Monster Hunter World |  CAPCOM

MONSTER HUNTER WORLD HANDS-ON IMPRESSIONS

Let the hunt BEGIN!!!

by Felipe Parada

I am so excited that The Monster Hunter franchise is coming to Xbox One, PS4, and PC early next year, and after getting a chance to get a hands-on experience with the beta I’m very eager for the full release. Anyone who is a fan of the series have something to look forward to as the mechanics, and the spirit of the traditional hunting game are stronger now than they ever were before. If you were always interested in the Monster Hunter Series but were reluctant to pick it up then now is your perfect opportunity to do so. This entry in the series is by far the most accessible title in the franchise, and it doesn’t sacrifice anything to make sure that you have the tools necessary for the perfect hunt.

When you load up the game you are presented with the typical character customization screen that gives you the basic archetypes but Monster Hunter was never really known for a robust character creation and I am sure the release version will stick to that tradition. Once you select your character and companion (a small cat like creature), you can select one of three missions with varying difficulty. The beginner quest is your basic tutorial structured mission that guides you along the structures and mechanics of the game. Familiarizing yourself with the weapons and monsters become easy at first until you take on the tougher missions where the hunts become very time consuming as you play a game of cat an mouse with your prey. 

Selecting the right weapon for your hunt depends on your play style. The Beta presents you with 14 different weapon types that all have a unique and distinct style to them. I highly recommend hitting the training room to familiarize yourself with all the weapons and really find the one that suits you the best. Or you can be like me and use multiple builds depending to the monster type you are hunting. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to building your perfect hunter. Other options include a variety of defensive upgrades, from stealth enhancements to additional protection. But the most interesting option given to me is a cloak that lets you glide all around the map which adds a bit strategy to your hunt. This is especially useful hen you want to land directly on top of enemies which then trigger a "rodeo" style segment that lets you deal additional damage until the beast shakes you off.

The World of Monster Hunter is beautiful yet dangerous.

Monster Hunter World |  CAPCOM

My weapon preference was always the longsword which had descent damage and a large damage radius. This time around the longsword has been given a bit of a boost in swing-rate and an updated ability to swing while dashing backwards to give yourself some distance to recover. Every weapon has a second ability that grants more damage but you always have to be wary cause most of the time it leaves you vulnerable to attack. So the game itself is a carefully planned choreography where the slightest misstep can lead to failure.

One of the new game play mechanics that I love is the very useful monster tracking ability. Finding the enemy no longer involves you  running around the map for countless hours hoping to fun into the beast while hes sleeping. Like a true hunter, you use the environment to search for clues to the location of beast you are hunting. Footprints, mucus and even dung (that's right you have to sift through poop) fill up a meter that gives you a bright swarm of insects that light the way directly to your target. Its a game play mechanic that was desperately needed in this franchise. 

 

As someone who is very familiar with the franchise, it is great exploring the world in search for bigger and badder beasts but doing it with some friends is always my preferred method of beast slaying. Once I was done hunting solo I hopped into a multiplayer to take on a really tough beast, the Anjanath. The group decided to split up to cover more ground but it didn't take long for one of us to run into the beast as he was feasting on some other wildlife. The battle was intense from the start but we managed to get a leg up on the beast causing it to run away. In the process of tracking its whereabouts we ran into a Rathalos, a larger badder beast. Our instincts took over and we all ran in the opposite direction, a scene right out of Jurassic Park but unbeknownst to us the Anjanath double backed and cut off our escape. Just  when we though we were done for a rather unique situation unfolded, the Rathalos and the Anjanath began to fight. We all just sat back and let them duke it out until the Rathalos gained supremacy and weakened the Anjanath even more. All that was left for us to do was finish it off and claim the rewards. So in a sense, the monster we were hunting ended up saving us, only in Monster Hunter right?

 

My rather lengthy time with Monster Hunter World Beta impressed me greatly. This game is definitely a step into the next era and I am eager to get my hands on the final copy. I know for a fact that my 3DS copy of Monster Hunter Ultimate wont see anymore playing time once this game comes out. But I will make sure to keep it around if I want a quick hunt here and there when I'm on the bus. I cannot wait to play the full game when it releases in January of 2018.

Check out our game play video down below.

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