The Monster Hunter franchise had a modest success on the PlayStation 2 when it came out in 2004, and found its way onto the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo 3DS. You take on the role of a Hunter that protects a village and studies the monsters that roam near it. As in many action role-playing games, you equip weapons, armor and skills that enhance your character’s abilities. The amount of customization is up to the player, and they can mix and match to beat specific monsters. Players can also grind monsters for rare parts so that players can create the best items in the game.
Monster Hunter: World sought to bring the franchise back to Western audiences, who complained about previous titles’ high learning curves. In Monster Hunter: World, humans and other races are drawn to the New World, a wilderness populated by powerful monsters that researchers seek to study. The player starts in the central command base of Astera, and quests to either kill or capture monsters for further study.
The character’s attributes are defined by the weapons, armor, charms and mantles that they equip. For weapons, you can choose between ordinary, long or dual blade swords, a shield, a hammer, a hunting horn, a lance, a gun lance, a switch axe, a charge blade, an insect glaive, a bow, a light or heavy bowgun, depending on whether you want to get up close and personal with the monsters you hunt or kill them from a distance. You can also cause elemental damage and status effects with these weapons.
Armor enhances the attributes of the player character as well. By equipping up to four pieces of a particular set of armor, you can gain certain advantages as you hunt monsters. You can further mix and match with other basic skills. There are several types of armor: helms, chests, arms, waist, legs. In addition, there are unique armor sets, charms and decorations, which further boost your stats or skills. These can all be created by hunting down and killing monsters for parts. Mantles allow you to access special abilities such as concealing yourself from the enemy, increasing jump time, active time, and cooldown. You can even have a cat-like creature called a felyne, which is also known as a palico when in the employ of hunters, that can assist you in combat, providing either offensive, defensive, or restorative support. These palicoes can be outfitted with weapons, armor, and accessories themselves, and can even find items in the wild. A fun thing that palicoes can do in the game is gaining the assistance of other wild cats in bringing down monsters.
While completely optional, you can hunt monsters with friends in Multiplayer Mode. This helps you and your friends in forming strategies to take down monsters that may be difficult to beat by yourself. For those who like to collect DLC, there are Street Fighter and Horizon: Zero Dawn sets that you can acquire by completing missions of increasing difficulty or via purchase.
Monster Hunter: World is already shaping out to be one of the best games of 2018 and there is a lot of potential for the franchise. While the game is out right now for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the PC version of the game plans to ship later in 2018. Veterans and newcomers alike will enjoy its gameplay, with some veteran players establishing an “Adopt-A-Hunter” program to help newbies to the Monster Hunter series.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE March 2018 Issue.
Words by Jose Alvarez
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC