Monday, 12 March 2018

Monster Hunter World ★★★★☆

‘Monster Hunter: World’ the newest title from CapCom, is out now on PS4 and Xbox One, and will be available on PC later this year. The primary focus in the past has been on handheld devices, with mainly a Japanese audience and a niche market in the West, and so this being the first worldwide release on current hardware in a big risk for CapCom.

The premise of the game is that you are a hunter, who hunts and captures various different monsters in the New World in order to further the research of these giant creatures. The gameplay route is very formulaic - you hunt monsters, you gain materials from them by either capturing or killing them, and then you craft armour and weapons using said materials, which allow you to then take on the next challenge. The game gets progressively more difficult and you’re faced with more complicated monsters as you go on. There is an overarching story, but it’s not the strongest point of the game and is pretty much an extended tutorial of what you’ll be doing after the main campaign finishes. 

You can choose to play ‘Monster Hunter: World’ as either single-player or multiplayer (although it did take a few weeks for the developers to get co-op up and running properly through various patches). If you play alone you get given a Palico (basically a cat that wears clothes) to fight alongside you, and with multiplayer, you can fight in teams of up to four, sometimes with Palicos included. You can also upgrade your Palico’s weapons and armour to make them stronger (or hilarious-looking, depending on what your priority is).

The gameplay and combat is definitely the strongest part of the game and is very animation-heavy so each hit has a lot of weight to it. The same can be said for the monsters as well, which vary from dinos to elder dragons. Because of this, you can get killed in one hit by an ill-timed dodge or attack, which definitely gets frustrating after a while (particularly as there’s not many games like this out there). It’s got a similar vibe to the original ‘Dark Souls’ in a way - anger-inducing, but you’ll want to keep trying to get better. Compared to the previous handheld games, this time round has simplified and streamlined mechanics, which means fewer monsters, less weapon variants, and less individuality of gear. This should hopefully be addressed with awaited G rank DLC, which should be out in a few months. 

Graphically the game is beautiful, which is amazing considering that it’s only a 16GB install. Each location, from lush forests to dried up coral reefs, is a sandbox, with a whole host of different collectables and monsters to hunt. There’s also a hub area where you can receive missions, upgrade your gear, and eat meals, which are important for receiving a variety of different buffs. You have your own living space which you can fill with small creatures as you collect them if you wish.

As for the missions, there’s not really many different types, but the core gameplay is fun and rewarding.Each mission is timed, but you never really feel under pressure. Once you complete the main story the game really begins as you start hunting higher ranked monsters. The grind is similar to ‘Destiny’ and so not for everyone, and will most likely take hundreds of hours to fully complete. When it clicks though and you’ve found that perfect style of weapon, you can get really lost in the experience.

‘Monster Hunter: World’ may have its issues, but really it’s a fantastic new entry into the series, going from niche game status to receiving worldwide critical acclaim. It may seem repetitive on the surface, but if you give it a chance you’ll find out for yourself just how addictive and satisfying it can be.

Hannah Read

Monster Hunter World at CeX

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