Monster Hunter: World – Xbox One Review

Jari Välimäki

Monster Hunter: World

I was looking forward to Monster Hunter: World when it was announced, as someone who hadn’t played
any of the previous titles in the franchise, and there’s quite a few of them. I was pondering would I like it,
and would I know how to play it? well the short answer to that is, I like it and it’s alot of fun.

The story behind Monster Hunter: World for a short recap,

You are a part of the Fifth fleet, led by the research commision who has been tasked to research the monster migration to the new world, a new
continent separate from the old populated world. Your first encounter in the new world is with the gigantic monster, Zorah Magdaros who tears
through your ship and several other, but luck is on your side and you make it onto dry land to the established research commission led base Astera.
Here you are tasked with orders to find out why the gigantic monster Zorah Magdaros migrates every 10 years to the new land, whilst setting up new
outposts over the land and clearing out any hostile monsters along the way.

World and Gameplay

It all starts with the customization of your character and there is a lot to do here, you can modify so much detail that I lost track of time
when I was making my hero, then there’s the matter of making your trusty Palico (cat like AI companion) which is also a ton of fun, and
you can let your creativity fly here as well.

Once you are done perfecting your hero; you head into Astera the main base, and here is where you are introduced again to your handler
who will throughout the game handle quests for you and give handy tips. Besides your handler being located here, Astera also is the main hub
for you to buy and sell goods, manage your inventory, and craft new equipment. You will be introduced to people like Smitty, the blacksmith
and ninja cat like chefs from whom you can purchase a meal to boost your vitals before going on a quest and several other folks.

There are four types of missions in Monster Hunter: World starting with Assigned, Optional, Investigations, and Events.
The Assigned missions are the games story missions. By completing these missions, you will raise your Monster Rank and open the world up more.
Missions themself are labeled as Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert ranging as guessed from Easy to Hard.

Optional quests are missions that you can complete, and benefit the NPC’s in the game. These yield rewards aswell.

Investigation quests are free roam (open world) special quests that can only be completed a number of times,
these will help your character level up and acquiring materials for equipment upgrades.

Your trusty Palico who fights by your side, is also carrying equipment and weaponry so it’s important to remember that his gear can also be levelled up.
And speaking of weapons, the game features fourteen different types, from long swords to bows, and these all define what kind of combat style you’ll
play when slaying monsters, these can be switched up at any point in the game for a bit more variation. Some basic equipment can be purchased
with in game money, but in the end you will forge your own equipment from the loot you have gathered from completing quests, slaying monster etc.

One particular mechanic that I like in game is the use of certain equipment such as swords, will loose it’s damage points due to dullness from repeated strikes,
so you will need to sharpen the blades from time to time, this adds tactical thinking as a layer ontop of everything… when is the right time to step back
and take care of your equipment so you can ultimately finish off your foe?.

Also by the amount of weaponry provided in game, some might suit a certain mission better than the other. So reading up on the mission and using the resources
around you, can help you make a decision that will benefit you greatly in the end.

As I mentioned above killing the monsters in game, will give you materials for upgrading your characters gear level / palico’s. This is where the game can
get frustrating for some, as it is in the end a game that you will have to grind, often the same missions over and over again to get the needed materials
for that next upgrade to make your character stronger and ultimately finish off all the quests in game.

But as I see it, grinding is not necessarily a bad thing if you mix things up a little bit and don’t perhaps do the same quests over and over again multiple
times in a row. As you will notice by playing further into the game, that the open world of Monster Hunter: World is huge.. open, and beautiful..
It feels alive, you can hear sounds all around you from other animals / monsters. And the larger monsters specially are pieces of beauty to behold.

There is so much detail put into these terrifying creatures, that you will go wowsers when you see them. Also with these creatures you never know what can
happen, an example would be I was fighting a turkey looking larger monster when all the sudden a chameleon looking creature came in from nowhere and they started
to fight each other. I just took a few steps back to behold what was going to happen, and perhaps gain a bit of advantage from it, and that’s what happened in the
end I got an advantage from the monsters fighting each other and manage to slay one of them quicker than I would have purely on my own.
This also makes a huge difference in the whole world design, you never know what is about to happen or can happen.

Monster Hunter: World also has a multiplayer component to it, where up to four players can go on a mission together.. and the difficulty is raised accordingly.
But basically you can do everything in the multiplayer with your friends, as you can do in Solo play. If you are playing say, alone with one friend online,
you can use an SOS flair if you are overwhelmed with the task at hand, and thus call in for some help from random players in the area.

Xbox One X owners are given three options for the game to prioritize one of the following
One focuses on graphics, the other on resolution, and the final one on frame rate.
The game is gorgeous on a 4K TV and with HDR present, really makes it eye candy so to say.
I chose to play on the Graphical option, and the game has been running fine besides in some instances
I have had some frame rate drops with so much going on. But nothing that I would consider game breaking,
And surely with the future updates, this will be improved upon.

And speaking of future updates / content, there will be free DLC content coming later on.
I cannot wait to see what this will entail.

Final Words.

It’s gorgeous, it feels alive, what is there not to like in slaying giant monsters roaming around the large open world looting.
Even for someone who had never played any entries in the Monster Hunter world prior to World’s release, I was hooked straight away.
It takes a little while to get used to the controls and crafting in game, but once you get a hang of all that you’ll be fine.

Monster Hunter: World is out now on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC version will follow on a later date in 2018.

Review copy provided by Publisher.

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