Straight off the bat, Monster Hunter World is not a welcoming game, but it is a good, potentially great game!
I was undecided on this game for quite some time. I’ve not played a Monster Hunter title before and I already have a fairly epic backlog of games to get stuck in too. However, a couple of trailers in I was sold. See, I love a good creature feature and I can’t remember the last time I played a good “monster” game, so I took the plunge.
I’m not going to go into any story specifics or anything of that nature, just literally give you my first impressions. I am now about 6 hours into the game and I’ve not really done much story.
So, as I said, this is not a welcoming game. You are thrown in with a few story missions to get warmed up and you are pretty much on your own. I found the game didn’t explain very much and I often had no clue as to what I was doing, going supposed to be doing or supposed to be going. There is collecting, crafting cooking, quests, missions, events and god only know what else.
The combat is fiddly until you find you preferred weapon, for example to start with I chose the bow. This did not go well and I was constantly overwhelmed. I then switched to a sword which had pretty much the same effect as a butter knife on frozen butter, especially when it became blunt. My first fight with a medium sized beasty literally took about 45 minutes and became a bit of a war. I would give him a good few stabs, then had to retreat to avoid his attacks, or his little minions that were swarming me to either top up my health, have a rest or sharpen my blade.
A friend of mine also had the game and we decided to tackle a few monsters together. Getting the two of us into the same place to fight the same monster at the same time was a god given chore. Honestly, joining a mate for a game hasn’t been this tricky since early Xbox live days.
Now, you may be reading this and thinking, Well Simon you said at the top it’s potentially great, but the last few paragraphs don’t read all that favourably. Yeah, fair point. However, once myself and a mate were finally in the game things started to click. The time we had was fairly epic. We chose… well, we sort of fell into an event called chew the fat where we had 50 minutes to go hunt a pair of monsters. We had a fantastic time. We also came across a large furry T-rex looking thing and a dragon while on our hunt. The more we wandered around the more we were impressed verging on amazed!
I’m playing on an Xbox One X and despite it’s small install size (13.9Gb) i’ve set it to prioritise graphics.. yeah, the forest level which is the first of, I believe, 5 areas is wonderful to look at and damned pretty.
Going along each struggle became rewarding, the combat slightly improved as I got more into it, although remains fiddly and generally I just feel compelled to play more.
Basically, if you like a bit of hack and slash or a bit of shooting in a third person setting with giant monsters, this is a game for you.