Monster Hunter: World was seen as quite the risk from Capcom. Even though the series has been around for 15 or so years now, it’s never really caught the attention across Western Shores. Capcom first revealed Monster Hunter: World at E3 2017 and they’ve been going all out ever since right up to its release late last month. I’ll admit that I’m quite the newbie when it comes to the Monster Hunter series but give me a RPG with deep customisation options and a great story and I’m relatively happy. After spending over 20 hours with Monster Hunter: World so far, I can quite happily say that this is one hell of a RPG, and Capcom bringing Monster Hunter: World to Western shores was probably one of the best decisions they are ever going to make.
From the very first moment of starting Monster Hunter: World up, I knew that this was going to be one hell of a game, and that’s only at the character creation part! Capcom have given you almost every tool possible to make your hunter look exactly how you see in your imagination. Mine had crazy blue hair, pretty much like Sonic the Hedgehog, but he looked cool, very cool! It’s not just the Hunter that you get to create; you are also given freedom to choose how your little buddy Palico, who is a little cat-looking creature and will help you on your quests to hunt down some of the most terrifying and gigantic monsters I have perhaps ever saw in a game.
I’m not going to spoil the story for you here, that’s something that I am still learning about even after all this time myself. However, the overall jist of the story is that you arrive on the New World as part of the Fifth Fleet and it’s your job to help other departments of the New World to collect data and research how monsters are acting the way that they do, ultimately having to stop them along the way. I’m really enjoying the story as I’m going through. It doesn’t feel rushed, it can be quite daunting if you aren’t a Monster Hunter fan already but I do advise you to stick with it as everything is explained nicely.
Before I go on to talk about game specifics, I have to give Capcom massive credit on the visuals. I’ve played a lot of RPGs that are graphics heavy but Monster Hunter: World has some of the most impressive visuals in a game since I played the latest Uncharted entry. The detail in this game is phenomenal, which is apparent with the character creation layers that I mentioned previously in my review. Everything looks fantastic. The monsters are just a sight to look at, let alone try and take down. Sometimes I think I’m travelling through some Jurassic Park kind of thing but seriously, you won’t or you’ll definitely struggle to find a better looking game on the PlayStation 4 right now. If you have a Pro, I’m very jealous of you right now as I can only imagine how good this game looks in 4K. Sound wise, it has the fantastic soundtrack that you’d come to expect really from a game like this. However, I was a little disappointed with the voice acting. Whilst decent enough, sometimes it felt a little off and I think a bit more work on it would of helped even more.
There is no doubt about it, Monster Hunter: World is daunting if this is your first entry into the brilliant RPG genre. This game has a stat for absolutely everything. For starters, there are 14 weapon types for you to go through and pick and trust me, it’s not just about picking what weapon looks the nicest. You have a training center which you can reach via your own room, located in Astera, which is your hub for absolutely everything including looking for and accepting quests. More on Astera soon! Back on to the weapons, each one that you can choose has its own unique style, the big swords and hammers feel and move so slowly, whilst you can do fast attacks using the daggers. There is a weapon for all tastes in Monster Hunter: World. I must of spent a good hour and half just testing the different weapons to see what felt right for me and my approach to the monsters.
Back on to Astera now, this is the hub, the go to place for all your needs. You can accept quests, post quests, upgrade your equipment, fuse new equipment. Everything that you want to do between quests is available right here. One thing that I really recommend you do before you go out on a quest or such is go to the canteen. There you’ll have a selection of different platters of what you can choose to. This will them temporarily boost you and your Palico’s stats for the time being and will go back to normal once you return from that quest.
When I am talking about having a stat for everything and going to Astera to build, fuse and upgrade new equipment and armour as such, it really does sound scary. However, one of the best things in this game is that you are learned absolutely everything. Whilst there isn’t a tutorial stage as such, every time you come to a new thing in the game, you’ll get a pop-up which details this gameplay element and what you have to do etc. The first few hours of the game are essential that you listen to all of these guides as it will help you in the future. If you do forget what a certain thing does or how to do something then don’t worry, all of these tutorials are logged so you can go back to them in the future.
Of course, you can get all of the equipment you want, all of the armour you like, but all of us want to do some hardcore hunting at some point down the line, and this is where the game excels. The monsters you face in the game are huge, and you wonder how the hell you are going to face these beasts alone. The fantastic thing and probably the best thing about this game is that you don’t have to! Monster Hunter: World is built on an online experience (you can do it single-player) where you and your friends can team up and do quests together. Your friends can come back and help you do quests that they have already completed but be warned, the difficulty is spiked up when you hunt with your friends. If you are alone doing quests, you can also send an SOS Flare out which will signal to your server you are on that you need help and they can come and help you in your quest needs! Don’t be afraid to use those SOS Flares, you aren’t hampered by them and sometimes, when you see what you are up against, you’re going to need help in any form!