Monster Hunter World Review – Welcome To The New World
For the first time in years, Monster Hunter returns to home consoles in the west with Monster Hunter World. Does this move help elevate the series to new heights, or should it have stayed on portables? Check out our review and find out.
Monster Hunter World Review – Welcome To The New World
When you first boot up Monster Hunter World (which will be referred to as “MHW” from here on out), you will create a character. Players are then put onto a ship that is attacked, causing it to crash on an island. This island is inhabited by various creatures and beasts, but most importantly it is where the giant creature that attacked your boat was headed. A beast like that can’t be allowed to roam free, so you must hunt it down before it does more damage. Naturally, you can’t just charge into a monster that size, so you have to hunt and build both yourself and your camp up before you can take on the giant monstrosity. The story can run you between 50-100 hours, depending on how long you take to do the main missions. The story isn’t really a strong part of the game, but that’s perfectly fine, since MHW isn’t really about the story.
Rather, Monster Hunter is about the beasts you hunt…and how you hunt them. Giant lizards, terrifying dinosaurs, and devastating dragons all make appearances in MHW. Vets of the series will recognize some of these, such as the Rathien and Rathalos, but there are new monsters to hunt as well. All of the beasts fight a little different from one other, and will easily keep you on your toes. For instance, the Tobi-Kadachi will jump onto trees and dash at you at high speeds. Meanwhile, the Pukei-Pukei can spit poison at you, so positioning is key to the fight. The best part though is the fact that hunting these creatures over and over again doesn’t get old. Even when you think you know the encounter well, they can still surprise you and ruin your day.
Another thing about the monsters that we found fascinating was the way they act. The Great Jargras is a giant iguana-looking lizard that will sometimes eat smaller dinosaurs. When it does this, it gets a fat gut while digesting its prey, like you would expect a reptile to have. Meanwhile, the Barroth hunts in the desert. It covers itself in mud for protection from the sun and unprepared hunters. These small details just add to the immersion, but the best additional feature is the territory battle between two creatures. When two beasts run into each other, it can trigger a turf war. These turf wars end with one monster doing a massive amount of damage to another, thereby helping you with your hunt. It is a sight to behold when a Tobi-Kadachi tries to dash at an Anjanath, only to be caught in the jaws of the Anjanth and slammed. Likewise, the Anjanath trying to run through the Rathlos nest just to be caught by the Rathlos and thrown down into a pit is an impressive sight as well.
How the monsters react to each other and how they are designed is all well and good, but as a hunter, you have to take them down. The game features 14 different weapons types for you to use when tackling a hunt. Accessibility is a vital component of a game that has such difficult combat encounters, and MHW hits the ball out of the park on this front. There are fast weapons, slow weapons that do lots of damage, defensive weapons, flashy weapon,s and even ranged weapons. You won’t struggle to find one that works for you and each one has a small tutorial to help you learn the basic combos and attacks. The best part? You start with one of each type of weapon, so you can freely switch and try any one you want.
Hunting in the game is broken into a few stages. First off, you need to prepare by bringing items, equipment, and things to eat for buffs. Next up you will have to track the beast. MHW introduces scout flies, which help you by leading you in the direction of the monster after you find some of its tracks. This eliminates the tediousness of tracking and removes the use of paintballs as well. The last stage is hunting and taking down the enemy. You don’t always have to kill the creature. You are welcome to capture most of the enemies in the game by putting them to sleep and trapping them. There are some instances where you have to kill, but it isn’t always forced, and you are rewarded the same either way.
Defeating your enemies in MHW is a pretty monumental task. Most of the beasts are massive compared to you, and they can just step on your and do considerable damage. Timing your dodges and attacks are vital to surviving the experience. For most fights, you can be knocked out three times before you fail, but each time you are defeated you lose precious Zeni, which is the currency in MHW. On top of that, you want to be in the best position to attack as well. Hitting the gut of a creature won’t do as much as damaging the face or the tail. Meanwhile, being in either of those positions leaves you open to more attacks from whatever you are hunting. It might sound overwhelming, but I think it’s a strength of the game. You are always being kept busy during a fight, and that keeps things exciting. One of the best feelings is finally taking down something you’ve been hunting for 20 minutes during a back and forth battle.
This begs the question: What is the point of it all? Admittedly the game is a grind, because you are bringing down these monsters to get stronger gear, which is used to face off against stronger monsters. You start off with basic metal and bone equipment, but as you progress you get cooler looking armor and weapons. Eventually, you get into element damage and resistances and even other perks like critical chance increase or a specific weapon boost, like more ammo for bowguns. Like I said, it is a grind, but you are always working towards something. I think the key is that you can see the change you are working towards which actually makes it enjoyable. This game is grinding done right.
There are a few other streamlined things done in MHW. You used to have to load into each area section by section, but now each map is open, so you only have to load once while hunting. You can restock items during a hunt or even change equipment at a tent mid-hunt. Flares can be sent up during a hunt so you can add more players if you are struggling to take a monster down. There is basically a wiki in the game so you can see how to get any part you need to craft a new weapon, or some new armor. Everything is designed to be more welcoming to players, which is always a good thing.
We did run into a few problems while playing. First off, the story can be played co-op, but the system is super weird and overly complicated. You have to get to the cutscene, leave the hunt, and then join another player after they’ve seen the cut scene. For a game most people plan on playing co-op, this is a ridiculous problem. On the base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, there are frame issues and loading times are bad. Monsters can glitch out and go through the floor, trees, or any object really. Honestly, we had so much fun with the game we overlooked most of this while playing, but these issues are still present.
Whether you are a veteran hunter or a newcomer to the series, Monster Hunter World is a great action game to play by yourself or with friends. You can easily get lost in the game for more than 100 hours, and not regret it for a second.