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If you own a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, you can now play Capcom's action-RPG Monster Hunter: World, but should you spend your hard-earned $59.99 on it? Well, if the reviews are anything to go by, you probably should, considering the reception so far has been highly positive across the board.
And before we get to the reviews themselves, you might also want to check out this first episode of The Making of Monster Hunter: World documentary, where the game's Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto, Art Director/Executive Director Kaname Fujioka and Director Yuya Tokuda talk about the initial concept behind the latest entry in the Monster Hunter series:
And the launch trailer:
Finally, here's what the people who've already played plenty of World have to say about the game:
That's not to say it's without its eccentricities, or its faults. There are omissions that will prove controversial with returning players. For fresher players there are frustrations, such as the seemingly binary multiplayer scaling that makes it harder for smaller groups to overcome certain monsters than the solo hunter. There's the clunky menus, and the many systems acquired over the years of Monster Hunter's long history that clatter around clumsily together; there are the appendages and offshoots and dead-ends that can still, despite the best efforts of Capcom in Monster Hunter World, make it all seem infuriatingly arcane.
Invest a little, though, and you'll get an awful lot back. The truth of Monster Hunter - and arguably its greatest strength - is that you're never truly its master, and that every player, be they novice or veteran, is always learning something new. Monster Hunter World sees 13 years of evolution come crashing together with some new influences to create a very exciting breed of beast. This has always been a superlative series; with the release of World, it's only become easier to see that's an undoubtable truth.
Whether or not it's the best, this is certainly the most audacious Monster Hunter game. World takes a dramatic leap into a look, feel, and size that feels truly new, simultaneously staying true to the series’ ideals by maintaining the addictive loop of combat, intimidating monsters and meaningful upgrades that fans love. The sheer depth and commitment required is still intense, but it clearly isn’t Capcom’s aim to court a casual crowd. This is as all-consuming and incredible a ride as ever.
If you've been skipping out on Monster Hunter games for a while because they seem to blend together, jumping into World is your chance to get in. Just know that Capcom hasn't really shaken up the formula enough to piss off veterans or appeal to people who don't welcome grinding with open arms.
Capcom’s first full-fledged Monster Hunter on the latest generation of consoles (with PC to follow later this year) is among one of the strongest sequels to any RPG I’ve ever played. Nearly every quality of life improvement works out in World’s favor and makes the experience more immersive and accessible, rather than trying to dumb it down for a newer audience (I certainly won’t miss trying to knock out a Fatalis with an orange sharpness hammer just because I was an idiot that didn’t bring enough Whetstones). We’re only just in the first month of 2018 and already I can claim that Monster Hunter World might very well be my own personal Game of the Year.
Ever since the title was first announced last year, it was clear that Capcom was gunning for something grander than Monster Hunter Generations. It has succeeded, and this is likely the biggest and best that the franchise has ever been. It's not just the comparative depth of the narrative; it also boasts almost seamless integration between combat systems that were previously incomprehensible for amateurs. The Monster Hunter formula has definitely honed its claws, and all the above factors play their part in making Monster Hunter World a meaningful evolution for the series at large.
The truth is, Monster Hunter has always been brilliant – but it’s always been niche. Monster Hunter World feels like the right game to finally crack that – a game that makes smart changes that might finally mean that a wider audience will at last fully understand, experience and enjoy that brilliance. It’s not without a few minor flaws, but it’s an excellent, satisfying game – and an incredibly easy recommendation to all, not just hardcore fans.
Monster Hunter World is an incredible achievement. It manages the nearly impossible feat of taking a franchise known (and in many corners beloved) for it’s incredible complexity and depth and making it significantly more approachable, without in any way stripping it down or diminishing it. It tells the most compelling, kinetic story in any Monster Hunter yet (not a tremendous feat, admittedly, but this is a worthy and interesting story) and offers some of the most interesting and addictive action combat in any franchise, bar none. If for some reason you know the core Monster Hunter gameplay doesn’t appeal to you, Monster Hunter World probably won’t change your mind. For everyone else, and particularly for anyone who’s been intrigued in the past but felt intimidated by Monster Hunter’s reputation for opaqueness: buy this game… and give love a chance.
PlayStation Universe 9/10:
With little in its way, Monster Hunter World smashes expectations with its organic, living, beautiful world. Matchmaking has its quirks and qualms, but little stands in the way of what’s been created here. Monster Hunter World raises the bar high without distilling what made the franchise special in the first place.