After a bit of a slow start, this newbie is starting to finally understand the monster hunting craze. Monster Hunter: World is a massive game both in its explorable regions and in the overall scope of what you can do. While this grandiose size can be intimidating to those new to the series, I'm finding the game becoming more accessible as I progress.
Hours 5 to 25 of Monster Hunter: World were filled with excitement and intrigue. There's a sense of wonder built into every aspect of hunting. I found myself eager to explore a new area, find a new creature's tracks, actually encounter the monster for the first time, and figure out its fighting style while attempting to slay it. Even after the deed is done, there's a sense of anticipation when you take your new monster parts to the Smithy and see what cool new upgrades you can purchase.
This cycle is made even more addictive by the excellent combat systems. With a vast variety of weapon options, there's certainly a weapon that will resonate with you. Monster Hunter: World even goes so far as to label which weapons are best for beginners. I've stuck with my dual blades since switching to them a couple hours in as the fast but not terribly powerful attacks work perfectly for my play style of quickly attacking then dodging away from danger. I even have three different dual blade weapons at the moment: ones imbued with the power of water, ones with the power of fire, and then my simple old bone blades.
The monsters themselves are amazing (aside from some seriously goofy names). They're massive, powerful, expertly designed, and rewarding to kill or capture. The environments they're found in are equally impressive and it's easy to get lost in "flower-picking" instead of pursuing a hunt. Even the silly names are good for a laugh and it's been fun nicknaming the monsters with my co-op buddies. My current favorite nicknames are Pukey-Pukey and Flash Raptor.
Monster Hunter: World's menus and internal systems take a while to learn but I feel like I have a pretty firm grasp of things. There are areas that I'm not completely confident in but they're also not mandatory to enjoy the game. Meanwhile, there are certain aspects that are essential to learn like forging and upgrading weapons and armor, crafting, item management, and bounties; but there are also aspects that you can choose to ignore if you're not comfortable learning about them yet like cultivating, melding, and investigations.
The single player co-op headaches that I outlined in my previous article still exist but all other aspects of cooperative play work great. The network connections themselves are some of the most stable I've ever seen as I've yet to be dropped out of a session or kicked from a quest due to online issues. Gameplay is perfectly smooth and I also haven't experienced any lag.
I can't wait to dig deeper into Monster Hunter: World. I've intentionally avoided guides and spoilers online so I'm not fully sure how much longer I have left in the main story campaign or how deep the game truly is but I'm definitely looking forward to finding out!