Join Bill as he plays his first Monster Hunter game, and starts a brand new journey in Capcom's Monster Hunter World on the PS4.
I was not prepared for this. I've never played a Monster Hunter game beyond a demo on the 3DS. I had no clue it was going to be this fun. I knew the basic gist - get quests, go kill monsters, collect their parts, make weapons, and repeat. It's a familiar Action RPG setup, but Monster Hunter has gained a sheer massive following over the years due to how well it pulls off this formula, and how skillful the combat can be.
I just didn't realize how fluid, how gorgeous, and how addictive it can be.
My friend Dan Tack over at Game Informer gave it a 9.5 and described it as the perfect entry point for new Monster Hunter players, and that feels like an apt description. It does a pretty good job laying out everything that's expected of you, and doesn't waste too much time getting you into the action. It's also got a fairly deep character creation, letting you make your guy or gal look just as you want them to.
Oh, and that includes your Cat Companion, known as a Palico. Not only do you customize the look of the Pal, but you customize its name, and it also gets near armor and weapons as you're able craft them. So it's an Action RPG dress up simulator for you and your pet. Basically, it's awesome.
Combat is nuanced, with every weapon having its own unique plusses and minuses, some ranged, some melee, some a mix. But the real fun isn't just the hunting and crafting loop, but the exploration. Each "level" of the new world apparently has all kinds of hidden nooks and crannies, and new random encounters are placed in them whenever you go out on a quest or side mission.
You can go it alone, or in a match-made group, or with friends. Think of it like Guild Wars 1, a solid deeply featured Co-Op RPG. Solo is doable, but you're going to want friends for the really hard monsters, unless you're patient and supremely skilled.
In any case, Rob is writing our full review next week, and I'm sure he'll have lots to say. For now, take in the footage, and let us know what you think of the game in the comments.