Today I wanted to give my first impressions of Monster Hunter World and, as a gamer who has never played the franchise at all, give others who may be on the fence whether they should buy it or not some information from a first time player and what to expect. This is by no means a final review at all as I haven’t played the game anywhere near enough to comment on the many areas of the game and the depth that has been put into it. This is the type of game where you can play for a dozen hours and simply just begin how the games gameplay and mechanics unfold and how the many aspects of the game such as crafting and weapon and armour upgrades work. This is an RPG through and through. Its huge, its complex, its intense and above all it is fun.
At the beginning of the game you create your character and the game does a great job in giving the players a plethora of options in all areas of character creation. One area where it is lacking though is being able to choose the players height and weight which is an odd omission but apart from that the character creation is in depth with many options to get your character looking how you want him or her to look.
From there the story gets underway which is ok but certainly isn’t anything to knock your socks off, its there simply to wrap around the grinding and looting parts of the game and for that it does a good job. Embarking on your first quest will see you hunt down some weaker enemies to give you a taste of the combat mechanics which are fairly in depth from my limited playtime. You character has actual weight and you will need to animations to finish in order to string combat moves together and hit the monsters in the most efficient manner. Weapons are all very varied and each makes you play the game differently. Having only used a few different types, duel wielding small swords make you quick and nimble with your attacks but you need to be closer to the enemy which will put you more in harms way. Using an Iron Blade on the other hand which is a larger weapon and has more reach letting you put a little distance between you and the monster. This type of weapon is slower to swing but hits harder than the duel wielded swords. Each type of weapon is great to use and each has advantages and disadvantages. Considering there are a huge number of weapons in the game and such a variety in them and how theyre used, I’d expect each to cater to different types of players but using them all would make you play the game in a different way.
The monster design is really top notch and even in these early stages they attack and defend differently to one another. Each battle goes through stages whereby the monster to run after you sliced of their tail or done some other form of damage which you can visually see and know you are weakening it. Following the monster once its run off will take you to the next stage of the battle in a different area. I found the encounters could be quite long as the monsters are tough and depending on your equipment will see you defeating them more easily or battling it out for longer. Their attacks change as the fight goes on with some charging at you, knocking you down and defenceless , or others will spit out poison at you which could cripple you for a certain time.
The monster battles can be even better when you consider that the world around the battle taking place, and around how the monster acts, is dynamic and forever changing. The world of Monster Hunter is always changing, monster are constantly moving around and doing their own thing. This manifests itself in great way such as when you are engaging with a larger monster only for it to come face to face with an even larger beast. Taking on one of the earlier monsters only to for a TRex type of animal to come around the corner and attach the other monster is just a fantastic piece of gaming and really brings the world to life. The monster will also know youre in the vicinity to and attack which happened on several occasions and there was no way I could take on two of these beasts at once.
The amount of loot you receive in this game is great and the amount of plant life that can be harvested is huge. You will constantly run by things that can be picked and gathered and then used to craft a multitude of different potions and other things to aid you in battle. I have barely touched on any of the crafting in regards to these potions and have only upgraded my equipment a couple of times. Gathering materials and other items from the monsters you have killed will see you visit the blacky in Astera where you will spend alot of time using these items to upgrade you weapons and armour, mixing and matching from different armour sets and building all new weapons for you to take out into the world.
And speaking of the world it looks fantastic with a huge amount of variety even though I’ve only visited two completely different zones so far. From lush tropical forests and oceans, to sandy, rocky and rugged environments that are just dying to be explored especially with any new gear you have crafted and havent used yet. There is a great amount of detail in all with some great lighting going on especially if your tv is HDR enabled. Texture work is of a good standard but they arent the most detailed and the framerate is quite consistant although it does vary. I have chosen to play with the resolution mode and havent checked out how the graphical or frame rate options compare. Overall though it is a very good looking game running on the Xbox One X and the design of the world, characters and items are fantastic. Monsters are both large and very detailed and each so far has looked completely different to the last, the design should be commended on just how much variation the game has in regards to monster design.
I have only barely scratched the surface of what this enormous game has to offer and cant wait to get back to it. I’m hoping that as I rank up, finish the main quest and the endgame content starts to show itself that it holds up to being a game with a large amount of loot to grind for and things to do. Judging from opinions and reviews from others, thankfully this is the case so I’m expecting hundreds of hours of quality gaming with Monster Hunter World in the future. From my playtime so far it looks like the developers have done a great job and have put alot of love into this game, even more so as there are no loot boxes or microtransactions in sight which is great to see for a new AAA game in a popular long running series.