The TIG team has spent a long time trying to convince me to play Monster Hunter. So when Monster Hunter World arrived at the TIG offices, I figured now was the time to give it a try. When playing on the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, the game opens up with some graphics options: optimise resolution, optimise graphics or optimise framerate. From the get go this game has you controlling how you want to play it and that’s something that I really appreciated. Too often developers lock you in a set framerate or with their fancy graphics, but this puts the power with the gamers and we can choose how we want to play. (I chose framerate, fuck graphics)
Having never played a Monster Hunter game, (I think one of my co-owners had me play on the 3DS once, but god help me if I remember that) I was concerned that I would be lost and my entry to the Monster Hunter World would be a difficult one. CAPCOM eased those fears immediately with one of the best tutorials I have ever played. Simultaneously introducing you to the game whilst covering elements that would be used through the game. Starting off with a brilliant character and Palico creation, I was thrusted into the game. Within 5 minutes of dialogue explaining how I would be adventuring through the game (With a more experienced team mate, yay for my new self) I came face to face with my first monster; an absolutely monstrous elder dragon that would make Godzilla look like a walk in the park. From there I was on the island heading to my original destination: Astera, the research commission’s base of operations. It was here that i got my first peek at the monsters I would be surrounded by, some docile and some more menacing.
Knowing very little about Monster Hunter (Or games in general, check out TIG Talks Ep.8) I was nervous about the weapon selection that I knew was incoming. 14 weapon types, Each with a different playstyle and tactic required. I was scared. Our good ol’ friends at CAPCOM had me covered and wiped my sweat away through brilliant tutorial videos that welcomed me once opening the item chest in my little crib. I won’t bore you with anymore of my impressions of the beginning, so let’s launch into our review of this beautiful game.
Regardless of prioritising framerate, graphics, or resolution, this game is absolutely stunning; every character holding their own believable identity and every beast as seemingly real as the next. CAPCOM have done an absolutely brilliant job with the visuals of this game, whilst still having a truly almost flawless (I would say flawless but i’m sure someone will say “blah blah flaw flaw”) combat system. From the moving plants and foliage, to the sky to even just the way your character interacts with its surrounding. Monster Hunter World is setting the bar for what 2018 has to come and they have set it mighty high. *Insert joke about elder dragon height*
Knees knocking, fingers shaking and my brow sweating. That’s right: my first hunt. Had CAPCOM prepared me? Was I ready to face my first beast? Could I handle what I would normally describe as mind numbing repetitiveness? Monster Hunter World, as it describes, is a game about hunting monsters, one would surmise that this would be a mechanic they had truly mastered over the various titles they have released. CAPCOM truly has mastered it, my first hunt was a dastardly beast named a Great Jagra. For those of you whom are existing hunters: you may scoff, but to me this was my first taste of what the game had to bring. 30 minutes of hacking, chasing, rolling, healing and slashing later I stood victorious over the Jagra’s corpse. My first taste at what the hunts would be like was delightful. In any other game the continuous battling may become boring and repetitive but Monster Hunter World stayed fresh and dynamic and I barely even noticed the time fly by. It gave me a thirst, and I knew there was much more exciting battles to come.
There’s weapons, monster hunting, and of course crafting. A Monster Hunter’s three best friends. (Sorry Palico, you’re in the top 4 at least) Each monster you kill will give you some items, from bones, to hide, to some delicious raw meat (sorry vegos). Whilst in the monster’s environment you’ll come across various items you can harvest from the beautiful mother nature: ores, plants, spores, stones etc. These can be used when at home base to craft a multitude of items, potions and food, armours an weapons, and some cute armour for your Palico. Each area of crafting comes with a fantastic tutorial that explains it in detail, a great refresher for vets and a warm welcome to newbies. This leads onto a point I made earlier: the tutorials. I have never played a game that is so focused on making every single player stand on equal ground. People new to the game are given detailed explanations of everything and are provided with text and video tutorials of everything. This removes the obstacle that many players face when playing a title from an existing series.
I honestly hate to sound like someone that is raving on and on about a game; unfortunately for you haters it’s going to keep coming. The sheer variety in monsters you come across in MHW is astounding, each one interacting with the hunters in unique and interesting ways, all requiring different tactics to overcome them. This is what keeps Monster Hunter fresh and keeps the fan base dedicated to the games. There are so many different ways to play the game; different weapons, killing or trapping, foraging supplies or buying them, playing alone or in a group and so much more! Rarely does a game title encompass truly what the game is, but in MHW you truly are in another world. Ecosystems so incredibly different from one another, each with their own flora and fauna seemingly existing and growing with or without your interference.
Much to my surprise, the game continued to improve with it’s post game content. High Rank. How can a game that offers so much, offer even more? Once you have progressed far enough into the story, you will unlock the post game content. Essentially having you revisit monsters you have already conquered, but this time with new twists and difficulties. The reward? Better items and in turn better crafting which equals better weapons and armour. The amount of work and effort that has gone into this game is staggering, I can see myself slowly fading away and becoming my Monster Hunter counterpart – and I am not even a little bit sad. (He’s cool and has grey hair)
MHW proved to be a warm welcome to an existing franchise, it’s a fantastic title for new and returning players both. Every single element in the game has been fleshed out with the most extreme thought. CAPCOM has done an absolutely marvellous job bringing this title to a wider audience in their current gen release. Offering a world of possibilities and options to every player that picks up the game regardless of their previous Monster Hunter knowledge. I could keep going on forever about the game, but that’s not the TIG style so instead I challenge you to play the game, give it a try. You never know. I’ll see you in Astera Hunters.