Monster Hunter: World (2018)

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A Lion that hunts for survival in the jungle does not envy the one being fed in a zoo.
-Suhaib Rumi

 

 

In bringing one of their relatively obscure franchises into the triple A affection of general audiences, Capcom implemented a quartet of elements which resulted in the game selling over 5 million copies in only one three days. Tradition. Depth. Content. Multiplayer. Each of these deserve their own considerations, but as Monster Hunter: World is a large and complicated game, these four will make deconstructing it much easier.

The first is Tradition. You could be interested to know that while Monster Hunter: World may be your introduction to the series, Capcom has been putting out these games since the original Monster Hunter on the PlayStation 2 back in 2004. As many as five main title games have been released prior to World and the series is not unfamiliar with a multitude of spin-offs which include MMORPGs and mobile titles. My own introduction to this franchise was through Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii (I asked a GameStop employee if they could recommend a chunky RPG for the Wii and I ended up delighted by this game; always accept recommendations).

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A great way to understand the Monster Hunter series is as a succession of derivative action RPGs. Another of Capcom’s icons, Mega Man, makes for a good analogy. If you’ve played any few of the main Mega Man games you’ll know how similar the core gameplay remains between titles: fight a collection of robot bosses (typically eight) and use their powers against each other. Same thing here. Capcom was keen on preserving the central gameplay through the development of this series so that Monster Hunter: World would to a large degree feel familiar to those who have played as monster hunters before.

Keeping the tradition alive quite possibly helped World achieve the incredible sales it has in such a short amount of time, but familiarity or even nostalgia can’t account for all that. There’s still a special Depth to it.

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Depth is immediately palpable upon beginning a new game in MHW, and we’ll conveniently talk about the game’s premise here. In Capcom’s sprawling action-adventure RPG, you the player are introduced to a barge ferrying eager hunters of the Fifth Fleet to the New World. After that, you’re ushered to a character creation menu. Those of you reading this who are absolutely paralyzed by the freedom of character creation options may run into a pitfall with the depth of this one. The emphasis of this character creator is on the face, allowing the player to modify hair, skin tone, eyes, eye brows, nose, lips, the shape of the face, makeup, scars, pretty much anything. It’s both restricting in what you’re not allowed to do but completely immersing in what you’re capable of customizing. Never mind that most of the options make your character look like they have a bad sinus infection.

Once you’ve spent a week or so in the character creator, which also includes customizing your Palico, your own personal kitty cat sidekick, you’re returned to the barge of hunters which then runs adrift against an undersea mountain. As it turns out, that fiery peak rising from the oceanic abyss is an Elder Dragon called Zorah Magdaros. Zorah too is on its own inexorable way to the New World, drawn there by some mystery that forms the drive of the narrative of the game.

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Arriving at the New World, your hunter and handler are separated from the rest of the fleet and must hoof it to headquarters on their own. This is taken as an opportunity to instruct the player in the very basics of navigating the Monster Hunter universe, albeit without weapons just yet. Gathering, stealth, tracking… you even get your first glimpse of two titantic lizards duking it out in a showcase of one of World’s new features, turf wars, but when you finally arrive at HQ you discover that an expedition is already underway to research Zorah Magdaros and discover exactly why it’s come to the New World.

On the back of this basic quest for science is the huge and complex structure of the Monster Hunter series, one which plays out similarly to previous games. I can personally attest at the least to similarities between World and Tri. I like to think of World as being designed like an inverted pyramid: hunters at the beginning of the game enter the wild only with the most basic of armor and weaponry, emerging after quests, expeditions, and investigation missions with the materials harvested from natural fauna and flora, as well as terrifying and dangerous invasive species, which can then be put toward crafting better armor and weaponry. Felling some ferocious beast lets you carve materials from its corpse which allows you to construct a set of gear themed after that beast.

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Equipment, which comes in various styles with different latent abilities, defense ratings, and elemental affinities, is more than plentiful and immediately sets upon the player the obligations of addiction. It’s easy to think in terms of “just one more” when playing World with that next armor set just a scale or a talon away. Add to that the game’s fourteen different weapon types, each with their own crafting trees, elements, and playbooks and the crafting system alone is enough to demonstrate the depth of this game. Hundreds of different items yield scores of different armor and weapon set ups, if not thousands of potential combinations.

What’s intriguing to me about this wanton variety is how distinct so many of the subjects are. This is clearest with the weapons, though the various armor sets and their abilities arguably possess vastly different utilities themselves. Fourteen different weapon classes each with their own unique variations in their crafting trees is a lot of content to play with. The weapons are a ludicrous and hilarious bunch, so I’d like to run through them briefly. They’re a part of encapsulating the inherent silliness and fantastical nature of this series. You’ll see that some weapons are truly outlandish.

 

 

 

 

 

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Maybe not the best representative of silly armaments, the basic Sword and Shield seems to be the standard weapon of choice. It’s a decent close range weapon with good speed, mobility and defense. Then you’ve got Greatswords. Think Cloud Strife’s sword on steroids. Some of these massive blades look like they weigh upwards of several hundred pounds, so while they pack a wallop, they are also very slow. Longswords bridge a bit of the gap between those two with mid-speed, a better reach but no defense, adding a bar that charges up to unleash more devastating attacks.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hammers are the most powerful weapons in the game, extremely heavy and great for stunning monsters if you can whack them in the face though hammers leave hunters completely defenseless. Dual Blades, on the other hand, are top notch in agility, able to whittle away at monsters with a flurry of attacks, great for inflicting negative status effects such as paralysis or poison. Lances are far on the defensive end of the weapon spectrum, allowing hunters to slowly advance upon their enemy with a shield raised and stab with their lance when opportunity allows. Gunlances… yes, gunlances… are hyper-awesome lances combined with guns. They have similar attack patterns as lances except they can discharge blasts in the middle of their combos and they can also equip different types of ammunition.

 

 

 

 

 

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A trio of ranged weapons include Bows, which turn your hunter into a fleet-footed archer that can rain down death from a distance, and Bowguns that come in Light and Heavy forms. Light Bowguns emphasize mobility at the expense of doing top damage whereas Heavy Bowguns are just the opposite: slow-going, plodding even, but they make you a set of walking artillery. Bows make use of a variety of consumable coatings for their arrows that can alter the effects of each one, but Bowguns draw from a much wider range of consumable ammo to modify anything from the slicing power to the spread to the elemental power of each bullet.

 

 

 

 

 

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A fan-favorite, the Switch Axe is two weapons in one! Ever swing a giant blade that’s longer than you are tall and think to yourself, “Y’know? This could be a lot more… axe-ish!” Well voilamon chasseur! That’s French for your axe can switch into a giant sword and back again. Switch Axes come packed with a special fluid which can be injected into monsters for a variety of effects, paralysis, poison, etc. On a smaller and perhaps more technical scale, there’s the Charge Blade, a weapon that switches between forms like the Switch Axe by changing between a sword and shield to an axe. Strings of combos unleash the fury of phials in the Charge Blade’s axe form.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Insect Glaive is one of the newer weapon sets in the series and it involves using what’s called a Kinsect (an arm-mounted insect) to gain buffs by tagging monster parts and then vaulting through the air with the glaive. This aerial weapon allows a hunter more opportunity to literally get the jump on monsters, since in this game you can actually mount them! I really love this weapon for that, plus both the glaive and the Kinsect are both customizable; the Kinsect can release clouds of smaller insects which disperse to provide localized status effects.

Lastly, Hunting Horns are the bard’s weapon of the game. There’s a lot of hilarity to be had playing some online multiplayer in Monster Hunter: World (provided you can decipher it’s somewhat roundabout methods of setting up a multiplayer session) and part of that fun is using a Horn to buff your friends. It’s just like bagpipes if bagpipes gave you the strength of ten-thousand little boys and if you could also use those bagpipes as a huge blunt force club.

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The third element Capcom used to warrant Monster Hunter: World’s success is Content. In the context of a gaming industry where it’s already become a joke to see brand new big name games hit the shelves with half of their content tucked away in DLC and expansions, World’s level of content makes it stand out. This is really only discoverable if one has the patience to navigate the often cumbersome details of World, its dense crafting systems and demanding boss fights, but this level of content could be seen as a slap in the face of the typical triple A title. Playing through World felt almost like playing two games smashed into one, or if you like, a large game with none of its peripheral or secondary features hid behind future episodes. In other words, it’s a complete game.

To be up front, a lot of Monster Hunter: World is about grinding, which necessarily makes the game more time-consuming than it would be otherwise. It’s like a mini-MMORPG in that regard, though graciously there is much less emphasis on getting totally randomized content. You’re granted a lot of material for defeating a monster during a quest and about three such quests are typically enough to complete an armor set, at least not the rarest ones. That said, you should expect to fight the same monster species over and over, in different settings and at different difficulties, but fundamentally the same. Good thing there are well over thirty different monsters to hunt!

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Where the subject of Content really shines, in my opinion, (spoilers: highlight to reveal) is post-Zorah Magdaros. The game keeps going after deflecting Zorah’s approach, exploring what seems like an entirely new story. Even once I suspected it was over, I discovered I’d only just reached the beginning of High Rank missions. The fact that this appeared in the original copy of the game, straight off the shelf, no super-duper-special-day-one-preorder-Walmart-only edition or anything, not separated into a DLC “chapter” is mind-blowing to me. There were still more unique monsters to fight and more new areas to explore. I think this was exemplary of Capcom, especially considering we know of actual downloadable MHW content coming in the future (I can’t wait to fight Falcor the Luck Dragon!).

Monster Hunter: World’s final stretch doesn’t just feel tacked on like an afterthought, either. There’s a tangible difficulty spike right at the outset of High Rank which makes your previous weapons and armor seem like sticks and stones and tissue paper. Previous monsters which appeared in Low Rank are back and they’re even more powerful and aggressive then ever, but there are Elder Dragons to deal with and even tempered ultra-mighty monsters to face after that, carrying you long into post-game deliciousness.

For fans of Monster Hunter or players looking for something they can really sink their teeth into, there’s more than enough content here to satisfy so long as you’re willing to cope with its occasionally temperamental complexities.

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The Well-Red Mage is always asked how he stays so fit. Easy. No carbs.

Finally, there’s Multiplayer. You can make your way through the game quest by quest in single player mode but it’s going to be a painstaking and arduous process. Most of the game involves around a series of complicated boss fights and these can really drag on if you’re running solo, especially if you’re not decked out for damage output. Putting together an online hunting party however brings a level of dynamism, cooperation, and of course teamwork which single player simply can’t achieve. Seeing different weapon styles with different attack patterns working in unison, falling into roles in the heat of the moment where you look out for your teammate, relying on that total stranger to see you through without having to suffer through the monologues of trolls thanks to World’s communication systems… these things and more make multiplayer in this game great.

In Monster Hunter Tri, multiplayer mode was cordoned off in a separate area: the city, where you could fight Jhen Moran (I need that sand whale free-LC now!). In World, multiplayer and single player take place in the same maps. The headquarters you first stumbled into out of the wild on your own is the same headquarters for setting up multiplayer quests, investigations, events, or arena missions. Though you can’t see other online players in all areas of the HQ, there is a specific section where you can. That’s the best place for comparing armor sets, sharing a meal, and of course arm wrestling.

Now that I’ve talked up multiplayer mode, let me fill you in on the truth: there are a lot of features concerning multiplayer which are restricting and confusing.

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Leading up to the launch of Monster Hunter: World, which easily became one of my most anticipated games for 2018, I checked around with some friends to see if they were picking it up as well so I could have some fellow hunters to run around with. Imagine our disappointment then when we all started crawling through the game and couldn’t figure out how to enter expeditions together or join the same quests. SOS flares weren’t the most reliable tools for getting our ragtag band together. Story cutscenes had to be witnessed privately first before others could join in. This all meant that we spent more time than we wanted mucking about, getting lost, and having our gluteus maximuses handed to us all alone. What we all expected to be a social gaming experience turned out to be a frustrating adventure in solitude. At least we could still voice chat.

I now know that you have to go to the quest board to find quests your friends are signed up for but our confusion was compounded by one of the more superfluous multiplayer features: Squads. Squads can be made by anyone and given cute little icons and unique names, and you can invite anyone to join your squads… and that’s about it. I played maybe around 200 hours of Monster Hunter: World across multiplayer characters and not once did I find any special utility for Squads. Minimal as intercommunication is between strangers in the game (a few gestures and predetermined talking points is all), I didn’t make any relationships with hunters I didn’t already know outside of the game. Maybe Squads would be best for keeping track of who logs in and when but the game isn’t set up to encourage the kind of relationship that’s a step down from PSN friend.

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Guild Cards are another seemingly purposeless feature. You can customize your own Guild Card to display your hunter and your Palico with a host of stances, expressions, and titles and then you can send your Guild Card to other players for… actually I have no idea why. I never played with or was invited to play with hunters I exchanged Guild Cards with. I can’t see why I should, considering online sessions are small and populated all the time.

This seemed to me like a step down from Monster Hunter Tri where characters could meet in the city, interact, and communicate. I actually purchased a small keyboard just to chat with friends while on the hunt in Tri. I still have that keyboard but I never once felt like I needed to roll it out for World. Hunts got done, either way, and while I do appreciate the streamlined sociability that doesn’t expose me to wanton RP’ers or molestation of any sort, in a game this big and this complex, I would’ve liked some encouragement to build those online relationships rather than be goaded into thinking of my hunter as an island.

However that tethers or tickles your expectations, there is a lot to love in this game for action RPG fans. Just don’t come in expecting to roll with the crew all the time. You’ll quite often have to carry your own weight around this harsh and unforgiving New World.

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Can I have one more “finally”?

Finally, finally, I wanted to comment on the controversy surrounding the game at its release. I’m referring to the outrage pushed by some online publications (typical), specifically that Monster Hunter: World somehow encouraged or advocated for violence against animals. Bear in mind that World is about protecting a primitive tribe of primarily hunter gatherers from predatory threats not always native to the area and thereby preserving the local ecosystem through ordered, specific quests meted out by this community’s researching leadership.

So yes, journalist, you’re right. The game doesn’t try to force anyone into questioning the morals of surviving by killing fantasy monsters. It’s not there to sate the outraged by making someone feel bad for playing it. It’s not there to put a guilt trip on people; plenty of games writers do a swell enough job of that on their own. I don’t think that World is a game made by activists for activists, which seems to be what a lot of those upset really desire. Just because you want a game to have your message doesn’t mean you’re justified in criticizing a game when it doesn’t. So no, it’s not interested in scolding you for the suspicion of even thinking about real life big game hunting abuses, or have you really never played an RPG before?

 

 

 

 

 

While I can assure you with utmost confidence that no magical, fire-breathing dinosaurs were harmed in the making of this video game, what seems most ridiculous about this complaint is that it came from the same people who backpedaled on “video games lead to violent behavior” after the president joined them in making that claim. I’m not sure how anyone could believe “video games don’t lead to violence” while believing that a game about hunting dragons leads to violence against animals, or encourages and advocates it. There are no real animals in this game.

As always, outrage quickly comes and goes like a flash in the pan, without the patience in those who uphold it to see it through to a meaningful solution or even to a Tuesday, and even more as always I’m not interested in wasting so much space here engaging in the whims of culture wars, politicking through entertainment, outrage machines, and so on. So I’ll just reiterate: no, I don’t think that a game about chasing invasive species of magical predators through a fantasy land encourages bad behavior in its audience. Unless… you really do believe that video games encourage violence?

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The 8-bit Review
Visuals icon Visuals:
7/10
Monster Hunter: World boasts a variety of richly detailed environments. The bright, lush vistas of the Ancient Forest, the arid rocky landscape of the Wildspire Waste, the verdant and surreal Coral Highlands and more all provide a perfect backdrop for the sensations of exploration, pioneering, and tracking your quarry. Not only are the game’s maps gorgeously detailed, they are also full of complex pathways and passages.

These environments present the illusion of a living ecosystem, something which Tri attempted but didn’t quite pull off. That’s because whereas the maps in Tri had sectors separated by loading screens when you travelled between them, the maps in World are completely open. That means you can watch a Ratholos soar overhead, then swoop down to attack a herd of herbivores, sate its hunger, then take off again on its way back to its roost. You can track any monster through the wilderness, observe them in their natural habitat, and witness the ferocity of nature when these species collide. Playing through it, I came to the realization that I couldn’t wait to see how Capcom could build on this next and create an even more convincing ecosystem in some future Monster Hunter.

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While the habitats are wonderful, it’s not all sunshine and roses in the New World. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the disappointment of spending so much time tweaking every last curve of the jaw, angle of the noseline, and tint of makeup in the character creator only to enter the real game and find that your precious creation looks little to nothing like what you expected. Eye shadow appearing too dark, expressionless countenances devoid of the attention you lavished on them, facial structures looking entirely other, I really wish the in-game faces weren’t so bad and so mundane. It almost looks as if they pulled from a small selection of faces even after you spent so much time customizing them. At least you can return to the character creator to tweak a few things in your HQ hut.

More disappointing that that, if not downright off-putting, are the really ugly facial animations for NPCs and characters speaking in cutscenes. It’d be comical watching skin and tendons pulling against each other as facial orifices contort and squeeze and curl if it wasn’t already so horrifying. The handler is immediately the biggest culprit. Certainly, you can’t expect every game to have character models whose lips match the dialogue but at the same time I have to wonder why have characters move their faces at all if its only in hideous parody of speech? We’re talking the uncanny valley levels of the Cavillstache or Sophia the A.I. Robot. Thankfully, the player character never converses and NPCs aren’t always viewed at extreme close-ups.

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Then there are the monsters. These are the stars of the show and they look better than ever here. It’s wonderful to see cameos and familiar faces like the Barroth and Rathian, though the new monsters are an exercise in delightful fantasy as well. It’s hard not to be afraid or in awe of them when you’re trying to find a safe place to heal up and they’re charging right at you.

This game really needed to sell the raw viciousness and power of these titanic beasts and Capcom did a great job in this department. For some reason, despite all that, I really like the Kulu-Ya-Ku. He’s not at all huge or powerful but he’s got a lot of personality.

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Audio icon Audio: 8/10
The grand, almost magical, cinematic sense of adventure is out in full force in this soundtrack. I could palpably feel myself getting excited to explore when the music rose and swelled, and that’s the implementation of sound successfully being used to drive the player to play the game. The soundtrack was composed by a team of artists, Tadayoshi Makino (veteran Monster Hunter soundsmith), Zhenlan Kang (relative newcomer to video game music), Akihiko Narita (Resident Evil 6, Devil May Cry 4Lost Planet: Extreme Condition), Yuko Komiyama (Mega Man X series, Monster Hunter series, and Final Fantasy Record Keeper). Capcom mainly stayed with their core team here, looks like, but one of the things I liked most about this soundtrack was the layer of recurring themes developed in each area through exploratory and then battle music. Here’s an example using some music from the Rotten Vale:

Plus you have to love how the Bazelgeuse theme sounds like it’s about to take a dive into Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” mid-battle.

Gameplay icon Gameplay: 9/10
What I really appreciate about Monster Hunter: World is how it goes to such lengths to hide its gaminess. Heck, I wish it hid more (the scoutflies are somewhat hokey) but I can’t complain. When fighting the terrific, exhilarating and often longish boss fights that dominate the game, you’ll likely notice quite early on that there are no health bars. You have no reliable way of keeping track of how much HP a monster has left. Instead, you’re going to have to read the monster’s behavior and movements to gauge where you’re at. Unpredictable attack patterns, temperamental moods, changing actions based on the lay of the land, exterior stimuli like the interruptions of other monsters, hunger, and fatigue make these predators difficult to understand. The difficulty of reading these cues is compounded in multiplayer where other players become influential in how a monster behaves, though you can research monsters to learn about their weaknesses and breakable parts back at HQ.

One easy way to know how little health a monster has left is when they start limping but you might slay it before it even has a chance to try to make a getaway, or they may have a chunk or a fraction of life left when limping. For example, I killed a Great Jagras (one of the lowest level monsters in the game) as it was limping away just by slinging a small stone at it for like 4 damage. I had a good laugh and it was moments like that which made me feel like I was really hunting, not just fighting a boss.

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Between the battles with beasts and the involved and addicting crafting systems I detailed earlier in this analysis, World provides a ton of gameplay to navigate. I’ve played a lot of grindy games in my life but even though this one involves hunting down each monster a handful of times if you want to get all their material-specific gear, I still wanted more. That’s a testament to the fact that a lot of the big fights can really play out differently depending on what’s going on, how much damage you are able to deal in what amount of time, and so on. New details on top of all that only deepen the experience like the wrist-mounted slinger that can loose rocks and berries at monsters for different effects, as well as new environmental traps you can trigger like falling boulders or broken dams.

I’m also satisfied with the more subtle changes that Capcom made to this latest game, such as being able to eat in your camp in a quest or expedition, multiple camps and fast travel between them, investigation quests which emphasize rewards, ditching gunner armor (which was nerfed armor that anyone using a gunner weapon was forced to wear), and definitely Palicoes. Your Palico is noteworthy for how much action it’ll actually take to help you in battle. The kitty can knock you out of a stun or slumber, heal you, draw an enemy’s attention, and they have their own armor and weapon sets to be customized. Of course.

Now if I could only figure out a way to accumulate enough points to manage getting new cat equipment, melding decorations, growing mushrooms, and everything else!

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Online icon Online Play: 4/10
I’ve already mentioned the pitfalls of online multiplayer and this is my score for all of that in essence. In the age of social gaming through online experiences, this seemed more than a little antiquated, stifling, and needlessly perplexing. Why couldn’t the game just explain to me simply and early on how to play with my friends? It’s not like the rules for setting up a group quest is terribly hard but there’s so much going on that it’s lost in the noise. Squads and Guild Cards only add to it. I saw a lot of Squads and invites to Squads when the game first launched but a few weeks in I stopped seeing them much at all.

There is inevitably going to be a lot of “carrying” if you expect to play World with friends. Again, you have to experience the storyline quest’s cutscene before you’re able to invite others to join the hunt. A lot of my playtime involved helping friends out or being helped out myself. Thankfully, this is a good chance to backtrack and earn some extra monster materials you might’ve missed, but it’s sometimes not the most exciting thing in the world. What’s more, monsters have their difficulty automatically dialed up if friends jump into the fray mid-quest. Something to watch out for, that sudden spike.

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Accessibility icon Accessibility: 4/10
Set in a modern context where games tend toward hand-holding and over-tutorialization, Monster Hunter: World still comes in at below average and this I suspect is a gargantuan reason why a lot of players bought World but haven’t played much of it at all. Some were even immediately repulsed by it. Bear in mind that the Monster Hunter series has been pretty impenetrable up to this point already and World might be one of the more user-friendly of the bunch.

But to be clear, Monster Hunter: World does a terrible job of telling you what to do. It says too much in every tutorial so you quickly feel overwhelmed, yet it have a sense of the utility of words, opting for over-explanation instead of succinct clarity. It doesn’t make much mention of things you’ll later discover on your own (maybe) which seem pretty crucial, such as how to not run out of money by selling your trade-in items or how to understand all the bonus abilities of eating food from the cook. Like what the howdy is Affinity, anyway? What is Elder Seal exactly?

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What makes it tough to have even a rudimentary idea of these concepts is the fact that World overloads you with a constant flow of information, not just long-winded tutorials which don’t actually tell you everything you need to know despite their length but also all of the filler dialogue that you have to weed through. Every time you talk to an NPC, even if you’re just doing something as simple as checking your harvest box for items, they’ll give you a handful of sentences about this world or themselves, slowing your timeliness. That tends to wear down on you eventually considering the length of the game and the repetitive nature of having to come back to these NPCs and skip past their monologues again and again and again.

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challenge Challenge: 9/10
Monster Hunter: World can be very hard, especially late-game. The of Elder Dragons leading up to the last boss can be frustrating and difficult, forcing you to rely on every trick and consumable and armor capability you can muster, though the last boss itself is comparatively easier. The apex predator fights throughout the game are similarly difficult. You’ll likely notice right away that trying to take down an Anjanath can be pretty difficult. I’d say that’s the first real challenge in the game that can prove to be an obstacle for new players.

A group of hunters have strength in numbers but you only get three deaths as a team before the quest fails. If there’s a weak link that gets one-shot by a gout of flame from a toothy maw, then they’re likely going to bring everyone else down. Taking your time, understanding the monster you’re meant to fight, its weaknesses and powers, adjusting your equipment accordingly, taking every precaution with eating and using consumables gives you an edge in combat but doesn’t guarantee it. World rewards patience and skills developed over time, as well as a keen understanding of your weapon’s unique play style.

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Uniqueness icon Uniqueness: 7/10
While more than a little derivative of its predecessors, World still stands out from its contemporary peers as a complete game. Though I’m currently burnt out on it from playing it so frequently and so intensely, I have my eye on future updates and additions. I know that these aren’t coming to “finish” the game (so I have no cause to resent them), but ermahgerd have you seen this?! Mega Man in Monster Hunter! You can rest assured that the Well-Red Mage will be back hunting again (or Agent Scully, my other main) once the Blue Bomber reaches the New World!

my personal grade My Personal Grade: 8/10
Capcom is bringing back their A-game. I didn’t think that I’d have so much Monster Hunter and Mega Man to look forward to in 2018, but gaming is good to me. As for Monster Hunter: World, I consider it money and time well spent. It overcomes its biggest flaws in accessibility and a wonky multiplayer system to satisfy on the basis of in-depth content and familiarity for fans of the franchise. Give up on it too early and you’ll miss out on a ton of game. I may have exhausted myself on it but I’m sure I’ll be back. Capcom brought something special to the PS4 and to the industry in the triple A arena here. They deserve all of the success and accolades that their game has earned.

Aggregated Score: 7.0

 

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30 thoughts on “Monster Hunter: World (2018)

  1. I adore this game. It’s easily my favourite Monster Hunter so far, and I much prefer playing on a big screen, not on a little handheld that only robs said monsters of their fearsome majesty and power. My weapon of choice is the Great Sword. Ridiculously oversized but that’s what I love about it! 😛

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  2. I’d like to get my hands on this one for a reduced price. I got Monster Hunter 4 on the 3DS and I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it. I feel it’s the sort of game that translates better on a massive HD screen rather than a li’l one on a handheld — not to belittle the handheld, that is, I just reckon it might capture the grandeur better. Nice review!
    Reuben

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    1. By now you should be able to find some used copies for a little cheaper, and you’ll need to pay for PS Plus to have access to multiplayer (I hate that but that’s the way it is). I definitely can’t imagine MH on a smaller handheld screen, having only played World and Tri. I liked this game a lot and I hope it provides a good skeleton for the next MH game! Thanks for commenting, Reubs!

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      1. Yeah, hopefully. My PS4 has cheekily hooked me up to automatic subscription to PS Plus which my dad’s paying for unknowingly, so no problem there, haha. Monster Hunter 4 on the 3DS was a great game, but the small screen just couldn’t capture that grandeur that the game demands.

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  3. Nice review. I’ve been enjoying my time with it but I have some huge issues with it as well. For one, I’m not big on playing it by myself. This could be because I’ve settled in nicely with the Light Bowgun in my foursome that play together but I also wasn’t really feeling the melee weapons. In conjunction with that, the setup for multiplayer is a chore. To make sure that we can all play together, we have to jump through 72 different flaming hoops and even when you do all get together, if the mission is a story based mission the independent viewing of cutscenes is insane.

    On one hand I like that the game doesn’t explain everything to you and let’s you explore and learn but there is so much that it just doesn’t really acknowledge. For instance the guild cards, you evidently want to collect them so that you can send their Palico out on the Tailrider Expeditions. You can miss huge chunks of the game and put yourself in a bad slot if you aren’t really digging in deep.

    But I do enjoy it with friends and maybe I’ll finish it sometime this year. Even if I don’t I’ve already put in 24 hours and that is more than a lot of games can even provide let alone sustain.

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    1. Thanks a lot! I began resenting this game through playing it by myself and I went out of my way to try to get friends on at the same time for some companionship, since that’s especially hard to do with complete strangers in this game. Yes I agree the multiplayer systems are atrocious.

      Ah see I forgot to mention the Tailrider Expeditions! To me that really felt a little too much to worry about, especially after I began to run out of points. Do you typically play games for about 20ish hours apiece?

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      1. While I do prefer a game that I can get through and finish in under 20 hours, it really depends on the game and how much it keeps me motivated to continue playing. For instance I’ve put 70+ hours in to games like The Witcher and Skyrim and obviously 40+ or more in to the Final Fantasy games.

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          1. I’ve put nearly 400 in to Destiny, over 200 in to Halo 5, and close to a 200 in Halo 3 and Reach. My over 100 line runs through with Halo 4, Final Fantasy (cumulative over multiple playthroughs) and Diablo III.

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  4. I’ve always thought of these games as *an acquired taste* games. Not bad games. Excellently made games in fact. But not made for me. I tried my hand with earlier entries, and I can see why people enjoy them so much, but for me they have the treadmill feel of an MMORPG. I don’t hate the series at all, I just acknowledge not everything is going to be aimed at me, nor should it be.

    My 2 1/5ths of an opinion not withstanding, I was really impressed with the level of detail in the review. All of the stuff I read on WRM is well researched, and in depth. This was no exception.

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    1. That’s a fair and healthy understanding for one’s personal tastes. I can think of a bunch of games that I think are great that I just don’t care for, either. I’d say MHW is juuuuuuust borderline too much MMORPG for me. It’s something I need to detox on now by playing some shorter, quicker games! 😀

      Thanks very much for the compliments, my friend!

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  5. This game managed to win over some people who weren’t on board with the Monster Hunter franchise up until this point, so this is a game I’ll be very interested to try somewhere down the line.

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  6. Having just put up my own review of MHW, I really appreciate your focus on depth and the indepth-ness with which you wrote. I was not prepared for how much fun this game would be and am more than a little excited now at what else I can expect for MHW in 2018.

    The review was organized and full of well used adjectives; I’m a sucker for well used and cleverly placed adjectives 😉

    Thanks for the great read! Above and beyond enjoying the content of this post as a gamer, the quality of the review has given me something to work toward as a blogger/reviewer.

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    1. Thank you super much for the really kind words, my friend. Encouragement like that helps me have the drive to keep doing what I’m doing. I appreciate that level of support, my friend!

      I honestly had a really hard time getting this review out of me but formatting it the way I did helped in the end. Extra ridiculous adjectives helped, too, inexorably! 😀

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      1. Absolutely! I admire very much what you’ve built with the Well-Red Mage and enjoy your posts. Thanks again for giving me something to aspire to and for the constant stream of interesting content.

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  7. Fab views and info on Monster Hunter World! I’ve been really enjoying this game, never played Monster Hunter before, but now I’m hooked on it. Liked your tips on the different weapons as well, very helpful. Its now a flawless game, but still a lot of fun to play – especially multiplayer 🙂

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  8. Excellent write-up! MHW is something I don’t really have the effort for but I’ve absolutely LOVED tuning into other people’s streams 🙂 Some of the larger beasts look amazing! It’s great to have on the TV working/cooking.

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  9. For a game centered around playing with other people, it does a fucking awful job at actually letting you do that. It’s such a struggle just to co-op the campaign or do expeditions together. Otherwise, I had a good time with my 10 or so hours before I threw in the towel. I’ll just have to appreciate it from a distance, which is fine.

    Excellent review, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was pretty baffled at the terrible multiplayer in this, the promise of it and the fact that they already did it so well in MH Tri… I don’t feel the least bit guilty for ripping on this game for that. When I think about it, it’s a game with great highs but deep lows, too. Sorry it didn’t jive for ya but in the end you saved yourself a hundred hours!

      Like

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