This is the first game in the series we have ever played and it’s leaving lasting impressions, but not all of them good. Knowing a little bit about the other Monster Hunter titles (mainly through friends who have played them), significant changes have been made.
Monster Hunter: World’s story is not much to look at when you’ve experienced far more impressive RPG stories. However, when being compared to the others in the series, it actually seems cohesive and your main goal in the New World is to track down the Elder Dragon.
While the style of combat in Monster Hunter: World might be good for some, it seems rather clunky and obtrusive. Each weapon has its own set of combos, which is rather nice, although you really need to learn how to use them. The button layouts for the combat system are extremely frustrating at first, mainly because when playing other RPG’s you don’t bring out your weapon with triangle (Y) or automatically swing with R2 (RT). The options to change any layout are very limited.
Another rather irritating problem comes with the use of the “shortcuts”. While fighting these massive monsters, you must press a significant amount of buttons just to get to a potion. There’s a radial wheel which you can access your favorited items, but you still need to press L1 (LB) to access the wheel. There are two radial wheels to set items to, but it glitches sometimes when you put traps on them. Consuming potions or anything, (much like Dark Souls) takes a bit of time and significantly slows you down.
Quests and Such
While some of the main quests appear to be much of the same, there are a ton of extras. You can choose between doing — quests (main quest), Optional quests (which tend to be given by someone from the Headquarters, Investigations, (which you pick up from the Research Center in the Tradeyard) and events. Bounties, which you can accomplish during your quest, can also be found at the Research Center. This is one aspect of Monster Hunter: World any gamer can appreciate. There’s so much to do, even though most of it feels monotonous, it doesn’t lack objectives.
Playing with your friends is a serious pain, it’s almost not worth it. In order to play together, there’s a series of annoying motions you must go through. You need to be in the same online session, post a quest/optional/investigation/ or event which your partner can see on the quest board. Quests where cutscenes that pertain to the story will not allow other players to join, until that scene is over. If you really want to play with your friends, each person (besides one) must leave the quest and join when one person has sent off a SOS flare. Or, you can all quit the quest and join each other at once, after going back to the headquarters.
Going on an expedition together is probably the most irritating. One player must go to whatever part of the map they wish to explore, and send off a SOS flare for the others to join. There is no other way to accomplish this, it was developed that way and Capcom will not fix it.
There is also something fishy going on with the scaling process. When going on an exploration, or coming back to a campsite from a quest, it appears to scale for a four player party. This only happens when you have another person with you. Quests scale to the number of players you choose when you start them. It’s only really annoying when you can’t go to explore with your friends, so you can gather items you might be missing from a specific monster.
This is an important facet in any RPG, but more so in Monster Hunter. Your enemies have plenty of ways to harm you, like being able to stun you, or shoot fire. So your armor is very important when battling certain monsters. For players who are new to this, it can be a little confusing at first.
Armor pieces you create (mainly from monsters you’ve defeated) typically have boosts. For example, Bone Mail gives you an Attack boost. These equipment skills only increase when you have several pieces of armor that have the same boost. So, if you have a piece that gives a Lv 1 Attack Boost, you need another piece of gear with the same Boost so it will increase to Lv 2. For new players, this is not explained and can be confused with leveling up the Armor (which only increases your defense).
Having several sets of Armor that complement each other is rather efficient. You can have several different loadouts, so don’t be afraid to try anything out.
Weapons are the most important, as they can make your encounters far easier. Knowing the weaknesses of each monster and choosing the right weapon increases success. However, the choice for weapons seems very limited. A majority of them are very heavy, and swing extremely slow. The most used weapon (reading from many sources) is the dual-blades, because of they’re ability to attack quickly. Before choosing a weapon, go into the training area and test them all out, as the descriptions do not fit the weapons.
I played this on a PS4 Pro and when loading the game you have three options because of the system: Resolution, Framerate, and Graphics. Choosing graphics first (as a marker for the other two) the game started and there was an immediate problem. Everything was whitewashed. Framerate had the same issue, while Resolution is the only option where you don’t see “fog” all over the place. So when playing on a PS4 Pro, go straight for the Resolution.
Other then that hiccup for Pro players, the graphics are not too bad. There could have easily been some lighting adjustments during cutscenes. But overall, it’s not bad for they style they are going for.
For anyone new to Monster Hunter, be aware that nothing is explained to you, besides combat. Even that is almost a total waste, because depending on what weapon you use it won’t be the same. Potions, traps, bombs, are told by basically saying “go to your Crafting List”. Armor Boosts are also left out, not telling players they need several pieces of the same Boost to level it up. Food is vital, but is not mentioned how vital, and can really screw you up while hunting. You have to learn what’s good and what’s not. This is not particularly a bad thing, but when it comes to such a vast open-world game, certain parts need to be explained, or at least a bit better.
Menus feel cluttered, and it becomes a hassle trying to manage your “hotbar” or your item pouch in general. Only being able to access your equipment from a box can get rather old. I can understand not being able to change your equipment during a battle, but having to run to a base camp while in the field is just silly. The box can also be an annoyance, simply because when crafting items from your box, you can’t just put them in your item pouch.
If you’re a veteran to the series, you will definitely enjoy Monster Hunter: World. Being a new player, I can see the many flaws this game contains. However, if you enjoy open-world RPG’s with the Japanese feel, then you should pick it up. If you don’t like any of the aforementioned problems, steer very clear from this game. It does offer a good experience once you look past the issues, but it can be obnoxious at times. So if you do pick it up and are new, be patient with the learning curve.