I remember buying Monster Hunter 2 Freedom for the PSP back in the day. I didn’t have many games for the handheld system, and never heard of Monster Hunter before. After I played it for a few days, I came to the conclusion that I hated it. I couldn’t get the hang of the game, and the controls on the PSP were absolute garbage. Flash forward to 2018; Monster Hunter World is coming out soon, and my best friend is super excited for launch day. I’m itching for a decent multiplayer game, and the gameplay videos look pretty awesome, so I snag a copy. I was not disappointed.
Monster Hunter World has a lot of things I hope for in other titles, all wrapped up nicely with a smooth multiplayer experience that is extremely rewarding. You can run the story solo, or hit up expeditions with a friend via drop in drop out co-op, with the overall goal being tracking and hunting massive monsters. You collect materials from these monsters to craft/upgrade weapons, armor, and trinkets, or fulfill deliveries for the NPCs around town. I pumped over 40 hours into this game without even realizing, and have no qualms running up the clock even further.
How Big Is It?
Capcom has done an outstanding job at creating a fresh world to romp around in with pals, and the giant monsters that roam about make for a fun, adrenaline filled adventure. Each area has it’s own unique ecosystem including plants, minerals, bugs, and monsters. Depending on the time of day, you may run into different creatures doing different things.
After picking an assignment from town or joining an expedition, you’ll be free to roam the area in search of items or a mark. Once you find your prey, or become prey, the meat of the game begins. You will spend the next 10-30 minutes hunting one giant monster. You will need to use strategy, items, and the environment to down these large creatures. Combat is extremely smooth, and can be approached in many different ways. Traps, weapon type, environmental damage, everything is key. Between the expansive environments and awesome monsters to tackle, there’s plenty game to sink your teeth into.
After hunting a few large monsters, you’ll be rewarded with some materials specific to that monster. At the smithy, you can craft/upgrade weapons and armor to start. Both are upgraded to monster “themed” items so to speak. Each set of armor is named after which monster’s materials are used, and has the appearance of said monster. For instance, if you manage to kill or capture an Anjanath, you can make the Anja armor set, which will have resistances based on that monster. Pretty cool right? In addition to the weapons and armor, there’s a fair amount of other things to do in town including eating at the cantina, managing a garden for extra materials, and customizing your cat companion.
Every hunter has a cute little companion called a Palico. These little cats wear armor, gather things for you, and help you fight. Yes, they help you in combat. You can craft/upgrade weapons and armor at a reduced cost of materials in the same way you can for yourself. Your Palico has access to special equipment that helps make the solo missions a little easier. One of these tools is a Vigorwasp Spray, which your Palico will automatically deploy when your health is low to bounce you back.
Playing solo is a fun time on it’s own, but the game really shines when you’re playing with others. At any point during a mission you can fire an SOS flare to allow players to join you or vice versa. Once you’re in, you can see the other players on your mini-map and catch up. It very satisfying to join a group of hunters just to jump off a cliff onto the monster’s back and start riding it around. The sense of community and strategy in this game is truly wonderful, and is one of the best gaming experiences you can currently have.
Monster Hunter World is a game that you can play by yourself or with a group of strangers, and have an equally good time. It’s a breeze to get into and understand, and doesn’t overwhelm the player with bloated mechanics and side-junk. With the generous amount of content Capcom has packed into the game, in addition to the free DLC coming along, it’s worth a shot. My advice? Grab a couple copies, give one to a friend, and have fun.