Back in 2017, I remember doing an all-nighter to watch E3 live where I live and I can’t tell you how much it was worth it after Capcom delivered us a trailer of Monster Hunter World.
Tears of Joy ran through my face, as I’m an old Monster Hunter fan and my wish was for them to make a western PC version or home console, except Switch or Nintendo DS. Since 2013 this was my wish and Capcom had just nailed it.
The trailer was a success, it created a lot of hype in the community and attracted fans and newcomers alike.
Just for reference, the last home console version worldwide was on the Wii U Monster hunter 3 Ultimate in 2013. It wasn’t even an original title, just a port, so fans were starving for big-screen activities. This franchise was mostly unknown outside of Japan and it was considered a niche title, but with Monster Hunter world all was about to change and it quickly became the Best Selling title ever for Capcom.
Well, the most sold games of the franchise were the ones with the best story, Monster Hunter Ultimate 4 and Monster Hunter World, so Capcom made focus on this new entry to deliver a good story in Monster Hunter fashion.
You’re a new fleet of hunters (fifth fleet) being sent to this new continent (new world) to help the older fleets populating this new world. The guild, your boss, noticed that the elder dragons were migrating to this place and were intrigued and ordered a mass investigation thus your departure was ordered.
On arrival, your ship crashes against an island or mountain, but you quickly see that it is actually one big elder dragon that was attacked by mistake. You save your companion the Handler and yourself as you found a wing drake (a creature that can carry you and others through the air), get a good look at your new home and face your next challenge straight after.
The story itself is not the best but it’s good to make a setting and excuses for you to hunt monsters (the title of the series).
This game is still not really an MMORPG but it is an Action role-playing RPG, you can play it solo or play it online, the choice is yours, but you can also play this game offline. You can still only have four hunters at any given quest at the same time, but it introduced session hunting where some monsters to be slain require the assistance of other hunters from the same session doing the same quest.
Each time a quest for that monster is cleared, you will weaken the monster for the next quest of the session, until the monster is defeated. Every hunter that helps on a quest will get rewards when the monster is defeated.
Solo is normal. You pick a weapon and make an Armor for it that gives your hunter skills to help you and the weapon you’re using. There are twelve weapons ranging from swords (great or long), to shields, lance and sword, hammers or horns, bows and guns.
Pick your poison, what you like most or if you’re having trouble against one specific monster, pick one that is more suitable for it. Adapt your hunter Armor, pick items that will help you and have fun. Yes you have items like traps, potions, attack boosters and a new gadget was introduced, the mantles.
Mantles go above your armor for a certain period of time and give you some boosts, like fire resistance or to prevent falls and reduce taken damage. There are plenty more examples, but you get the point. Another new addition is the clutch claw, it’s a claw that is attached to your slinger in the right arm.
The slinger lets you fire objects to flinch the monster or to slam them against a wall and get some free damage.
As for the clutch claw, it lets you grapple onto the monster and weaken the part where you grappled, you can also move to another spot on the monster. You’ll need to be careful, the monsters can still hit you with some attacks when you grapple them and they are able to damage you or knock you off.
Old game mechanics such as eating are still present but there are new quality of life improvements made here. If you forget to eat for buffs before a quest you can now eat during the quest at any camp.
Speaking of camps, you can now also restock your items at your camp. If you need more potions or need more ammo or even gear and weapons, you can now swap all at the camp but keep in mind you still have a timer to kill the monsters so don’t go unprepared and avoid wasting time.
On the addition topic, a new feature has been added. It is the SOS flare, where you can call other hunters to help you during your quest even from other online sections. You can cancel this at any time and be aware that monster difficulty scales up, the more people you have with you the higher HP the monster will be and vice versa.
There are tons of new features but I won’t cover them all, just some basic improvements made or big changes.
Yes it’s a demanding game, mostly on your CPU, I’ll just give you the recommended specs and my personal ones.
Processor: Intel Core™ i7 3770 3.4GHz or Intel Core™ i3 8350 4GHz or AMD Ryzen™ 5 1500X.
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (VRAM 3GB) or AMD Radeon RX 570X (VRAM 4GB).
Memory: 8 GB of RAM and 100 GB of space (with Ice Born expansion included)
These recommended specs will get you to 30 fps on 1080p high.
My system is as follows: processor: Intel i5 8400 and graphics: AMD R9 390, 35 GB of ram and 2.250 TB of storage. I have above the recommended specs and with a few tweaks I can play the game 1080p high settings, 60 fps with no problems on the patch 15.02.00.
As I said before, this game had some optimization problems during its cycle, it’s known to be CPU heavy, because even if your not in a specific place on the map where there are small and large monsters the CPU is still calculating the movement and track of what every monster is doing on the map, even if you just see 10% of the map. Capcom later solved and tweaked this problem a bit.
“But I only play console” I hear you say, well you’ll be glad to know that it runs smoothly on the console. I tested on a regular PS4 and had zero issues except for loading times… and my console sounding like a jet engine.
This game is gorgeous and it’s built on the MT Framework engine. It’s an old engine but the team was used to it already. But the developers mentioned that it had limitations. For example, on doing the gathering hubs they saw that they could only put a certain number of assets in them at any given time without the need of a loading screen, as well as problems with ground detection with some monsters that never made it to the game, namely the Leviathan skeleton had issues with it. Capcom, I’m still waiting for the jumping animation, and not just vaulting automatically.
At max settings this game rocks, the difference is not really that big but with the high-resolution texture pack a good monitor 4k, 2k the game looks gorgeous, you have reflections on the water, plants and grass swing with the wind, damaged trees or scenery objects remain even if you leave the area and come back later and even small monsters run from the chaos and come back once it’s safe to stay or to attack the invaders.
But it won’t come cheap. You’ll need a 2080ti or a 1080ti for 30 fps 4k without DLSS, yes it has DLSS to help you get 70 fps and only the 3080 or 3090 can actually give you barely true 60 fps. The new top AMD can probably achieve it also but as I said, it is not cheap or easy.
The Promise of a Live Service
Capcom back when the game was first launched said they would develop a free life service support during the game’s life span (normally around 2 years), time by which they would move on to the next installment, and then delivered in a way no one was expecting.
The service was remarkable, several timed themed festivals with loads of quests to do and farm, special occasion items. One example is the Summer festival, where the gathering hub completely changes the theme, the clothing of the NPCs, décor, food, cats, fireworks everything changes. Normally these events are linked to Christmas, summer, spring, the game anniversary, etc.
There are also daily and weekly quests that give rewards upon completion, plus a daily login bonus that sometimes is a special token of appreciation from Capcom where you get extra stuff.
On the daily and weak quest usually you will get good stuff but not crucial, so you don’t need to feel bad if you didn’t get them.
The service not only gave us new quests and rewards but it also added new monsters. Yes, some were variants of existing monsters, which is typical Capcom fashion, but some were brand new and most importantly, free.
Cosmetics were also introduced with some layered Armor and weapons, so if you don’t like the look of it you can swap to a new look. Not all were available but it was promised that later on they would be. Hunters have been asking for this feature for a long time now and Capcom delivered.
So again in typical Capcom style Monster Hunter in Japan has been known to have at least a paid expansion, now also brought to the western audience. Generally one year after the game’s launch, the DLC is released for a bit less of the game’s original price. And what does that get you?
Introducing the Hard Mode in the game. There is no difficulty setting in monster hunter, but there is quest level and you have High and Master, with Master being the hardest.
This gives you new monsters, new maps, armor , weapons , quests, events, new story. It feels like the list goes on. This is good when one expansion feels like a brand new game with so much to do and many hours of fun to give you. It’s great but don’t forget, it also costs almost like a brand new game. The new story is about 30h to 40h or so to complete on top of 70h to 100h of the base game. On my account, I know the expansion got me more 500 hours of game time adding to the already existing ones through the story, farming and helping others.
The guiding lands are a new map that has all types and areas in a single map: volcano, forest, desert, etc. This works as a means of farming for the end game to get gear, decorations and much more and it has been made easier to use and intuitive. You can call any monster, you only need to capture it once and after that craft lure to get them in the area.
And now we reach the end of the live service after two years and it’s been one hell of a ride. It gave us tons of new stuff to do and farm. For but now Capcom will leave it in autopilot.
This means that there will be one final update with no new monsters or quests, but with tweaks to how some of them work and rotation for events and quests. Now in December 2020, the event quests will cease being a limited timed rotation to being permanent, so now we don’t need to wait for one event festival or week quest rotation Every event quest will be permanent with two exceptions, which are the Raid quests.
There are two raid quests that require the whole session doing it to make it easier to slay the monster. Now Capcom is rolling it back and adjusting them for solo and group slay, they will be on rotation every two weeks.
Additionally, some items only obtainable through completing Festival daily quests or random drops during the same festivals can now be crafted in-game.
All weapons and armor are now layered, so you can make them all look as you’d like.
There are also paid cosmetics like pendants and room décor. They’re not very expensive and some are actually pretty cool, but it will not influence the game in any form except looks.
Yes, it’s the end of The life service and Support for this game, unfortunately. After patch 15.10 that will be coming in December, players will stop having new content updates as Capcom directs their team to a new series title.
It was one heck of a journey playing this game. I had so much fun and frustrations, it was definitely worth it and if Capcom promised one more paid content, I would probably buy it again. Most games give me 30 to 40 hours of playtime on the story, not counting side quests. This expansion and main game were massive, although we’re talking about a very farm demanding game.
Some RNG factors should be still addressed, like drop rates of certain items, mainly armor decorations and in two quests, Safi and Khul, the game could also due a bit more pc optimization. There are not that many bugs at least on my play sessions, although at the start the lack of monsters and weapons variety put me a bit off, but this was solved later on in the game with game patches.
Capcom solved most of the game flaws, they listened to the players. As a gamer, I could not ask for better support and feedback from a developer.
This will go down as one of the best monster hunters ever games made for now.