The world of Monster Hunter World is absolutely massive. Not quite in an acre sense, but definitely in a content, variation and sense of progression. There’s always ‘just one more monster’ to hunt, either to drive the story forward or to get the pieces you need for a piece of armour.
Now this review is from the point of view of a huge hammer fan. My experience with the game isn’t thorough in that I went through each and every weapon (there’s a lot) and I’m still not quite finished with the story. But I feel confident enough to tell you why to get this game from the time I’ve spent with it already, and why I’m keen to play even more!
I’d go as far as to say the gameplay of Monster Hunter is multifaceted. There’s a fair bit of resource management involved, as crafting new armour and weapons is your way of levelling up instead of a traditional RPG level system. But for now, let’s get stuck into the bulk of Monster Hunter World- hunting monsters!
If you haven’t really heard much about Monster Hunter before, the quickest way to get an idea of what it is, is to imagine it’s a boss rush game. Each monster plays like a boss fight, a giant monster with a bunch of different attacks and effects.
The unique side to these monsters, is that you’re actually hunting them. You’re not just putting the beat down on them, you’re tracking down where they are and where they’re going. You can even use traps and tranquillisers to capture them. Instead of a health bar, the monster will end up covered in scars and end up limping when fleeing your mighty hammer (or whatever weapon you choose)
One of my favourite things to do in the game, is to charge an attack up and slide down a hill, and do what I call a “sideways beyblade” attack. And the game has enough combat options to have favourite moves. You can even mount the monster, giving you a mini-game of rodeo before knocking the monster down for easy hits.
And then, once you’ve finished slaying monsters… what do you do? Well duh, you make clothes out of them! Pretty much every monster has an armour set made of parts you got from killing them, and they usually have the same strengths and weaknesses to elements as the monster they came from!
Getting better gear, both in an upgrade and sidegrade sense, is your way to grow in the game. There’s not really a level system that ups your stats, instead you craft the armour that will suit you best for upcoming hunts. Some monsters might breath ice, some breath fire, so building armour sets that suit that elemental situation is also key.
Once I got into the high rank hunts, this side of the game really clicked and became addictive to me. The quest to get the materials you need for your next piece of armour is actually where the ‘just one more monster’ idea comes in. More than once did I stay up until 2am and beyond figuring this out.
This is sadly where the game fell a bit flat for me. The whole system to play with friends is needlessly obtuse to set up, but not so bad once you do.
The best way to play with friends is to set up a squad, invite everybody you want into that squad’s online session, then invite them to the squad so they can rejoin without an invite in the future. But if you’re playing story quests… not all of them let you play together at first, usually needing a cut scene to be watched. If it helps, when the missions has the “you can send SOS flares” pop up, that’s when friends can join.
It seems to be a lot more geared towards general, public multiplayer. The online sessions can just be public ones if you prefer, or even joinable via code. The SOS flare I mentioned can also be used to bring people in to help out if you’re having particular trouble with a monster, though I never used it myself.
Seeing Monster Hunter in HD on the PS4 is something truly amazing. Though I’ve only really played the games on 3DS before, so the bar wasn’t that high to begin with.
Each zone has a very unique feel and colour to it, with about 5 zones in total- forest, desert, coral, graveyard and volcanic. The Coral Highlands blew me away the first time I saw them, with this weird underwater feel despite not being underwater. The Rotten Vale is a giant, rotting monster graveyard that feels gross, but still fascinating.
This review score is going to be a bit conditional. If you’ve played Monster Hunter before and enjoyed it, skip ahead a paragraph!
If this is going to be your first one… change that Yes to Maybe for “is it worth the money”. There’s a very complicated game here, and while it’s a lot more forgiving for newbies, you’re still going to have to invest a lot of time before it all clicks. It may end up not being your type of game in the end, and $100-ish is a lot of money to find out!
Monster Hunter World is probably the definitive version of the game. On top of already being a solid, polished and complete product out of the box, there’s a few more monsters due to come in the future, for free! Just make sure you don’t have to be up early in the morning the next day when you start playing!
Is it worth the money? ($99.95 AUD on PSN)
Is it worth your time?