Monster Hunter World is big step forward for the franchise, but there are still aspects of the design that are extremely dated and doesn’t mesh well with the final product.
Monster Hunter is a series that has always been widely regarded as engaging but extremely tough to understand and engage with. Enter Monster Hunter World, which is promising to be the most user-friendly addition to this long time running series that is good for new players as well as veterans.
As someone who tried to get into the franchise before and found themselves not finding a single Monster after a few hours of hunting, I can say with certainty that Monster Hunter World is by far the most user-friendly edition of the franchise. That being said, the fact that I sort of understand what is going on I now see the flaws of the series in perfect light.
I didn’t know that hunting in Monster Hunter World was going to be just holding down a button.
I never knew that the actual “hunting” of monsters meant I was simply just going to be running up to things on a map and holding a button to “track” a monster. Or that the fighting system is very basic and consists of using the 3 combos for 30 minutes straight. Or that progression isn’t learning new skills and new abilities, but instead simply grinding the same monsters over and over until you get the right parts to make your weapon hit harder. Now don’t misread me here. I enjoy my time in Monster Hunter World, but the loop and progression path combined some bizarre design choices make actually playing difficult at times.
When Monster Hunter World works it feels unique and epic. The problem is so many design choices feel like they were carried over from the PS2 era of games. Playing the game with friends is buried behind more menus than I thought possible for a release in 2018. There are so many tutorials that your head will start to spin, but there also are so many tutorials that don’t fully explain mechanics that you will be lost without a veteran player helping you out.
Even though elements of Monster Hunter World are extremely messy, I still had a good time.
As someone who is newish to the series, I didn’t expect the issues I listed above, but I also totally understand why people are absolutely in love with Monster Hunter. Even though some aspects are incredibly basic, the scale and feel of Monster Hunter World are unique. The world feels different. exploring it feels like you are exploring a new world and discovering things for the first time. The monsters feel like they belong and you feel as if you are disturbing their natural way of life. Taking down a monster you have been fighting for 20 minutes is insanely gratifying, All of the good things are here, but like I said before, the bad just rears its’ head way too often.
After many hours of play, I still am lost in so many aspects. I have tried to understand everything in Monster Hunter World but the systems are still too convoluted for players to understand. If the matchmaking wasn’t gated off in messy ways like having to “progress further” in the story, maybe my friends could help me out. It should be better and I’m sad it is this messy.
The performance of Monster Hunter World is flat out bad, and unless you have one of those fancy Xbox One X or PS4 Pro’s, you will get a jerky experience.
The final issue I have with Monster Hunter World is performance.This game just flat out doesn’t run very well and this is speaking from somebody who is playing on the super-powered Xbox One X. Unless you are playing Monster Hunter World on the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X you are limited to what the developers want you to see. Whereas the mid-gen refreshes get a menu in which they can prioritize Graphics, frame rate or resolution. If gamers play in anything other than the prioritize frame rate mode, players will consistently not hit above 30 frames. Creating a jerky experience that is not ideal especially for a game that is supposed prioritize fighting in dodging monsters.
While it sounds like I hated my experience with Monster Hunter Wolrd, I can’t really say that with a straight face. I enjoy Monster Hunter World when I play it. That being said, it should not be as messy as it is. This game should be better. I like the core ideas Monster Hunter in general presents, but it needs to be redesigned in ways that bring the franchise forward to the modern era. Now that the franchise has taken steps to become more accessible, hopefully, the future of Monster Hunter is fixing all of the issues holding it back.