Monster Hunter World has just launched and brings with it an excellent opportunity for new entrants to the series to pick up a weapon and embark on some monster slaying festivities.
Monster Hunter is a fantasy themed action RPG that first appeared back in 2004 on the PS2. Since then we have seen a range of sequels across various platforms. The series has been immensely popular in Japan and other Asian countries it hasn’t had extensive success in the Western world despite strong reviews. Fast forward to Monster Hunter World, which was tipped to be a more accessible game for new players while still managing to appease die-hard fans. I put this to the test having never played a Monster Hunter game before, excited to see what the experience would be like for a total Monster Hunter rookie.
Monster Hunter World has a rich character creation screen allowing for lots of tweaking to get the ideal look you are after as well as customisation options for your Palico (little feline sidekick). Following that you jump right into the story and action with little fanfare. Before you know it you are out in the world hunting monsters and farming loot. This first hour of gameplay is a nice quick transition from a basic introduction into the actual gameplay.
You start with the weakest armour and weapons of course but it’s really nice how you can choose from any of the weapon types in the game, giving you a chance to try out different weapons and playstyles without having to wait for a greatsword to drop.
Visuals and atmosphere
The game looks good, nothing particularly ground breaking on the technical front but the atmosphere in the world is very rich and gives you the feeling of exploring another world alive with detailed NPC’s and creatures.
As for the monsters themselves, they really are the jewel in the crown for this game with very impressive beasts scattered across the world each with beautiful models and spine-chilling sound design.
Gameplay & world
While Monster Hunter World is an RPG, it’s gameplay is really just slaying monsters and collecting loot. However, the monster fighting is a particularly fun and engaging activity which brings the game to life. Each monster has different traits, weaknesses and strengths requiring you to adapt your approach for each encounter. I found this similar in a way to Horizon Zero Dawn where a little bit of strategy and thought before jumping headfirst into a battle will go a long way to getting you through it alive. This is important because unlike other games, Monster Hunter World enemies pack a serious punch.
I found the learning curve for Monster Hunter World to be pretty standard and got to grips fairly quickly. Once you acclimatise to the power of the monsters and get to grips with the basic gameplay mechanics it quickly becomes a lot of fun. Don’t let the previous titles put you off, Monster Hunter World is very accessible while still providing a good challenge for most players.
As a first entry into the series Monster Hunter World provided a great experience for me with enough explanation and guidance to get me going. It’s gameplay is fluid and fun and the overall world rich and detailed. If you have ever considered a Monster Hunter game before and never pulled the trigger, this is your opportunity.