Five Of My Favourite Things About Monster Hunter World

Kotaku's review of Monster Hunter World will be coming soon. (Sneak preview: it's pretty damned good.) In the meantime, here are a few of the things I like about it.

The monsters are terrific

This series has always been all about the beasts. They have such personality in their animation and behaviour. The new creatures in Monster Hunter World are impressive, surprising, and brilliantly fun to fight.

The familiar ones — Rathalos, Diablos, even the Barroth — have been given a 4K makeover. I love the way they interact with each other, too. I spent about ten minutes just watching a Rathian (big green dragon) and a Barroth (angry dino-rhinoceros) lay into each other on a quest last night.

It's so imaginative

The premise of Monster Hunter World is simple — go out, kill or be killed — and yet there is such imagination evident in everything from the monsters themselves to the armour and weapon fashions to the lively, sprawling marketplace that houses all the characters.

The aesthetic is a mash-up of prehistoric and pirates. There is a one-eyed cat captain who runs the canteen. There are little flashes of humour and personality in the most unexpected places.

I love my cat-pal

Palicoes, little cats that accompany you on quests, have been a fixture in Monster Hunter for years now. Functionally, they're mostly there to distract monsters so that you're not under constant assault.

More importantly, they're cute and hilarious. The first time I waded across a swamp I almost lost it when I saw that my cat-pal had whipped out her own little rubber dinghy and was paddling around with the tiny ukulele she uses as a weapon. 10/10 would cat again.

The environments are frankly jaw-dropping

I won't spoil, but the Ancient Forest and Wildspire Wastes that featured in the beta are only two of the five gigantic, multi-layered environments in Monster Hunter World.

Every time I discovered somewhere new, I spent hours on an expedition, exploring and feeling out monster territories. There are caves to get lost in, hidden traps to spring on your quarry, hideouts where wild cats live. It helps, too, that it looks so beautiful.

All the boring things about Monster Hunter are gone

I've been playing Monster Hunter games for a decade, so I've become so inoculated to the series' more boring elements that I only truly appreciated how much they sucked when they were taken away. Monster Hunter World has no more mandatory mushroom-collecting quests. (Don't worry though, amateur foragers, it's still got optional ones.)

The storyline isn't padded out with tedious "kill X of Y" objectives. Instead you hunt big, proper monsters, one after the other. In between, you can do optional quests or objective-free expeditions for a bit of a rest.

I've also spent much less time on inventory management. Monster materials, pickaxes, bug nets and other essentials no longer take up space in your pouch.

I didn't even realise until 10 hours in that you can head back to camp and deposit whatever items you've mined, fished and foraged, so you never run out of space. These quality-of-life improvements might not sound like much, but they save so much time and make playing so much more seamless.


Kotaku's review will be published in the coming days, after I've had some time with the game on live servers. It's safe to say that I've not been disappointed.


Comments

    Waiting for it to come to PC, going to be a blast in co-op. Definitely keeping it on my radar until then.

    I will let you know when I get past the character creator.

    Too tanned, start again...
    Not tanned enough, start again...
    Face looks chubby in game, start again...

    Obviously still early days but I am enjoying this game quite a lot. I see all these people blasting through meanwhile I'm sneaking around setting up traps and planning my encounters. Looks amazing when you get two of them fighting each other.

    Amazing game. Haven't stopped playing it since picking it up. Literally all day.

    Two things that absolutely suck balls about it, though:

    1) The game appears to be psychotically determined to get in the fucking way of two people trying to play the game together. It's determined to drive you into brief, bite-sized hunts with ransoms. Playing with my partner is an excercise in maddening frustration as every fucking quest has to be started solo, only permitting group play after both parties have separately partially advanced through the mission then quit or fucking failed.

    2) You cannot grind power. If you can't beat something with the gear available to you at your current progress gate, the only answer is 'git gud, scrub'. Even fucking Dark Souls lets you grind up a few more levels to overpower a sticking point with a tad more health or damage. Not this, though. And that's incredibly frustrating.

      I agree on point 1) its bit silly that both have to watch the cinematics before you can join each others quest either through SOS or you quit and restart.

      2) Must be you first time. This is part of the game and it is awesome. You have to get good and understadn the pattern and armor and armor combination for skills. You have to prepare for a fight with boosts or items like tramps am bombs
      this game has indepth fight mechanics and is not just a hack and slash or grind levels until you can rush through everything.

      And i hope for the sack of this game they will never change this just because people complain about it and to make it easier for them

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