Just before we go ahead, a little heads up that the following review will be based solely on how the game performs on the PC platform. For the original review of the game please check here! Spoiler Alert: The game is absolutely fantastic!
Releasing almost half a year later than it’s console counterparts, the PC version of Monster Hunter: World is finally upon us. The game was understandably delayed in order to give more care to the PC version of the game, especially since Capcom had to get used to porting to PC since the Japanese developers have mainly just started getting a hold of the PC market with games like Yakuza and what not.
As mentioned before, this won’t be an actual review of the game itself as the core game remains the same, so instead this review will be solely grading the PC port of the game and we will be looking at different aspects of it, namely the graphics settings, performance, controls and connectivity.
Right off the bat, one praise that the developers deserve is in providing PC players with a breadth of options that they can tweak in order to get the game running on their PCs. You have got everything from Volume Quality Rendering, Texture Quality and even Resolution Scaling, the latter which particularly helps with performance.
Most settings max out on High, whilst certain ones toggle between on and off like Foilage Sway. Textures are available up to 1024, but if you go any higher than that it changes the settings to “Full”, which may mean the game auto scales them based on memory somewhere around 2048 or even 4k. It would have been nicer to just have direct control over it instead of a full option.
Graphics Card: GTX 980ti
Processor: Intel i7 6700K @4.0 GHz
Installed Memory (Ram): 32 GB
OS: Windows 10 Home x64
Nvidia Driver Version: 398.36 (recommended for this game)
Performance is one part that is a bit disappointing, as even with the specs above, I wasn’t able to get decent framerates on both 1080p and my preferred 1440p at the highest settings. In order to run at 1440p, I had to compromise with certain settings like Volume Quality Rendering and Resolution Scaling. However, as you can see in the images taken from this setting below, the game isn’t as visually impressive. Clarity takes a huge hit with resolution scaling on, rendering things away from you a blurry mess. It doesn’t make sense that a computer much more powerful than a standard PS4 can only run on decent framerates if it looks worse than it. Even then, the average frame rate I get on my setup varies around 40-50 fps on average.
Personally, if you are having issues with your framerates I would recommend that you put Resolution Scaling to focus on Performance and either put Volume Quality Rendering on Mid, Low or turn it off. A lot of people don’t even like Volume Rendering as the main area it focuses on in this game is the fog, and turning it off can not only help with performance but might make it look better to you. I personally keep it on because it gives a bit more ambience. However, images have been posted below with it on and off for you to judge for yourselves.
Foilage Sway is another quality option I really appreciate since it can really help with mid-tier computers. It does turn off the dynamic swaying of the leaves, bushes and trees but it does so whilst giving you a bit of an FPS boost. However, I would recommend that you keep it on if you have a powerful system as it brings the world to life.
One thing I would definitely recommend is to hold out on updating your driver to 398.82, which even though has support for Monster Hunter World, seems to perform lesser than 398.36. So it may be advisable to roll back to this if you have already updated.
I will be honest, before I even launched the game for the first time, for some reason I was convinced that it was going to require a controller to play on PC, but fortunately most of my assumptions were wrong! Even though it is hard to imagine playing something that requires pinpoint movement to direct your attacks on a keyboard and mouse, it works really smoothly.
At no point did I ever feel the need to plug in my controller as the game seems to be well optimised for PC controls, making mouse and keyboard controls hassle free without any sort of false smoothing. The UI reacts well to the PC controls as well, where you can scroll your mousewheel to toggle between different items and press E to use them. To get an idea of what I mean, look at the images below and pay attention to the grid based design and how you can use keys like ‘Q’, ‘E’, ‘1’ or ‘2’ to easily switch between pages.
The mouse works on all the different menus, making it easy to manage items or the character itself, and it even lets you back out of certain windows by just right clicking, making it quick and effortless. And where needed, the directional buttons work as well, such as when adjusting the amount of items you are moving.
I do have some complaints though, that certain menus require you to click on a specific box or button which makes it a little frustrating, as I believe just clicking should be enough to confirm. However, this is just me nitpicking as certain issues are eliminated once you start getting into the flow of the game and remembering the keyboard shortcuts.
But the main issue that you can’t fix as of now is the handling of Bows and other ranged weapons, and their controls make no sense whatsoever at all. Firstly you have to equip the ranged weapon using a button which happens to be different than your usual equip button, and then you have to press and hold V in order to aim. It would have been much better to just put the aim control on your right mouse button, in fact why would you even want to hold a button to aim, just have a reticule allowing you to aim at all times.
My experience playing online so far has been varied, and whilst I have been able to connect to different games most of the time, I have also faced connectivity issues where the game times out trying to find an online session. Oddly, it happens mainly in the evenings. I have also noticed that putting yourselves in invisible with friends affects the connection as well.
When I am able to connect with people to play, I haven’t run into many connection drops or lag, but this may be due to my internet connection as seen above, of which I have nothing to complain about. The game was played with a wired connection.
However, I have heard a lot of people complaining about game drops and online connectivity issues. In fact, the game is currently set on mixed reviews on steam, and a lot of people are complaining about connectivity or controls, and whilst I may have been lucky a lot of other people aren’t.
Although Monster Hunter World is playable on PC with a breadth of options and even supports mouse and keyboard controls, it is far from a good PC port, which is even more disappointing after the fact that there was a huge gap between the release window for consoles and PC version of the game, and the developers assured us that they needed that time to make a good port.
Whilst I can overlook certain control issues, I really do believe that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice substantial quality just to hit 60 FPS at 1440p on a GTX 980ti with decent settings. There are tons of good looking games out there that do such a fantastic job already and I don’t see any reason why this shouldn’t as well.
If you have a decent PC and connection, I do not see any reason why you should wait to get this game as Capcom is already releasing some great fixes and the community along with them. The game itself is absolutely fantastic and the port is completely enjoyable as well. In fact, I have played this much more consistently than the console versions.
I have played mostly solo, but if you are really looking to take on the monsters with your friends, you may want to make use of the steam refund policy and try the game out for a few hours to see if the connections work
Just a reminder again that the score below is only indicative of the PC Port and not the game itself, for the game score please read the review here.
+ Can be Played With Mouse and Keyboard
+ Can Look Beautiful on High End Settings
- Highly Demanding in Performance
- Needs Control Rework for Ranged Weapons
- Connectivity Issues
- Even a 980ti isn't Enough for Consistent 60fps