Monster Hunter World is a third person game, based as the title suggests around hunting monsters, from the terrifying to the bizarre, the ‘New world’ boasts a host of memorable fights and stunning vistas. So why should you pick up Monster Hunter: World over other games? To take you through this I am going to discuss a few core aspects of the game, (in a spoiler free manner) but it is important to note that having played around forty hours, I feel I have barely scratched the surface. TLDR: These are first impressions.
We’ll start with monsters:
The hunting of monsters is the games central appeal and the majority of your time will be spent exploring areas filled with monsters, or actively hunting them. Your hunt will take place over multiple stages, the first being tracking the monster. This is exactly what you would expect it to be, find monster tracks, parts of the monster, areas of landscape it has damaged etc… and follow them. This activity can be both rewarding and frustrating as in the short term it is a barrier to killing or capturing whichever beastie has provoked your ire, however if you persevere there are long term rewards for taking the time to gather mucus or examine footprints, namely improved Scout Flies. Scout Flies act in a similar way to mechanics likes Witcher Senses, they highlight plants, monster tracks and other various elements of the world you can interactive with. By interacting with tracks, killing and capturing each individual monster your Scout Flies will gain affinity with said monster allowing them to track it more effectively, making the initial stages of a hunt considerably easier. Upgrades include being able to lead you to the next monster track and showing you which area the monster you’re fighting is headed to when it flees, allowing you to lay traps and prepare rather than chasing mindlessly after it.
The second phase is obviously the combat, I will caveat this by saying that I have thus far only tried three weapons, longsword, sword and board, and kinsect glaive. There are a myriad of other unique weapons, each with its own strengths, weaknesses and flavour. So, lets talk about combat, combat is fluid and responsive and each weapon plays differently so it’s worth heading to the training area or on an expedition to try each one. But weapons aside, how you most effectively hunt is monster dependant. Each monster has armoured and unarmoured parts, obviously it is best to hit the monster in its unarmoured spots, you do more damage and your weapon is less likely to bounce of its hide, bit of a no brainer. For instance the head of the Anjanath is vulnerable but its legs are well protected.
The problem of course is that the head is essentially eyes and teeth and it’s not the safest place to stand. Each monster has this trial and error approach to finding their weakness, but it is all recorded so if you forgot the Field Guide will catch you back up to speed. This does not mean that you shouldn’t hit armoured areas however as breaking armoured parts can gain you specific rewards, tail chops rewarding you with a tail. (Usually a rare item) The armour once broken leaves exposed areas where the monster will take more damage, so if it’s safer to hit the legs and you can break the armour you will be rewarded for doing so. But hunting isn’t all about swinging your weapon wildly, so let’s talk about how you prepare for hunts and ways to improve your chances.