The Monster Hunter franchise has been extremely successful in Japan, spanning across multiple consoles and handhelds alike. Here in Western markets though, it never quite took off in the same way that it did in Japan. Monster Hunter: World though, changed things tremendously.
Monster Hunter: World was able to break out in a way that the franchise definitely needed it to. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve played older Monster Hunter games and have loved them, but World really streamlined a lot of stuff.
Truthfully, it’s a bit easier than other Monster Hunter titles and I think that helped a lot. The older games are certainly a grind, but can also be quite difficult if you are hunting alone. Monster Hunter World: is a bit easier to navigate solo, if that’s more your style. However, there’s no experience quite like taking down a Rathalos with a bunch of friends.
It was also a huge jump graphically. Mainly finding success on handhelds like the 3DS or PlayStation Portable, Monster Hunter was a franchise that needed a solid console release. It was also the first title in the franchise that was released worldwide simultaneously.
Monster Hunter games are all about, well, slaying monsters. You’ll use the body parts from those monsters to craft new armor or weapons and then continue the grind. You won’t always get every part you need from just one hunt either, so it is definitely a time sinker. I easily had over 100 hours in World and that was before the huge DLC Iceborne released.
That’s really the appeal, though. Your character doesn’t level up like in most other RPGs. Instead, you’ll need to hunt more powerful monsters to craft the gear associated with them. This really allows you to feel the benefits of your new gear, and drives you to keep hunting for all of the right parts. It is the main appeal of the whole franchise.
There are plenty of weapons to choose from, 14 to be exact. This is another area where the game shines. Each weapon is so unique and different, that it actually makes it quite difficult to change mid-game. You absolutely can, but when you get comfortable with one, I’d honestly recommend just sticking with it. I personally mastered the Insect Glaive, which was definitely weird at first but it finally clicked with me and I enjoyed vaulting myself up onto the monsters and knocking them down.
In Monster Hunter: World, the environments are larger than in previous titles and more open. There are no load screens between sections of the map anymore, instead it is all available to you all at once. This made tracking and hunting the monsters so much easier.
There are plenty of other things to do within the environments too, like fishing, catching bugs and capturing pets for your room back at the base. You can also gather materials for crafting like ores, plants and smaller animals.
There is a story here but if I’m honest it’s nothing special. It does its job in explaining that you are in this new world to balance the environmental abnormalities, but aside from that it isn’t too spectacular. It doesn’t hurt this title at all, it’s just not the main appeal of this game.
For me, Monster Hunter: World is all in the title. Monster hunting is the core of this franchise, and this game is no exception. The game blends things perfectly to make it more accessible to newcomers, without losing its appeal to fans of the series. With Monster Hunter: Rise right around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see how it performs after the success of World. Personally, I will always be a fan of the franchise.
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