It's been a few weeks since Monster Hunter: World launched on PlayStation 4, meaning we're now at that all-important point where we can look back on the time that we've spent with the game and ask ourselves: are we still hooked? Have we enjoyed the experience up to this point? Has Monster Hunter: World lived up to the hype?
We've gathered editors Robert Ramsey and Stephen Tailby to share their thoughts on the game now that they've spent hours upon hours slaying beasts of all shapes and sizes.
"I'm still hopelessly addicted" - Robert Ramsey, Deputy Editor
Monster Hunter: World has had its claws in me since day one, and they're yet to release themselves from my puny human flesh. I've sunk around 80 or so hours into the game so far, but unlike a story-driven role-playing game or a lengthy open world adventure, I continue to find myself craving more. More hunts, more action, more weapons and armour. I'm still hopelessly addicted.
But what's really keeping me glued to my controller is a thirst for knowledge. I've never really encountered this in a game before -- at least not to this extent -- but there's a real drive to get better at being a hunter. For whatever reason, it's super satisfying to memorise locations and monster habitats, knowing the ins and outs of an ecosystem just so that you can get the jump on the latest big ugly baddie. World does an incredible job of making you feel like you're constantly learning and improving.
And that's the real hook -- at least for me. I can certainly see how the game's depth can seem off-putting to many potential players, but without it, Monster Hunter just wouldn't have that highly addictive quality. There's always something new to master, be it a weapon or specialised strategy for taking down an especially tricky foe. It gets to a point where you're coming up with your own personal goals while fulfilling quests. "Can I wreck this Rathalos without once using a healing item?" "Can I execute a perfect counter against this thing's deadliest attack?"
The title's always pushing you and making you realise that, yes, there's always room for improvement. I've fought certain enemies for the first time and thought it was hopeless -- I've come back later after a bit of practice and I've steamrolled them. It's all just so rewarding, and that expertly crafted difficulty curve is a rarity these days.
Monster Hunter: World's bloody great, basically. I don't think the game's without its flaws -- I'm still raging at how bad those Zorah Magdaros missions are -- but it's almost too good at keeping you coming back for more. Needless to say, I'll be playing for a long while yet.
"As a newcomer, I'm loving it" - Stephen Tailby, Senior Staff Writer
As I’m sure is the case for many, Monster Hunter: World is my first experience with the long-running series. Before this latest entry in Capcom’s ever-popular beast-slaying franchise, I couldn’t be more indifferent, but the enthusiasm surrounding the PS4 iteration was infectious. By January, I couldn’t wait to dive head first into the game and see what all the fuss was about.
I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface, having only clocked in about twenty hours or so, but I’m immensely enjoying my time with this gigantic game. I’ve found my weapon of choice (charge blade, if you were wondering) and it’s been a lot of fun learning how Monster Hunter works. Games that are too bogged down in menu-heavy systems such as crafting and item management usually fail to draw me in, but Monster Hunter: World is incredibly compelling. The action is satisfying and dynamic, and I’m surprised by how addictive the core gameplay loop is.
As a newcomer, I’m loving it, but there are definitely some aspects that can be improved. There’s such a huge variety of items and equipment that can be crafted or obtained, which is cool, but the menus are gargantuan and confusing as a result. The most enjoyable way to play is also the hardest way to play, with ham-fisted multiplayer functionality making it far more difficult to play with friends than it should be. I was expecting this part of the game to be a much smoother experience, but it’s convoluted and takes up time you could be spending smashing an Anjanath round the chops with a hammer made from his brother.
The good thing is that, when it all works, it’s incredibly enjoyable. I’m nowhere near the end, and I can’t see myself stopping any time soon. Monster Hunter: World is surprisingly accessible, but doesn’t compromise on the depth. It’s a game that is what you make it; you can fret over the fiddly details, min-maxing your character and crafting specialist equipment, or you can take a wider view, happy to simply smack some monsters around and get a cool new sword out of it. Once all is said and done, I imagine I’ll be playing this for at least the remainder of the year.
Now that we've had our say on Monster Hunter: World, we want to know if you're still playing. Vote in our poll, and then give us all the details in the comments section below.
Are you still playing Monster Hunter: World? (130 votes)
Yes, I'm still very much addicted
Yeah, I'm still playing regularly
Kind of, I'm playing bits and pieces here and there
Nah, I'm not playing it much anymore
Nope, I stopped playing completely
No, I never bought Monster Hunter: World to begin with
Please login to vote in this poll.
Has Monster Hunter: World lived up to the hype? (127 votes)
Yes, it's a brilliant game
Yeah, for the most part, it's a great game
Hmmm, I'm not sure
Nah, it's not all it's cracked up to be
Nope, I think it's rubbish
Can't say -- I haven't played it
Please login to vote in this poll.