up to the player to decide which path to take whilst playing. Becoming a Monster Hunter has never been easier. You’ll find yourself losing time within the grasp of this title and although you may start off slow and perhaps clumsy you’ll soon learn that each Monster has their own moves and character. This will allow you to develop a strategy for each one. Although some players incorporate one weapon into their full playthrough of the game, World has made it simpler and vastly easier to learn how to wield every weapon.
Open, alive and dangerous
The ecosystem in Monster Hunter World has never been more alive. With every corner that the player turns, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with the number of items you’ll be able to gather from plants (some that are alive), ores, ammo for your slinger (mini slingshot equipped on the hunters left arm) and sometimes even monster carcasses that you can salvage from. Tracking monsters in World has also become a lot simpler. Players are guided by fireflies who track signs of the monsters path, footprints and mucous from the monster are a few things that’ll alert the player to the monster’s location. Each monster behaves slightly differently, where some will run away at the sight of danger and others run towards the danger. Turf wars are also a good way for hunters to turn monsters against one another. Since the game doesn’t have any loading screens within the hunting environments, the player is able to lure a monster to an area which possesses another predator and the turf war begins with both monsters going up against each other. Of course, you’ll be able to jump in and make it a three-way battle but more times than not it’s much more fun to watch. Players will also be able to use the environment to their advantage. Some areas within a quest area will possess natural traps that the monsters can be lured into, like vines and boulders. Some traps may even cause damage to the monsters.
Since the game doesn’t have any loading screens within the hunting environments, the player is able to lure a monster to an area which possesses another predator and the turf war begins with both monsters going up against each other.
Monster Hunter World is quite possibly my favourite Monster Hunter title to date. Everything within the game folds into each other like a puzzle. The ecosystem, the monsters, grinding to create an armour and weapon set tailored specifically to take on certain monsters and even exploring the maps creates an abyss that many players will find themselves getting lost in. Each and every hunt feels like an epic boss fight and since World has introduced new monsters and a ton of new items it makes things even more exciting. The game is absolutely gorgeous with locations such as a beautiful coral reef environment to horrifying deathly vale graveyards. The soundtracks and environment sounds are also quite superb. However as I’ve always said, Monster Hunter titles may be a blast playing solo BUT the games true strength comes in when multiplayer is accessed. And the fact that Capcom has merged these two modes together shows what a treasure they have here. The only gripe I have with the story quests is that before players can take them on together, you’re forced to watch all cutscenes within the quest first. It’s not really a big problem as the cutscenes in question are usually at the beginning of the quests, however, this becomes frustrating quite fast if one of the players who’s watched the cutscene will have to quit their quest and join the other player’s quest to play the quest together. WHY CAPCOM, WHY!
I could go on and on as to what exactly Monster Hunter World has to offer to players both veteran and new to the series. However, this may take the rest of the day. The one thing I ask players to keep in mind is that as it’s always been, World can become a grind at times especially when grinding for a specific armour set. The quality of life mechanics that Capcom has introduced into this game make that grind a lot simpler and manageable. I have no doubt that this instalment of the franchise has given birth to millions of new players and will continue to do so in the months coming.
Hunters Unite and May the Sapphire Star light your way.