Monster Hunter: World was released on January 26th, 2018 and is the brand new release of the popular Monster Hunter series. It is out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and although not out for PC, the PC release is set to release soon. This game I had no idea was coming out until late last year in 2017. This is my first Monster Hunter game and I love it. The only other time I have been exposed to Monster Hunter was through Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker which had you hunt iconic Monster Hunter beasts like Rathalos. As a newcomer, I found the learning curve to be a bit slow. However, the game does well to guide you along the way. This is a review, and there is too much in this game to cover all in one article. I will, however, do my best.
At first, I was blown away by the detail of the environments. You can see heat waves when the sun is out in the desert areas. The scenery is breathtaking with gorgeous views. There is so much to the game, yet the looks instantly hook you in.
When you first start the game, you have to make your character. Character creation gives you a lot of options when creating your own character, so make sure they look their best! Your character levels are known as Hunter Rank (HR). HR has no effect on your character’s stamina, health, attack damage, or defense. However, HR does determine Missions you unlock and items you can craft. HR rank is capped with Assignments. Everything in the game that can make your character better is all dependent on your equipment. Luckily, equipment in the game can all be changed throughout the Overworld in the Item Boxes. You can do this as well at The Smithy.
And if you forget to change anything before you head out to the field, don’t worry. You can access the tents at Camps while you’re out on the field.
There is a huge selection of weapons for a total of 14 different types of weapons. Every single weapon is viable! My recommendation is to have a couple of different weapons to use. Variety is the spice of life, after all. Weapons are created and upgraded using materials gather while hunting. It can be bones collected from bone piles, ore, and Monster material you gather from slaying or capturing a monster.
Each weapon type has different branches you can go down on making your choice of weapons to be great in number. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Usually, you’ll be picking a weapon to match the weakness of a Monster or counter one of their strengths. If you have trouble with a Monster, try a different weapon. There is absolutely no shame in using a shield!
Like your weapon, you can also upgrade your armor by using Armor Spheres. Be sure to match your armor to give you the best defense towards the monster you will be facing. Each piece of armor gives you a special skill; it can range anywhere from decreasing the stamina used up when you block to something like Slugger, a skill that makes it easier for you to stun monsters. Experiment and try new armor sets. I’m personally planning on collecting them all! You can match the skills to your play style or against specific Monster types! Trust me, you’ll need it for the Higher Ranked missions.
Speaking of Higher Ranks, you can change the colors of High Ranked armor sets. Make a fashion statement.
These items are like special items you can attach to armor and weapons that have these special slots available. These Decorations have Skills. You can increase the strength of the Skill by matching armor and Decorations to match with the Skill you want to make stronger.
The equipment for your Palico is like your own but simplified. You can forge and buy different armor and weapon sets for your little furball. Armor is split up into two separate pieces, a headpiece, and the suit.
Your Pelico can also use Gadgets! Although I haven’t found one yet, the Vigorwasp Spray is the default Gadget your Pelico will use – It’s a healing tool that your Pelico will use. Your Pelico will set them on the battlefield when you are fighting a Monster, as well as bring one to you when you are hurt. How cool is that? Don’t take it the wrong way, they are no slouch on the battlefield, either. Although they will not pull off as much damage as you do, they are always there to help… unless you decide to leave them in your room, or you get above two players in a hunt.
She is the one that will be helping you and guiding you. You can select missions or join an online session from either talking to her or reaching one of the Quest Boards. Most of the time she’s just eating. Like, she never stops.
The Overworld is filled with so much that it’s hard to put everything into one article because every part of the Overworld can be talked about in great detail. I will talk about the places you will be spending most of your time at. All throughout the Overworld, including your room, you have Item Boxes in which you can manage your items, craft the items you have, sell, change equipment, etc. However, you can only change your equipment for you and your Pelico in the Overworld. Once you are on a hunt, you can’t change your gear past accessing the Item Box and the items that mission gives you. You can sort and even make pre-set items in the Item Box so you take what you need.
The game does a good job in explaining all of the locations as they become unlocked, so be sure to be on the lookout for exclamation marks and watch out for the tutorials explaining every location in the Overworld. I will list the locations in the main Overworld and quickly explain their purpose.
In your room, you have an Item Box, your Housekeeper Palico, and you can manage your Palico.
Your Item Box is the standard Item Box you find anywhere else in the Overworld. With your Housekeeper, you can select training room, place pets from any animals that you capture, or move rooms. If you have any DLC, such as from purchasing any Special Edition, the DLC will be accessible through your Housekeeper. Additionally, if you have the Tailraider Safari unlocked, you’ll be able to access it through the Housekeeper.
Managing your Palico’s gear can also be done from here. If you happen to have High Ranked armor, you can change some of the colors.
Your room is a place for you to customize as you achieve a higher standard of living.
This place I already talked about. Here you can forge weapons, armor, and charms as well as upgrade them. If you are into fashion, you can also preview armor sets in case you’re looking for maximum fashion. Nothing beats Window Shopping. This place could take up an entire article on its own just talking about different builds! In the same room, you also have a Merchant. Check it out when you have time!
This place is your store. Be sure to purchase anything you may be running low on with the money you earn in your hunts.
This is where you can manage your Investigations, do Deliveries, and Register Bounties.
Investigations are great for farming items you may need. Not only do you get paid and even have a higher likelihood of rewards, the location of the Investigation will also have bonuses such as flourishing mushrooms if you are wanting to collect them. As you progress through the game, you should only keep higher ranked Investigations or any specific investigation that will help you farm an item you need.
This is also where you come to deliver items when certain characters give you a delivery request. Completing deliveries is important as they can upgrade your Ancient Tree and harvest items of your choosing, as well as building camps when you find suitable campsites when you’re out exploring. Deliveries also have other rewards, so complete these for rewards.
Bounties reward you with Armor Spheres to upgrade your armor. These can be completed as you are on your hunts. Free Armor Spheres and you don’t even have to go out of your way to get them. Just set up the bounty that is most convenient for you. Sometimes you do have to go out of your way for them, but you’ll usually be hunting a Monster while you’re at it.
Here you can harvest any consumables. Be it plant, mushroom, or insect. Upgrade this through completing Deliveries at the Research Center when you get the quests. All you need are the required items.
If you are looking for a battle strategy, you can come here. As you learn more about a Monster, this place will reveal their weaknesses and what you can break and if the tail is severable. It’s like your very own in-game Wiki!
Before you go on hunts, you will want to make sure you get a meal here. You can always get a meal at a Camp or at the Gathering Hub, but nothing beats this Cat’s commitment to gains and protein consumption. You will want different bonuses depending on what you’re fighting/hunting.
Through this Elder, you can break down items you may not need to trade it in with Melding Points towards an item you may need. It can be a Consumable, Decoration or Crafting Items. Don’t be afraid to toss some junk into the pot. They do say that one person’s trash is another’s treasure – let that treasure be yours.
This dude brings you a random assortment of items you get to trade your Research Points with. You can select which items you prefer to see, and sometimes he brings in the good stuff. Try him out. It’s a good way to pick up extra resources.
The Gathering Hub is at the top of the main Overworld. Here you can see other players and interact with them. You can order meals, and accept quests as well as lounge around with your friends and Arm Wrestle! This is a great place for you and your friends to show off your gear before heading out to a hunt.
Additionally, there is also an Item Box, an entrance to your room, a place to eat meals, and a Store. Another thing that’s available here is Arena hunts in which you hunt for the best times against others. Who knows, it may lead to some nice rewards. Arena Quests are great for trying out new equipment sets since you have to choose from pre-made sets of gear.
The monsters you come across in Monster Hunter: World can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s ok to look for help or maybe help someone else. Keep in mind that money is divided among the players, however, rewards are not split between the players. Because of this, playing in lobbies is perfect for grinding or just getting help with a monster. Still, sharing money isn’t a bad thing as long as you have some good company.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you get a voucher every time you log in. You can log in to either starting an online lobby or joining one. Vouchers are handy because they will increase the chances of getting rarer items as well as double the money you make on a mission. You can only carry 5 at a time, so be sure to use them! There are also Meal Vouchers you can use. When using one in a multiplayer lobby, everyone will get to eat at the Canteen for free! A huge boost of morale in large lobbies!
A lobby can have up to 16 players at once, but only up to 4 can join most hunts – some only allow up to 2. You can either make an online session or join one that is similar to your Hunter Rank (HR) so you can all get the most out of it. If someone posts a quest, you will be notified. You can join from anywhere you would otherwise post your own quest and join in on the cue. If the hunt is already in progress, then worry not because you can still join mid-session.
Another way to interact with others is by sending out SOS Flares. If you’re in a tough hunt or would just want to have someone to play with, send out an SOS Flare. The SOS Flare option can be found in the Start Menu or in the Shortcut Wheel by holding the Left Bumper. You can also answer to SOS Flares by joining players that have launched an SOS Flare.
SOS Flares do not, however, mean you join their lobby and vice-versa. It only means you join that hunt.
Guild cards are handy little resources to show you and your Pelico off. Squads are kind of like clans. Guild Cards can be shared with other players, as well as received. They show not only your gear, but they also show the weapons you use, your stats, Arena Records, and Monster sizes you have hunted. Don’t be afraid to flaunt you and your Pelico! You can set it always show a specific set of gear for you and your Pelico, or you can have it constantly update.
The game does something special that I believe was really needed. We are constantly saturated with PVP (Player-VS-Player) games that it almost seems like the industry forgets the rest. This game is a wonderful PVE (Player-VS-Environment) experience full of detail and nuance. The game sucks you in, challenges you with tougher monsters, and rewards you for overcoming the challenges. It respects the intelligence of the player while having enough conveyance that you don’t constantly get lost and doesn’t distract from the scenery. If you ever have an issue remembering anything in the game, the game has a handy list of tutorials that can easily be found in the Start Menu.
There is planned DLC in the future, and so far the plans are that they will all be available for free. Personally, I think it’s a smart move so everyone can enjoy monster hunting.
My final verdict for the game is a 9.5/10! As much as I love this game, I can’t recommend the Deluxe Edition. I purchased the Digital Deluxe Edition, and for 10 more USD, you get Gestures, a cosmetic Samurai set that goes over your armor, Stickers, Face Paint, and Hairstyles. If you are into the cosmetic extras, then 10 extra dollars won’t be too bad. I do believe this game is a must that will keep you entertained for hours! It has enough social features that you might make some new friends.
If you are looking to pick up the game, you are more than welcome to use the Amazon affiliate links down below. If this review helped, it would be a great help to me. Of course, I always encourage to make your purchases where they are most convenient for you or if you just simply find it cheaper elsewhere. Through the links you can select either a physical or digital copy; additionally, you can also select which version you’d like to get.