Monster Hunter is a long running franchise that has recently been properly introduced to the mainstream west with Monster Hunter: World. Sure the PSP era of games was one of the most popular times for the series with its English versions but it never quite took off or was promoted in the west as much as it was in Asia. I have personally been playing Monster Hunter games for a long time now, especially as I am from Hong Kong myself where the series holds huge popularity, so without a doubt I was interested to know if World was finally the next gen Monster Hunter I have been hoping for.

I will be honest; the main thing I was worried about was exactly how approachable Capcom wanted the game to be for the Western audience. While although I wanted more people to be able to enjoy it, the series’ iconic depth and strategic possibilities were something I dreaded would be dulled as Monster Hunter is easily a huge inspiration for games like Dark Souls where attacks are animation and timing based, all chained to a stamina system, so you can imagine how in-depth it has been. However after finally playing Monster Hunter: World, I am so glad I was wrong.

Although there are certain elements that have made the game more approachable to newcomers, like the scout flies that help you find monsters by illuminating a path, the core game remains the same where preparation and willingness to be patient holds the key to victory. Everything best about the Monster Hunter series is still here, the tactics, the stats and at times, the difficulty.

It is amazing to see everything from characters to items rendered with today’s videogame technology.

Not to mention, the main gameplay is still very reminiscent of the past experiences with hubs that give you quests, as well as iconic food items and animation sets, and of course, THE GLORIOUS FELINES! They are truly one of my favourite things about the series. It is amazing to see everything from characters to items rendered with today’s videogame technology. I am sure most people will similar nostalgic feeling having played these games growing up.

In regards to the gameplay, what is truly impressive when we consider how strategic the game can get is how easily it teaches new players all its controls. There are no lacklustre cut-scenes or animated instructions, just healthily spoon-fed instructions that slowly teach all there is to know. This was one issue I had with previous games, where it took time to learn and a lot of help from guides.

This is not the only problem with the series that has been addressed as Capcom has managed to do something about the segmented areas as well. Previously, travelling through different areas in a map would trigger a loading screen, which made sense due to the limitations of previous handheld consoles, however it still took you out of the experience where you were tracking an injured monster and all of a sudden that intense chase was intermission-ed with a loading screen. This time around, the areas are open and vast with a huge ecosystem of their own, the monsters and creatures behave like real animals and have their own routines and activities which really gives off that wild Jungle feel.

It is because of this mixture of a dynamic ecosystem with the open-ended areas that emergent narratives truly shine

Not to mention, each area has a distinct look and feel to it that is further bolstered by the game’s beautiful graphics and use of colour. The monsters that inhabit the said places are dependent on the biome as well, so it never feels like everything has just been lazily glued together. Capcom has definitely taken their time with the backend of this game. It is because of this mixture of a dynamic ecosystem with the open-ended areas that emergent narratives truly shine as everything you do can turn into something interesting, a unique story worthwhile enough to tell to your friends.

Crafting is at the forefront of character progression as well, where the more you hunt the better gear you get. What is interesting this time around is, rather than having just a few craftable methods like last games, there are more ways to utilise your loot, so it prevents the game from feeling repetitive.

RPG fans will definitely love this game, as the main way you become stronger is by killing more monsters and crafting better gear, and in true RPG fashion the best part is that you can easily grind by taking on various hunts if a monster is particularly demanding of your abilities.

It is very rare for a game to make me laugh so much due to teammates antics, but Monster Hunter: World can be easily amusing when you are starting out due to your mistakes.

Online multiplayer is a big draw for this game, as co-op is something the series has always been known for. This time however, the game can be played with anyone regardless of region unlike most previous games. Still, the matchmaking system can do with a bit of work as I found it needlessly complicated at times. But when you do get put together with a team that you work well with, the game is really satisfying. It is very rare for a game to make me laugh so much due to teammate’s antics, but Monster Hunter: World can be easily amusing when you are starting out due to your mistakes.

Lastly, I had no idea that the game would have a story-led campaign but it does, and it is really interesting dealing with a legendary Elder Dragon. Since the game can be played solo as well, this is definitely a good addition for single-player campaign fans.

All in all, Monster Hunter world is a fantastic game, where if I had to describe every individual thing I liked would take me a novel. Not only is the game still full of strategic possibilities and animation led attacks like the previous games, but key design choices have made the game more approachable to a newer and global audience. The hunt truly has begun for the World!



Author

Haris Iqbal
Haris Iqbal

I am a guy who loves anything with a powerful storyline, whether it be a game, book or movie, it doesn't matter. Just so long as it hooks me in and keeps my imagination captive till the last word/scene! Also, I am huge Silent Hill fan, so I love all things Silent Hill... and anything horror. Huge horror fanatic!