A whole new world awaits
Lush, breathtaking, complicated, trying. If you weren’t a fan of Monster Hunter as a franchise until you played Monster Hunter: World, consider yourself missing out on something wondrous. Monster Hunter: World is as close to perfection as an action RPG can be.
Everything begins with you. You begin your adventure as a hunter joining the Fifth Fleet on an expedition to the New World. You are tasked with exploring the vast wild in search of information and science. You’re supported with an assistant — Palicoes — and other officers of the Fifth Fleet, who help with hunting the flora and fauna in the wide unknown so that you may inform the Research Commission of your findings and possibly stop the extinction of vital dragons. The story is engrossing, well-written and easily digestible with hints of more to come as you explore every nook of the new land.
And explore you will because that’s the name of the game here: Hunting. You, the hunter, go into the world to hunt monsters of all sizes. During your hunts, you’re using your wits and the environment to your advantage, careful not to faint too many times while working to take down a creature so that you may get new parts to craft gear and weapons. The crafting aspect is fantastic. The variety of gear and equipment that can be generated is off the charts, and there is nothing more satisfying than taking down a new enemy and obtaining new, more powerful gear. Capcom knew the essence of the high that comes from winning a hard-fought battle, loot, craft better gear and repeat. And they’ve captured that essence masterfully here with increasing incentives and nuanced pacing. Fighting never feels weird, and it quickly becomes second nature to swing your sword and make waves in battle. My only gripe here is that there is so much to learn with the battle mechanics and item crafting and usage that sometimes it gets overwhelming. Taking your time to read the tutorials and work through scenarios in training is the way to combat that. I’m pleased with this setup because I’d rather get too much information than not enough.
While on your expeditions or even at the hub, stop a moment when you can and admire the beauty that Capcom has created. The game is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I frequently stop to watch the scenery and take in the detail of the surroundings. And, I want to especially highlight the impressive character creation suite. If I can create my own character in a game, I want bold and accurate tools to do so. Monster Hunter: World gave me that and more. I spent two hours with it alone and I still wanted to spend more time there. The wealth of options is outstanding, and I’m extremely impressed with the diversity found within. I can make a character that accurately looks like me with gorgeous options for hairstyles … or not. But I love the options given, and I can’t praise that feature enough.
The soundtrack is another standout in the presentation. It’s fun, fast-paced and engaging. No track is out of place and it’s well-scored with so many different instruments that it puts almost every other adventure title to shame. This is big-budget music and it shows in every situation you’ll find yourself in every environment. Also, the Palicoes’ sound effects are some of the most adorable cat representations I’ve ever heard. If you love cats like I do, you’re going to be saying “Aww, how adorable!” every five seconds and it’s not going to ever get old. That’s the mark of good audio, honestly.
Monster Hunter: World is a masterpiece in adventure. No shortage of things to do, a wealth of options and story and great mechanics come together in a majestic magnum opus of crafting and survival. The hunt for perfection is over with Monster Hunter: World.