GregoPeck gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
GregoPeck gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
A while ago, I was looking into getting a new-to-me game and Monster Hunter: World got added to that list. It seemed to have good reviews and it looked interesting, so I bought it on sale. It remained in my “to play” list until just recently.

Monster Hunter, a Capcom game series, has been around for a while and is very popular in Japan. The game is simple and yet deep. The premise of the game is to hunt monsters, of course. The process of doing this is also simple; prepare for a hunt, hunt a monster, collect and craft items, and repeat the process. This small process may sound boring, especially after a while, but it’s surprisingly fun.

There are many monsters in the game. Each has a distinctive look, behavior, elemental strengths and weaknesses, and item drops. Before you go on a hunt, you’ll want to prepare. As you progress in the game, monsters get to be more difficult and require more preparation. First, you’ll need to equip some gear like weapons, armor, and optionally charms. There are a lot of weapons, 14 to be precise. They range from close range like swords to long range like a bow gun. Each has it’s own unique advantages and disadvantages. Some allow the player to be more mobile, while others are slow, but very powerful.

Armor is divided up into 5 pieces; head, chest, arms, waist, and legs. I think you start out with two; leather and chain mail. You can eventually purchase more armor and weapons. It seems you start out with the basic version of each weapon, so I’m not sure why you would need to purchase any. Weapons and armor are crafted mostly from materials you gather from harvesting a monster you’ve successfully hunted. However, there are usually other item requirements, some of which you can acquire during a hunt or as a reward for completing a quest.

Preparing for a hunt also includes visiting the canteen where you can purchase meals using a variety of in game currencies or points. You can also “oven roast” ingredients and get useful items. Having a meal before a hunt can grant you extra health, defense, stamina, or other bonuses. This seems to be quite useful, especially for higher level hunts. The only downside is that those bonuses are temporary.

There is a multiplayer aspect of this game, in fact it’s pretty much an online multiplayer game. You can of course play alone, but you’re still online. When you start the game and after you’ve chosen your saved data, you can then select which type of online mode you want to be in. You can select what kind of players (like “beginners”) and who can join your game (like friends only). There are other options as well. When selecting a quest, you can choose to “post a quest” or “join a quest.” If you “post a quest,” you can choose how many players can join you; one to four. While out on a quest, if you get overwhelmed you can send an SOS, although I haven’t tired that yet. This will apparently open your game up and make it available for others to come help you. Even if you get disconnected from the online part of the game, you can of course still play the game without online functionality.

There is a story mode to the game and in the beginning, the game holds your hand for a little bit, telling you how to move and how to do different things. There are small tutorials littered throughout the game, which you can view later. Some of these include videos showing you how to do something. However, the game doesn’t hold your hand very long nor does it tell you everything you might need or want to know. There are still parts of the game I’m not too sure about and even finding answers to my own questions related to the game is challenging. This issue is one of the minor things I dislike about the game.

Along with story mode “assigned” quests you can also do optional, investigations, and events. Investigations are interesting, in a way, because they are limited. You can only attempt them a certain amount of times, but there are very many of them. I’m not sure that they actually help advance your Hunter Rank, but they do give other resources like money, items, and research points. Investigations are very plentiful and can include a variety of things such as hunting a certain monster, capturing a certain monster, collecting certain items like flora, and a lot more. Events are available during a limited time and require a certain hunter rank.

There are also tie ins to other games. For one, there’s a set quests related to The Witcher, who appears in the game. I have not yet explored this quest line yet as my Hunter Rank is still too low. In this game, you don’t really level up your own stats, it’s the stats of your weapons and armor that matter. However, there is one stat that you can level up and that is your Hunter Rank. Basically it just means that the higher your Hunter Rank, the more quests you can access, which seem to gradually get more difficult as your Hunter Rank rises.

Research points can spent in the canteen and other places. You get them by completing quests. You can also use your capture net to collect small fauna like insects. You can also get them by interacting with monster tracks. This will allow you to gather more information about a monster and ultimately making it much easier for your Scoutflies to track. Scoutflies are a group of little green insects, that look like dots pretty much, that help lead you to where you want to go. If you’re tracking a certain monster, you can tell them to do so on the map and they’ll lead you to it while pointing out, along the way, monster tracks and other items you can collect. You can also set a way point on the map and they will guide you there.

There are a variety of items you can find during your hunt, that your Scoutfiles will point out to you. This includes flora, which can be used to craft items such as potions, traps, ammo, and other things. Items stored in your pouch will stay with you, while items in your equipment chest can be accessed in town or camps. During a quest, you can access a chest that will provide you with some useful items, usually potions. Although if you’re doing a capture quest, the box will supply you with what you need such as traps and tranquilizers.

The game has some different little other additions. For one, you are partnered with a cat, which is called a Palico. It can use gear as well including weapons, armor, and another piece of gear that has a variety of functionalitites. This item can help you with healing, defense, and other items like traps, which are definitely very helpful on hunts. As these abilities are used, they level up and increase their efficiency, to a max of level 10. Palicos make it so that you’re not alone when you’re hunting. They will fight monsters, too, and can even befriend some monsters, who will join you on your hunt, these are call Tailraiders. I really love the Palico and was glad that I could have a blue one.

There’s also a pig in town that you can pet. I can’t really explain it very well as I haven’t really messed with it. Apparently there is music that plays and you pet or stop petting it based on the music. Once you finally befriend it, you can customize it. Other than that, I really don’t know much about it.

There are a few areas in the game. I’m not sure if I’ve discovered them all, although I think I may have. This is slightly disappointing, because I’m enjoying the game and want much more of it. Luckily, there’s plenty to do and a new DLC.

That new DLC is called Iceborne. It takes place in what looks like a tundra area, but it apparently has multiple mini areas like springs and others. Iceborne is already available for the PS4 and Xbox One. However, it will arrive on PC in January and it is definitely a DLC I intend to get at launch, as I’m really loving this game. It contains new weapons, monsters, areas, and new items. One feature allows you to ride Tailraiders, which you can’t control, but they’ll take you where you want to go.

I am playing this game with an Xbox 360 (I think) controller connected to my PC, but you can also use other controllers. I believe other controllers are also compatible. You can also use the keyboard and mouse and it’s incredibly easy to switch between the two. While using the controller, if you hit a key on your keyboard, the game will display keyboard and mouse controls automatically. If you then hit a button on your controller, it will switch to controller controls automatically. I think this is quite impressive.

I think this is a fantastic game, I only wish there was much more of it on the PC, although the series itself has spanned various consoles and handhelds. I really do recommend this game. So far, it has been cheaper on consoles than PC, but you could wait for a good deal. When Iceborne releases for the PC, there will be a version of it that includes the base game, so you might want to wait until then.

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