Monster Hunter World Review – Written by Jose Vega
Purchased product for review.
Monster Hunter… a series that is all about players teaming up to take down monsters all while working to get stronger. For almost 15 years, the series thrived on this style starting on the PlayStation 2 before it would explode in popularity with Monster Hunter Freedom on PSP. In fact, the series would be a hit on handhelds with its later entries. In Japan it was a popular franchise but overseas, not so much until Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in 2012. The next few games would go to have much success on the 3DS. But it wasn’t until 2017 when Capcom announced they are bringing Monster Hunter to the newest generation of consoles, in the form of Monster Hunter World. For the first Monster Hunter game on PS4, Xbox One and PC, did it deliver?
The story centers on a continent called the New World, where monsters roam and where researchers are intrigued by its mystery. You play as a Hunter who’s a member of the Fifth Fleet and is with the Research Commission on an expedition into the New World. The trek goes downhill once an elder dragon named Zorah Magdaros shows up, causing the Hunter to get on the move. They do arrive in the New World, in a makeshift base called Astera with one goal: explore the world and find the truth regarding Zorah Magdaros. But even with Zorah Magdaros, the New World is home to many challenges, requiring the Hunter to expect the unexpected.
Monster Hunter World’s story is intriguing but at the same time, the pacing of the game is solid. Most games don’t have much of a story but here, there is since you are part of an organization with an objective. You see it transpire as you play and even after contending with Zorah Magdaros, there is still more. There is some voice acting but it mostly occurs during specific missions. At least it’s considered okay at best.
Now we reach the meat & potatoes of things, the gameplay. If you have played any of the previous Monster Hunter games, you will feel right at home. Since this is the first Monster Hunter game released on the newest consoles, the game is more streamlined to accommodate new players. It actually works. Players start by creating their own Hunter and Pailco. After a while, they go through several tutorials getting them accustomed to the controls and then their journey can begin. The game is an action-RPG with players having to complete jobs in order to gain money and materials needed to either buy armor & weapons or upgrade the gear they currently have. And speaking of which, this game has 14 different weapons for players to choose from. Each of these 12 weapons has their own abilities and attacks, offering different advantages in battle. Plus the weapons and armor you craft and upgrade can offer numerous effects for your hunter. The same is said for the Palico as well. There is a lot of customization here and how it goes depends on the player.
As for progression, the game follows a mission structure where raising your Hunter Rank, or HR, is required. You raise your Hunter Rank by completing quests and they can depend on the main objective. Whether it is collecting items, slaying smaller monsters or even defeating big monsters that roam the lands, they are what’s needed to rank up. Not to mention missions are split between several categories. Assigned are main story missions that are needed to progress further while optional are useful for players to grind money and experience. Completing them nets you money, items and experience. The experience is used to not only level up your rank but also your Palico. Playing solo lets you have a Palico as your ally in your journeys. He is a big help support-wise. There is a catch to it all. Dying in a mission cuts those rewards and failing 3 times results in a mission failure. Preparedness is required if a player is to succeed. Players can also go on expeditions to find materials, battle monsters and so on. For anyone that wants to grind for stuff so they can prep themselves, there you go. The game really offers you a lot for a full price game.
The length of Monster Hunter World is outright ridiculous. Expect to spend hours upon hours completing missions to unlock the best gear and weapons needed for the challenges aside. Not only that but the game offers a lot of additional content with free updates. The free updates bring in new monsters for players to tackle and with it, new gear for players to get. Sometimes they hold events where you can attain exclusive gear such as the Devil May Cry outfit, Horizon Zero Dawn gear, etc. Even after beating the game, there’s still a lot to do. One thing that should be mentioned here and it’s that this game is best played if you have friends. This game is mostly online and you are allowed to ally with whoever wishes to help and sometimes you have to help them. It’s a game like this where people of all kinds can team up to take down monsters. Simply awesome!
Capcom really delivered in terms of its presentation. The game is beautiful and compared to the previous games, it’s a huge step up. At 1080p running at 60 fps, it’s awesome. The environments are stellar, as if this world has come to life in the game. All the monsters look great and at some cases scary. Music is great, offering the intensity the series is known for. The victory themes especially are good since it provides satisfaction after a job well done. Gameplay is familiar and streamlined. It does a good job teaching players the controls and how to handle each weapon. You can turn it off in the options if you like. Voice acting is great with talents such as Richard Epcar and Matt Mercer. They deliver in their performances and I find them well.
As far as negatives are concerned, there are very few. Capcom delivered in making the game balanced in terms of difficulty. Sure things start simple enough and it builds up as you progress. And if you get stuck in a quest that’s hard, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The game doesn’t penalize you if it happens so it never hurts to send an SOS. Other than that, the game is incredible, almost perfect.
Capcom took a gamble by bringing Monster Hunter onto the PS4, Xbox One and PC and it paid off big time. The game looks great, plays great and feels great. It’s also satisfying when you have friends and the feeling of you taking down a tough foe is all the more rewarding. And since the game does add more via free updates, there’s much to do. It’s without a doubt one of the best games in the series not only introducing new players to the series but also bringing in veterans looking for a challenge. If you have a group of friends and in need of some fun, Monster Hunter World is it. The hunt begins again!
I give Monster Hunter World a 9.5 out of 10. It’s worth your money & it earns my personal seal of approval!