What is Monster Hunter World?
Set sail for the New World and explore uncharted territory in Monster Hunter World, an action/adventure game that pits you against the most colossal of beasts in a battle for survival. As one of an expedition team that sets up camp in the New World, it's up to you to research, track, capture, and most often, slay the humongous monsters that inhabit the island, as you attempt to learn more about them, and understand why one of the world's legendary beasts, Zorah Magdaros has been drawn there.
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How do you play Monster Hunter World?
While there are hundreds of quests to complete in Monster Hunter World, almost all of them follow a similar structure, as you scout for a monster, track it down, and then do battle with it, to either capture, or kill it.
Starting out from your base camp, your first task will be to hunt through the undergrowth for any potential signs of your prey. With the game flagging up anything that might be interesting, you're on the lookout for tracks, claws, feathers, scrapings and scratches, or anything else that might give you a clue as to what it is you're looking for. The more you find, the more your "scoutflies" will pick up the scent, lighting a trail for you to follow. The more bits and pieces you gather overall, the more you'll build up your research about the monster you're hunting, eventually revealing its weaknesses.
When you do eventually find your quarry, you should be sure to bed in for an epic and lengthy battle. Most monsters take around twenty minutes to half an hour to defeat, as you slowly but surely chip away at their health, and attempt to exploit their weaknesses, before temporarily retreating to replenish your health, or re-sharpen your blunted weapons.
How easy is Monster Hunter World to pick up and play?
Designed to make each and every fight a real challenge, Monster Hunter World is a game aimed at experienced players and those who like a real challenge. With each quest having a time limit imposed, along with a limited number of lives (usually three) you can use, there's real pressure on you from the off. Add to that the fact that your weapons do very little damage, while the monsters can see you off in only a few hits, and it's easy to see how defeating any of the game's humongous monsters is a real challenge.
With no levelling system in place, the only way to really get stronger is to take on one of the game's many side quests assignments, which see you hunting (or capturing) monsters you've already slayed. Once defeated, you can use the monster parts you've salvaged to make new and better weapons or armour.
With little in the way of swearing, no sexual content, and only occasional, moderate violence, Monster Hunter World is fairly light in the way of mature content.
In terms of swearing, a few sentences in game contain the phrase "p*ssed off", but that's as strong as it gets. On the violence front, the amount of blood you encounter in game seems to be dependent on the weapon you're using. While many weapons see enemies giving off a dust like powder when hit, certain weapon/monster combinations do see small splatters of blood when enemies are hit. Looting a monster's corpse sees the player making a cutting motion across its torso with a knife, although there's nothing in the way of blood shown here either.
Although Monster Hunter World doesn't require an online connection, there's actually no way to launch a single player game if you're connected to the internet, as the game instead defaults to putting you in a session with other players. If you want to play on your own, the only real workaround is to create your own online session, but set it to private.
By default, Monster Hunter World will group up to 16 players together. While you won't see the other players in the hub, you will be able to talk to them through the game's voice chat, or text messaging, with no restrictions on who can and can't speak to each other. While there is a filtering system in place for text chat, which stars out swearing/rude words, there's nothing in place for voice chat, and as such, players should be aware of the risk of encountering offensive content. Voice chat can be disabled in game, however, by going to Options -> Audio -> Voice Chat. Disabling this will stop you hearing other players, and stop you being able to talk to them too.
It's also worth noting that unless you explicitly set the quest you're starting to be private, other players in the same session as you will be able to join your quest at any time if they see fit.
Format Reviewed: Playstation 4