Monster Hunter is one of Capcom’s (Street Fighter, Mega Man) flagship series’. For years, players around the world have found ways to hunt and kill large monsters on consoles and handhelds.
It is a series that, despite many installments with unique variations, has always been a game about running around with incredible weapons and using them to massacre the native population of massive creatures. Sure, with recent games like The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and Horizon Zero Dawn, it may not sound too special, but the Monster Hunter series has amassed its own following.
Monster Hunter World, the latest in the series, is the first game released on Playstation 4 and Xbox One. A marvel of a game, it has the distinction of being the first mainstream entry in the series, introducing many to this cult series.
The game stars a player-created character. They are a part of the Fifth Fleet, a crew sent to the new world to investigate the mysterious Elder Crossing, an event that causes massive dragons to migrate.
One dragon, Zorah Magdaros, is in the middle of his migration. This wrecks the player’s ship causing them to wash away on the shore and starting their journey in The New World.
Overall, the story is rather bland. It is not awful by any means, but the characters are not worth the investment.
On the gameplay side, the game is broken up into three parts: tracking, fighting and carving.
Tracking monsters involves the player highlighting the path a beast might take. Fighting monsters involves following said path and coming up with plans to take them down. The final step, carving, has the players use parts of the monster to craft items that are useful for their next hint.
To some, it may sound daunting. There is a sharp difficulty curve but with careful planning and a lot of practice, it becomes a fun and satisfying experience.
Thankfully, players don’t have to go at it alone. There are computer controlled characters called Palicos. These anthropomorphized cat-like creatures support the player during a battle. They can litter the battlefield with traps to incapacitate the monster being hunted.
Monster Hunter World is a worthy addition to Capcom’s niche series. It brings some great ideas to the table, which feel fresh on a large console experience. Whether hunting alone or with friends online, this world is ripe with so much to hunt and explore.