Monster Hunter: World Review
Finally, a real review for Monster Hunter: World. I didn’t expect to be hooked for this game as much as I am. I’ve played roughly 25 hours per week since launch and I’m only now starting to feel some slow down.
This game is a great start to 2018.
As per usual, TL,DR at the bottom.
Warning: Spoilers for monsters encountered during the main story and regions of the game. None of these monsters should be a “surprise” but are things you will encounter with 100% certainty in the game.
If you’re familiar with the Monster Hunter series, you know that the story exists but that’s pretty much it. There isn’t anything incredible or inspiring here. You fight against a big monster from destroying the world…basically. Sure, there are minor tidbits of story and quests that differ from the main story, but that isn’t the focus of the series. Unsurprisingly, gameplay is king and will be the focus of the review.
This is my first Monster Hunter game. I didn’t really want to play it on 3ds nor did I know it existed on other consoles before it’s 3ds days. I’m glad my first experience with the game comes on the PS4. This game feels fantastic with a controller.
Alright, let’s get into the actual gameplay.
I’ve used a couple weapons minimally. But, I’ve spent most of my 78 hours, with the Dual Blades, and I’m glad that I did. My experience with the gameplay is based on the Dual Blades and the game definitely plays differently depending on weapon type.
In fact, I’ve not really enjoyed the game as much when trying to use other weapons.
The combat feels fluent and balanced regardless of your attack and defense or the monster abilities. Sure, you can learn each monsters tactics and fight them ten times and still die. Just because you learn about each monster tactics doesn’t mean you’ll be successful every time. The environment and other monsters impact each fight and change up how you’ll play the game.
I’ve come across people complaining on reddit about a specific fight where I have no problems. Then, I’ve come to hate one fight that apparently nobody else has a problem with. The monster I have a problem with is part of the first area but it just wrecks me every time. I don’t know what the deal is, I can beat it, but I always feel like I’m doing something wrong.
The fact that monster mechanics differ enough that players can struggle against one and excel against others makes the game that much more diverse. I’ve been playing with a friend that uses the Insect Glaive and each fight changes when we team up.
He’ll be flying through the air and mounting monsters whereas I’m just trying ankle bite and do damage where I can. In my own fights, I’ll try to get my slide attack going to do a ton of damage and then mount the monsters on my own. It feels almost impossible to mount a monster when you’re playing with Insect Glaive since that’s their forte.
I’ve made it a challenge to mount the monster when I’m playing with someone using that weapon.
The game feels great playing solo or multiplayer and the differences in fights make it that much more interesting.
The gameplay loop of fight, upgrade gear, fight more feels great too. I feel like I’m rewarded for however much time I spend playing. I can jump in for fifteen minutes and get some monster carves that actually contributing to my overall strength or success. Or I can play for 5 hours and get a completely new set of armor that better compliments my playstyle.
The armor skills and weapon variety make choosing components very difficult. I’m always wondering how a new armor skill will feel and want to collect all of the armor in order to have access to everything. I am sort of doing just that as well.
I’ve got all weapon trees unlocked as I work towards maxing out each line. I want to be proficient at fighting everything and have access to all weapons in order maximize that potential. The same goes for the armor. I want to have the best stats to fight against every monster.
I think that’s kind of the point with Monster Hunter. Gear matters. I’m sure that you can if you tried and were skilled enough but there isn’t a one size fits all armor. In order to give yourself the best chance of success, you need to plan out your armor, weapon, and items before the fight, especially end game when things start to get crazy.
Moral of the story: I love this game specifically for its gameplay and gear fest. I can turn on some music with Spotify on the PS4 and just grind forever.
I was pretty high on the graphics when I first started playing the game. I’ve since come down from that a little bit. While I think the background, the monsters, and the world look great, the lightning is a bit odd and too similar from place to place.
I’m not sure if I’ve got my game settings too bright but the lighting makes the game look washed out. I’ve tried adjusting the settings but I can’t get it to look normal. Always too bright.
That’s my only real gripe. I do think the different areas vary and present fun differences in aesthetic. There isn’t really anything similar between the areas, besides some monsters exist in multiple areas.
I love the armor and weapon variety in the game. From what I’ve seen, some armor and weapons have the same base model, but there is variety for the most part. I know in the Dual Blade tree you have multiple weapons that use the same base and only differ in color slightly, which is fine. I think you get enough variety with endgame weapons that it really doesn’t matter.
The armor variety blows me away really. Since I’ve never played a Monster Hunter, I didn’t know each monster (and then some) would have different armor. I love carving a monster a few times and then wearing its style. I get to feel like I’ve become that monster and take on some of their personality and style.
Some of the armor and weapons are absolutely absurd but I think that’s part of the fun. You would never be able to move with some of these armors let alone jump. Although ridiculous, it creates some funny moments for you to see.
While I do enjoy the world of Monster Hunter: World, I don’t think it’s particularly awe-inspiring. As I discussed in the graphics section, I do think the different regions look great, their lack of interconnectivity breaks up the world and its cohesion.
There isn’t really anything that connects the different locations and it makes each one feel like it’s own world rather than one big connected region. That isn’t necessarily bad because each one of those regions feels different.
The areas feel different and play different based on the interactivity of each region. The vertical nature, whether up or down, presents unique ways to traverse each region. You can go up high to find monsters that live in the tops of trees or venture to the depths below to find cave dwelling beasts.
Even after almost 80 hours, I’m definitely finding new areas to explore or ways to traverse the map. And although the lack of a coherent world building is a let down it’s obviously not a game breaker, it just doesn’t add anything to the game.
I’m really impressed with the sound of Monster Hunter: World. I think that because you react to the roar of different monsters, it feels like the sound is actually impactful. I mentioned I like to listen to Spotify while I’m grinding for some new gear, but that’s only after hearing each monster quite a few times.
I will say that I can’t really differentiate between each monsters sound because some of them feel the same, but that isn’t really a big deal. The sound really only matters during the fight and you can usually see everything before you can hear it.
I think the game has some nice ambient sounds as well. You can always hear some birds chirping or random insects in the background. The sound does help everything feel more realized.
Overall the sound is excellent and really adds to the feel of the game considering the physical reaction to loud roars and environmental feedback.
I’m quite enamored with this game at the moment. I rarely play a game for over 50 hours, let alone crest the 75-hour mark with still room to play. The game is well developed and thoughtful. You feel rewarded for your time and the moment to moment action, single or multiplayer creates a fantastic experience.