Monster Hunter World

Thinking of a title for this post left me a little dumbstruck……What is it that I’m trying to say about Monster Hunter World that means I want to sit and write about it?

The biggest issue I had, was that the title would just end up being too long. I want it to be seen as one of the games of this generation. Because, honestly, that’s exactly what it is.

I picked it up last year and put around 20 hours into it, soloing through the story, not really picking it up properly. It was fun and I was enjoying it, but I wasn’t properly engaging with it for plenty of reasons.

I was playing Destiny 2 still, and trying to play through other massive games too. It fell by the wayside through no fault of it’s own.

After watching the NoClip video on Bloodborne (a game I have ready to play, when I get to it….), and playing through God of War. I found myself desperate for more combat in that style. Heavy on evasion and timing. Proper high-risk/high-reward with solid controls.

I immediately knew that I would be coming back to Monster Hunter World, and giving it the time it deserves.

Now here I am, racking-up another 25 hours in a few weeks (in between life, work and playing other games too….), and I can’t help but feel that this gem is genuinely one of the best games available for the current generation consoles.

 

Destiny replacement…..

I didn’t realise is that I’ve been craving an mmo-like game to fill the void that the ever-disappointing Destiny 2 left in me. Because, like I’ve said before, sometimes you need the grind.

All of a sudden, I’ve found myself learning about builds, farming gear, studying different weapons and diving head-first into the world of Monster Hunter.

I’m logging-in at every opportunity to develop my hunter, to increase my knowledge and skills, and of course, get some sweet armour. I’ve gone from casually bumbling through, to borderline hardcore, soaking in as much as I can.

This is my daily grind, and I couldn’t be happier with that. Tracking and hunting, tackling arena challenges, responding to SOS flares for other players in need.

Who knew that a Monster Hunter game would become the game that filled the hole left by Destiny?

I couldn’t tell you the last game I’ve watched so many YouTube videos about. Not reviews, but guides and informational stuff (I highly recommend checking out everything by Arrekz Gaming), asking questions on Reddit and Discord.

Suffice it to say, I am in a great place gaming-wise right now, and Monster Hunter World is scratching all of the right itches.

 

Combat

I’m not really writing a review here, I’m just gushing about a game right now. It’s perhaps hard for me to be objective while I’m in so deep…..so I’ll come back to that one day.

However, one of the biggest things for me, is the combat and how substantially it changes depending on the weapon you choose to use.

I started out with the Charge Blade (little did I know that I was using it incorrectly for the first 20 hours of play…..), and after about 35 hours, I fancied trying something different, so I switched to the Insect Glaive.

Suddenly, it’s like I’m playing a different game when I’m on a hunt. Each weapon determines your approach and style.

With the Charge Blade I was using my shield to block (no surprise there!), using my sword to attack and then combining them into a big axe-type weapon for serious damage. Now, I wasn’t using the charge element properly to begin with, but that’s not important to the style of play and how different the Insect Glaive is…..

Using the Insect Glaive has seen me go from a cautious, slow-moving attacker that chose moments to really go for high damage, to an ever-attacking, high-flying tornado of death.

Initially it was uncomfortable to be so much more aggressive and in the face of a monster, but as I get used to it, it feels more natural to me than the Charge Blade ever did.

I have no idea what I’ll do when I go to try a ranged weapon like a bow or gun, or what to do when it comes to a long sword! I do know that it’ll completely switch up the dynamic of a hunt, and that’s really exciting.

Beyond weapon type, each monster is unique, with attack patterns and enrage moments that need to be studied on-the-fly. Toppling a monster on your first encounter is exhilarating. But learning and doing it better, and going back again and again is even more fun.

The core hunting and combat elements are top-notch and I just long to dive back in at any given opportunity.

 

Gear

The most complex part about Monster Hunter World is the stats and types of gear. The elemental damage, the blunt or shred damage. Working out what is best to use when tackling a certain monster.

It isn’t hard, in fact it’s pretty much what you expect from an RPG. But it does have a learning curve, and I think it’s steeper than I realised when I first started playing.

On my downtime, if I’m not playing Monster Hunter, I’m studying it. What perks of what armour should I be looking for? What weapon do I need to work towards for the next step in my journey? I’m nerding-out, and loving it. It’s as much fun to learn and plan my next session as it is actually playing.

Farming isn’t an issue, in fact it’s a pleasure. I’ve only just started the “high rank” hunts, and well……my gear is lacking. So I’m on the hunt to get what I need to build a decent armour set to see me through the rest of the story (oh yeah, 40 hours in and I haven’t completed the story……).

Everything is so intricately designed (honed over years and years of Monster Hunter games), I have so many choices and so much freedom to just roll how I’d like to.

Better yet, some of the gear looks excellent!

Farming for ore is a relatively relaxing endeavour that I quite enjoy. I can only liken it to the original material collecting in Destiny, and how hard/tedious it was. Monster Hunter does this in a much better way.

Nothing good comes easy. The rewards are worth the effort though, and RNG isn’t quite so brutal or an issue for me at present (although I understand it will be in the end-game).

 

Playing with others

To me, Monster Hunter World was a solo experience and my knowledge of the online elements was limited. Then, one day I was struggling with a monster and got brave…….I fired an SOS flare.

What happened next will never leave me and it was one of the best online gaming “moments” I can recall.

I saw names appear on my screen, telling me that they were preparing to join my hunt.

Initially, I expected people to come in and call me a noob or perhaps try and fuck-up my hunt in some way. Nope!

3 hunters eventually joined me, and we took down that Diablos in no time. If I carted (fainted and went back to camp), I was told “it’s ok, it happens to us all”. I was receiving buffs from a hunting horn player, then watching a guy mount Diablos and smack him with a hammer until he was knocked out…….

All the while another player was doing decent damage at a range with a bow.

It blew my mind. People saw I needed help, and bugger me, they came to help!

Now, I respond to flares when I can, and join quests sometimes. Always trying to be the best hunter I can be, to help someone who’s stuck, no matter what they’re stuck with.

Playing with randoms is great (I messaged each of those that helped me initially to thank them), but playing with friends is better! Doing hunts with Frostos from VasDown has seen me further enamoured with Monster Hunter World.

A little co-ordination, a lot of chaos, and having a laugh. We’re having a blast. I may or may not have toppled Frostos over a few times when wildly swinging my Charge Blade (I didn’t know that was a thing!!), but it’s always fun and usually funny, unless I leave him vulnerable to an attack from something….

 

Never alone

Playing solo isn’t actually solo. Thanks to every hunter having a Palico.

A Palico is a little cat that you create at the start of the game. These then become your companion on every hunt, unless you choose to leave them at home.

They’re just there to keep you company though, they become a real support. Using gadgets to help you (healing, collecting materials from monsters etc), and actually laying down some damage with their little weapons.

They’re a great way to draw aggro away from you for a few seconds whilst you try to heal or sharpen your blade. Man, I wouldn’t be without Beau!

Gear is just as important for your Palico. You can forge new weapons and armour and keep them at the top of their game, able to help out when you need it.

A wonderful little addition to an excellent game!

 

On and on and on…..

I need to stop here. I’ve not covered nearly half of what makes Monster Hunter World so good, but I just needed to let out some praise for such an excellent game.

It just keeps going on, free update after free update. Superb cross-over events with other gaming franchises (Final Fantasy, Devil May Cry, Assassin’s Creed to name but a few!).

Right now I’m working on getting a full Odogaron set and finishing the story element so I can dig even deeper into the game, with the end game hunts and events.

The pending Witcher 3 event has me desperate to get to being high enough rank to participate.

Monster Hunter World isn’t perfect, but it is a sprawling world, full of what feel like living, breathing beasts. Everything you do is fun, the controls are tight and the depth in everything available to you goes well below the surface.

I genuinely believe that it’s one of the best games of the current generation.

If you’ve actually managed to read all of this nonsense (not my finest work right here….), I’d suggest you pick up a copy as soon as you can and give it a try.

Happy hunting!

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