Emma Withington gets hands on with Monster Hunter: World…
With a bunch of quests available and other players to hide behind, it was time to get stuck into one of my most anticipated games of 2018. If you have never played Monster Hunter before, which will be the case for many western players, it can feel like a brutal learning curve – I felt lucky that I had lost my Monster Hunter virginity at the most recent EGX, but, then again, it was rough…Nothing like your first time, eh? But hey, if we gave up after every difficult first experience we wouldn’t get anywhere, and Monster Hunter: World is well worth the effort.
Hunts Embarked On In Four Player Multiplayer:
- Great Jagras
- Mudclad Barroth
- Unfamiliar Shadow (Anjanath)
- The insatiable Nergigante
- Steel Assault: A Heavy Bowgun which acts as a devastating grenade launcher and doubles up as a rapid fire mini-gun (a personal favourite).
- Wyvern Blade: A Long Sword with the elemental power of fire, burning enemies as you hack and slash away.
- Evergreen Blade: A poisonous sword/axe Charge Blade, which will become a thorn in that pesky monster’s side.
- Iron Gunlance: A great iron poking device, the Gunlance comes with bonus shelling attacks for strong firepower.
- Hunter’s Bow: A classic weapon with myriad possibilities, the Bow can be imbued with a variety of coatings to increase damage, inflict elemental effects, and more! Another firm favourite here.
Co-op and Combat, Trial and Error:
Knowing the monster you’re going up against and your weapon of choice has quite the bearing on how well you will do on the hunt. I had been set up with the Steel Assault to begin with, but had a perusal of the weapons available before setting out with the gang. I decided to give this one a go – holy hell did I feel overpowered (but awesome!). Against the Great Jagras this weapon was a dream, as it’s weaknesses were all in my mini-arsenal of firepower. After devastating the Great Jagras, I turned to poking the Barroth in the ass with an Iron Gunlance. I’m very glad I tried this in a multiplayer context, as I did not agree with it as much as the Steel Assault, and crushingly learned not to have a heavy weapon loadout against an agile T-Rex with a monster migraine!
Even though at a previous preview I was soloing hunts with melee weapons – close range in general felt trickier to get to grips with this time around. However, this was a time for experimentation, to see as many different loadouts as possible without necessarily mastering any. I wasn’t necessarily alone with my close combat curiosity – for the next hunt, the entire team had unwittingly picked the Wyvern Blade to try out and without weapon variety we ended up flailing about miserably against the Anjanath. Weapon co-ordination and communication is key folks!
I had just about got back into the swing of all things melee with the Evergreen Blade, which I have briefly used previously, however, practising against the insatiable Nergigante probably wasn’t the best plan. As the toughest monster in the preview build, this satanic dragon ain’t got no time for that. So, I decided to take a step back into something more comfortable with the Hunter’s Bow. Ranged seems to be a good method of combat for newcomers to Monster Hunter, particularly when in co-op, as it gives you breathing space to get used to the reasonably complex combat system and the reactive UI (You’ll find your eyes flit about until you’ve mastered a weapon’s moves). This could potentially be due to a playstyle shift I’ve had recently; switching from a Bloodborne approach to something resembling Horizon Zero Dawn. If you’re starting out as melee, choosing a swift weapon that allows for greater mobility like the Wyvern Blade (Long Sword), would be your best approach.
With my incessant need to channel my inner Aloy, let’s not forget the highly anticipated Horizon Zero Dawn gear set is a must have exclusive for PS4 owners of Monster Hunter: World!
Monster Hunter: World sits nicely between games like Horizon Zero Dawn/The Witcher, and Dark Souls/Bloodborne. Challenging enough, without quite hitting the mark of the latter. Deceptively, Monster Hunter: World started off in a reasonably simple fashion during the preview build, but as the difficulty level rose from Beginner to Expert, hunts like the Elder Dragon Nergigante showcased Monster Hunter: World‘s true potential and will certainly sate those Monster Hunter veterans who may be concerned about Monster Hunter: World being ‘too easy’. It certainly eases you in more than its predecessors, but gets right back to its roots before long. Having had, at most, two and a half hours with the preview builds, I can safely say it’s still one of my most anticipated games this year. After more than a decade since Monster Hunter was playable on a PlayStation console (PSP iterations aside), I cannot wait to fully explore what the game has to offer, as it returns home later on this week!
Emma Withington – @EWithingtons
Follow the gaming team @FMyth_Gaming