The warmth of the sun on your skin, the scent of fresh blossoms on the breeze drifting into your nostrils, and in the distance, the beautiful sight of a three-ton monster charging to gore you as you enter its territory.
Such is the life of a Monster Hunter.
With the launch of Monster Hunter World, Capcom has finally thrown its niche franchise into the mainstream – and what a launch it’s been.
Adopting a graphics engine that finally brings the cast of monsters to life in a way that the mobile variants never could, Monster Hunter: World is a grand testament to where the franchise has been and where the future could take it – and the future is looking exceptionally bright.
Although this is arguably the first title that is catering to non-MH fans, it offers all of what longtime series fans have wanted and then some. The current roster sports roughly 50 monsters, with more being added all the time.
Series diehards may lament the fact that World doesn’t field the 100+ monsters that titles like Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate sport, but it’s worth remembering that that World is not a compilation of content the likes that the mobile variants of the franchise have been going for the last several years, but rather a re-imaging of what the franchise could be for a wider audience.
For those dipping their toes into the world of Monster Hunter time, there’s a lot to grasp – but the reward for doing so pays dividends.
Across the 14 different weapon types, vast assortment of armor set skills, innumerable items, and your trusty feline partners known as Palicos, you’ll have more than your fair share of work cut out for you as you embark upon quest after quest to slay or capture some of the biggest baddies that roam the land.
Layered on top of all this is an exceptionally deep and complex crafting system. You’ll be hard-pressed to find yourself ever thinking that an item you receive is no longer useful for you. Even when you’re hunting the biggest thing ambling around, you’ll still be able to make use of low-tier items either through recycling materials or building up another weapon set to test out and level up.
Where the first batch of baddies will test your novice skills, don’t think for once that you’ve grasped everything the game has to offer just because you’ve soared through low-rank missions.
Although Monster Hunter World has a far more forced-linear storyline than previous iterations, the true game begins once the narrative “ends”. Once you’ve toured the five massive different zones, additional optional quests, expeditions, investigations, and all manner of in-field engagement opens.
But make no mistake about it: although you may have honed exceptional abilities over the hours, your little feline friend won’t cut it – you’ll need to enlist the help of fellow hunters in order to get yourself the results that you want.
Fortunately for you, the gaming community has taken very warmly to Monster Hunter: World, and it takes little to no time to get yourself situated in a group of strangers that are likely to become fast friends. Feel like the lone wolf? That’s fine too.
Monster difficulty scales to the number of people on a hunt and adjusts itself accordingly when a player drops in or out. The central hub has plenty of opportunities for players to meet up, chat, and get shitfaced on some grog – but you’ll always retain the ability to shoot up an SOS flare should you find yourself in too deep over your head.