April 19, 2018
I’d definitely heard of the Monster Hunter series prior to playing this game, but it never really piqued my interest. A buddy of mine put this one on my radar, and the only reason I was initially interested was because they used Aloy (Horizon Zero Dawn) as a marketing tool, and I’m a big fan of that game and character. Once I started playing the game, Aloy was the furthest thing from my mind as this was one of the best games I’ve ever played. Sure, you’re made to feel like you’re a badass hunter that can take ANY monster down. However, as you progress further in the game, and the monsters get tougher and tougher, you’ll start asking yourself: “Wait a second; who’s hunting whom?” During my two and a half month long playthrough, here are the 8 things that jumped out at me.
 Time… As of writing this review, I’ve played Monster Hunter: World for roughly 200 hours, which shatters my previous time of 113 hours. It felt like a quick 200 hours though, because for the most part, there was always a ‘goal’ that I was working towards. I would often tell myself that I was only going to play for an hour, and if I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to in an hour’s time, I would ‘retire’ for the night. Nope, that rarely happened. I kept playing match after match, until I realized I’d been playing for more than 3 hours! Please be aware that this game is designed to be addictive.
 Grinding… As I talked about in the aforementioned paragraph; MHW is designed to take up a lot of your time. I’m the type of gamer who gets bored with the idea of doing the same stuff over and over again; so that’s why I never replay games. With that being said, the grind was part of the Monster Hunter fun! I didn’t mind fighting the same monsters over and over because each encounter still felt fresh and different. I’ve probably fought the infamous Anjanath (The T-Rex) 30 times, and I can tell you each time felt a little different. These battles are not really scripted, so anything can happen. For example, while you’re fighting Anjanath, another ‘predator’ might drop in and start fighting with both of you!! Or, maybe you’re fighting him alongside a friend or two, which could change the complexion of the battle. Keep in mind this is the type of game that forces you to work hard for the gear and upgrades you want, as nothing will be handed to you.
 Multiplayer… This will be the one thing that keeps me coming back to this game for months to come. Although I enjoyed doing some of the missions by myself; playing online with others is when I had the most fun. You’ll be able to play with up to three others, and I never had trouble finding random people to play with. Personally, I think it’s best to join a match in progress, as opposed to being the host. When you’re looking for a match to join, you’ll be able to see the rank of the players who are already in the quest. When you’re the host, you don’t know who the hell might join. I can think of quite a few times where lower leveled people (you can see their rank once they join) joined my quests, only to get carted 3 times within a few minutes, thus causing me to fail the quest. You can definitely enjoy the game and beat it by yourself, but playing with others takes the edge off some of the tougher battles.
 Monsters… It shouldn't take a savant to figure out the Monsters are the star of the show. They start off easy enough (I’m looking at you, Great Jagras), but will get harder and harder as the story develops. They’ll come in all shapes and sizes, and you’re sure to find one you enjoy hunting more than the others! Please allow me to get a little nerdy for a second. There are 6 major classes of Monsters, and I’ll give you a brief overview of each one. The Brute Wyverns (my favorite) will be your bulkier, stronger monsters. The Flying Wyverns (my least favorite to fight) are obviously the monsters who can fly. The Fanged Wyverns are of the leaner, quicker variety. The Piscine Wyverns are ‘fish’, while the Bird Wyverns are usually the smallest of all the monsters. The 6th class? Nah, I won’t spoil that for you. If you make it to the second half of the game; you’ll see for yourself ;)
 Palico… While I enjoyed multiplayer more than I did flying solo, I must say your little Palico sidekick is a good reason to play more often by yourself. Just to be clear, your Palico can join you in multiplayer as well, as long as your party does not exceed 2 players (including yourself). Palicos are adorable little feline companions that you can design, as well as give them a name. In my opinion, they can hold their own; especially since you can equip them with a weapon, a special device, and armor. Depending on which device you give them, you may be surprised at how often they’ll get you out of a jam.
 Combat… I’ve read a lot of mixed opinions about the combat; but for me, it’s as simple as this: It’s fantastic. Look, combat will largely depend on your weapon type. Many people have said how ‘slow’ the combat felt, and I’m assuming they were using a slow weapon, such as the hammer. I don’t really like slow combat, so I chose to go with a quicker weapon (Longsword). You’ll be able to use any of the 14 weapons from the beginning of the game, and I think that’s a good thing. Heck, there’s even a way to practice using any of the weapons without any monsters bothering you (training area). If you like combat that revolves around mobility and blocking attacks, then maybe the sword and shield are for you. If you’re like me, and you enjoy swift combat that uses combos and evasion; you should try the Longsword or the Twin Daggers. Maybe think about using the Hammer or Great Sword if you like weapons that pack a MIGHTY punch! If you see yourself as a ‘support’ type of a player in multiplayer, then the Hunting Horn should be a viable option. If you’re easily bored with trivial combat, and would like to step up your game, then the Switch Axe or Charge Blade is for you!! Or, maybe melee combat isn’t your style? MHW still has you covered because there are a couple of long-ranged weapons to choose from. Anyone who says the combat is ‘bad’ is too lazy to try all of the weapons as there’s something for everyone.
 DLC… I admittedly hate most DLCs because they’re charging us for content that should have been included for free. With that being said, MHW does it the right way, as the DLC will be FREE! So far, we’ve received one new Monster to hunt. For those keeping score at home, it’s another Brute Wyvern. I’m looking forward to seeing what else they have in store for us.
 Difficulty… Ok, this will be a hard game that’ll often push you to your limits, but it’s not on the level of Bloodborne, Dark Souls, Nioh, etc. The biggest difference between MHW and the aforementioned games is how it starts off. Those other games are extremely hard from the very beginning, and they’re not easing you into anything. MHW starts off pretty mild. Remember that Great Jagras guy I mentioned earlier in the review? I’m 99% sure my non-gaming wife can beat him, lol. The monsters will get harder as you go along, and because of the way the missions are structured, you’ll never fight a monster ‘too early’ for your level (unless you just really, really want to). The one other thing I will say about the difficulty is once you make it to the second part of the game, it may be a good idea to start teaming up with others. Remember that 6th class I didn't name? They’ll be hard as heck to kill by yourself, and I’ll leave it at that…
Based on some the previous games I’ve played and enjoyed; Monster Hunter: World doesn’t sound like a game I would like. Once I had a chance to sit down with it and give it a fair shake, it turned out to be one of the better games I’ve played. Don’t let the grinding and the big ‘scary’ monsters deter you from trying it out. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Have an open mind and give it a shot. God of War PS4; you’re up next!!