Hands-on review: Kill big beasts in Monster Hunter: World
FYI, this story is more than a year old
For the past few years now, the Monster Hunter franchise was only available to play on portable and Nintendo consoles. Well this year Monster Hunter: World comes to more powerful systems as its now chomping to the PC, PS4 and Xbox One platforms.
The PS4 and Xbox One versions of Monster Hunter: World are out right now, with Capcom releasing the PC iteration later this year. I got the chance to test out this game on the PS4 Pro console and it's your usual Monster Hunter game, but with prettier graphics and bigger levels.
The first time I was introduced to the Monster Hunter franchise was back in 2009 when I had the chance to review Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite on the PSP. I remember that game being quite difficult as I played it with my brother and it took us hours to take down one giant Gorilla!
There weren't that many players back then so it was just me and my brother going on hunts. Thankfully, Monster Hunter: World is a much more popular video game as it has shipped over five million copies so it's easy to find more online players to hunt with.
It goes without saying that Monster Hunter: World is by far the best looking game in the entire franchise thanks to the power of the new consoles and hardware. The levels are much more expansive and every environment looks pretty for you eyes to just gaze it. I had the chance to play this game on my new 4KTV and it looks great. However some people might have an issue with their created character because the in-game models look inferior during gameplay compared to cutscenes. I did not have this issue mainly because I created a person that looked like Stone Cold Steve Austin. If you know who that is, he's easy to create in every game because he's just a bald guy with a goatee.
Unlike other RPGs, there's no formal class type for you to pick and you do not increase personal stats by levelling up and killing lots of monsters. Instead, every upgrade you attain is tied to the weapons and armour that are available to you. You can also increase weapon and armour stats by collecting loot from the monsters you kill.
The thing I like most about MHW is the fact that it allows you to play the game how you want. At first, I played the game as a brute because I had a strong hammer that did lots of damage although I was pretty slow. One boss was giving me lots of trouble because he was really fast, so I changed my gear to use faster Dual Swords. Lots of different weapons are available to everyone so you can experiment to see which load-out suits you best.
MHW is also a more accessible title compared to the previous games in the series. That's not to say this game is easy to play, but some things have been changed in order to make this game less frustrating.
For one thing, if you are logged online you call for help on any quest that you are currently taking. This is pretty essential because hunting in groups is far easier and more fun than being a lone wolf.
The game is also more generous when it comes to your items and supplies. Every player is given an infinite amount of Whetstones in order to restore the sharpness of your blades and Potions can easily be found on the ground in every level by collecting green herbs. The only major difficulty spike new players might experience is the way that some bosses behave. Unlike most other games, these bosses do not have a life bar so you have to guess when you are making them weaker.
However, the thing that will annoy new players the most is that bosses will run away whenever they are about to die. You can track their whereabouts by finding their footprints on the ground, although you have to be quick because some monsters are cunning creatures.
Not to mention some monsters have strong attacks that can kill you all in one hit. You only have three chances to do quests until you have to do it all over again. It's for these reasons why it's so much better to call for help from other players around the world than going solo.
The only flaw I encountered while playing this game is that the combat feels a bit too outdated for my taste in my opinion. The combat system has not evolved as much as I would have liked from the PSP version I played nine years ago.
I was hoping Monster Hunter: World would have had a more fluid combat system like Nioh or other hack-n-slash titles. Instead, combat feels a little rigid although it's not too much of a big problem when other people are helping you out.
Anyway, Monster Hunter: World is an enjoyable game with wonderful graphics and many fun quests for you to do that will occupy players for many hours. That said, the game is best played while you are co-operating with other gamers online as it can be too challenging by yourself. Monster Hunter veterans will love this game, and newbies will like it if they practice hard enough.