There is no such feeling like being a hunter in “Monster Hunter.” The repetitive cycle of eating, gathering, hunting and crafting might be intimidating, but to me it’s one of the few games that makes that experience so much fun that I want to come back again and again.
The newest entry in the franchise, “Monster Hunter: World” continues this but accomplishes it smoothly, making it the best entry in this long running series.
“Monster Hunter: World” is the first title in the current generation of consoles and has been in development for four years on a new engine. Previous entries have been relegated to portable consoles, but now the series is finally back at its proper home.
Aesthetically, the game itself is gorgeous. It’s the best-looking entry in the series with detailed graphics, exciting set pieces, beautiful locales and includes unique but ferocious looking monsters.
To those new to the concept of “Monster Hunter,” the game is structured like a series of boss fights with massive monsters that you and three other friends can hunt down and kill for new equipment and gear.
For some players trying to jump into each iteration, it can be very difficult to learn how the game works. “World” is more beginner-friendly to new players by teaching the game as it progresses, but it also gets into the fun of the game much faster than ever before.
Most of the mechanics from previous games have been streamlined, creating less downtime between the exploring and hunting parts of the game.
Speaking of exploration, “World” does away with the loading area system that has been there since the series started and instead has one large continuous zone that has no loading times between each area.
New to “Monster Hunter: World” is the scoutflies, which help to highlight certain objects in the area that can help find items, or track a monster. They attach to footprints, scratch marks and mucus, and will track the monster to lead you to it. This system is a lot more helpful rather than just going in blind and memorizing the same areas said monster would appear in.
Once you track down your monster, it’s time to fight, and the combat in “World” is awesome.
“Monster Hunter” is known for giving the player various types of weapons to play with and each one plays differently than one another. Most of the time when selecting a new weapon, it’s almost like you are playing a completely different game! The fun part of it is finding the weapons that adjust to your play style.
Fighting monsters in the game is a lot more satisfying due to the slick animations, crunchy sound design and the thrill of fighting a ginormous beast. You have to find what weapon is effective against each part of the monster, how to effectively strike it to knock it down or which part to focus on to get rare material.
With you and your friends, this type of game will get chaotic. You will be fighting a few of the same monsters multiple times, but each time, you learn about the monster and how to strategically kill it.
You take those parts and craft new items, weapons and armor while continuing to get stronger. It’s the charm of the series and, as stated before, makes it so much fun.
Despite this, “World” isn’t a perfect game.
My first problem came with online play in the first couple of days. For some reason I was unable to connect to a few of my friends online that I wanted to play with and on launch it was worse. Luckily the game has been subsequently patched since then, but I’m still unable to connect with one of my friends.
My other problem stems from the story mode.
World now has a cinematic story mode that is new to the franchise, but it isn’t groundbreaking or worth mentioning. Each mission can now be played together with friends, but you have to start the mission and get to a certain point to watch a cinematic before they can join the quest. It’s a very annoying process that should have been done differently.
Either way, I am enjoying “Monster Hunter: World.” It is the perfect entry for new players to jump into while keeping what made “Monster Hunter” fun without diluting the mechanics.
I highly recommend you grab three other friends and explore the new world of a rich ecosystem, terrifying beasts, and adorable cats that cook your fulfilling meals for you.