Monster Hunter: World Review

Posted February 19, 2018 by Kyle Simcox in Video Games

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Release Date: January 26th, 2018(Console versions)

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and eventually PC

In Monster Hunter: World you play a seasoned hunter en route to the New World. Tasked with the duty of researching the colossal monster known as Zorah Magdragos and what they call the “Elder Crossing,” you’ll face many new and terrifying challenges. Even though there is a plot to the game, it is clearly not the main focus. The story only exists to introduce you to the five locations you’ll be exploring and all the monsters that inhabit the New World, and in all honesty, it works perfectly.

If you’re new to the Monster Hunter franchise, it’s best to approach it like you would a Dark Souls game. You’ll be taking on large creatures that will not be going down easily. Some are lightning fast, some are large and rely on strength and size, while others take to the skies and rain down terror from up high. Hunters aren’t forced to play multiplayer, but teaming up with other hunters and learning a monster’s strengths and weaknesses is an incredibly rewarding experience. Flying solo, on the other hand, offers better rewards like the entire cash payout for completing quests on your own whereas the pay is split between party members at the end of a successful mission.

Sometimes Monsters will clash when they meet in the wild.

That being said, whether you’re in a group or by yourself, no matter what you learn, you’ll find yourself falling prey to the monsters’ more frustrating mechanics. Monsters can easily stagger you or stun you with a roar early on. Even the bigger monsters can step on you and kick you aside with ease as they move from place to place. Large hitboxes will get you more times than you’d ever expect. Nergigante is a perfect example of crazy, unexpected deaths. He was my first “wall” after about 40 hours of playing, and I can’t put into words how many frustrating moments I had doing battle with that vicious bastard. There’s simply no denying that overcoming those frustrating moments is what make Monster Hunter: World such a wonderful game to me. We fill the shoes of these hunters, and it only makes sense that a massive claw staggers you, or a flying bat-like creature sucks in an alarmingly huge amount of air to build up a huge attack.

When you’re not doing a mission or hunting monsters in an expedition, you’ll spend your time in the bustling city of Astera. Gathered around an airship located atop a mountain, it’s where the hunters of the five fleets call home. Astera is where you’ll be preparing for your next mission or cash in your monster materials to craft new weapons and armor. Veterans of Monster Hunter may not exactly like Astera as the city is somewhat large and everything is spread out instead of being clustered together. Thankfully, Capcom made sure to incorporate a fast travel system so getting around the city is quick and easy.

The Gathering Hub is a portion of Astera where players will be able to come and hang out with one another as well as partake in the various quests in the game. Despite being a staple of the Monster Hunter franchise, the hub is unfortunately useless. Unless you’re looking to do the Arena missions or arm wrestle other players, there’s no reason to go to there. The Hub also lacks key features only found in the city, like the Blacksmith. They could have just made the Gathering Hub into the Arena and spread out all the social features around the city, then made Astera function as one big social hub for up to 16 players to roam around in. Astera already feels quite alive, but having other players able to move around it would have really topped it off.

The special arena has plenty of fun traps to help take on nasty monsters.

On top of the large gallery of terrifying monsters, the game sports a huge variety of weapons and armor. There are 14 different weapons to choose from starting off at Ore and Bone, but they can be upgraded throughout the course of the game. I started off with the Insect Glaive and have since moved on to the Bow. It offers a great change of pace from the Insect Glaive as battling went from vaulting over and mounting monsters to staying within the right range and lining up devastating Dragon Piercer arrows. Crafting High Rank armor will also give your character equipment skills that help negate things like staggering or offer stat boosts that will help make you a better hunter as well.

Gone are the days of loading up each individual zone as you travel between them. Capcom has made fantastic use of the better hardware and given us complete and open access to each of the five gorgeous zones, with a few story related exceptions of course. Each zone is wonderfully detailed and full of its own secrets, some of which will help take down monsters like suspended boulders and vine traps. Two of the zones even have their own deadlier traps that I won’t spoil in this review, but I was about 50 hours in when a Rathalos accidentally set it off leaving me in awe.

One of the biggest downsides to Monster Hunter: World though is the HDR seems to be broken. When activated, it tends to make the game look washed out; the game looks much better when the HDR is turned off.

Captured monsters will appear in Astera after they’ve been caught. Security is light….

Multiplayer is the heart and soul of Monster Hunter, and when it works, it’s a wonderful time. The other downside is that it current barely works. It has been three weeks now, and while the PS4 has received some Matchmaking and Squad patches, the Xbox version is still very shoddy. There are some ways to work around the problems and join another player’s session like searching up an ID or joining a Squad member’s session, but even then, other features still have issues like the SOS flare system. It allows players to call for help in the middle of a mission or expedition. Matchmaking on the Xbox One is working much more smoothly since the update however, but from what I experienced on my end, the SOS system actually got worse.

Outside of the HDR and multiplayer hiccups, Monster Hunter: World is easily my top game this generation. It’s a much bigger and more inviting Monster Hunter title as to be more welcoming to all the newcomers. I myself absolutely cannot put it down, and I’m not really one to grind just to progress in the end game. Capcom’s promise of free content updates definitely makes me happy as well because after around 80 hours, I keep finding myself back in the New World and I cannot wait to see what is in store for the future.

About the Author

Kyle Simcox