Hunt, gather, capture: a triad that has lived on since 2004 and has won over thousands of players. Although initially the involvement concerned an oriental niche, Capcom subsequently chose to be daring and approach the western public, bringing the hunt on more platforms and in decidedly larger contexts. Monster Hunter: World is the latest iteration of an already compelling game; its formula has remained almost unchanged, indeed, it has been further perfected over time. Thanks to the contents, the constant support of the software house, the addition of stimulating events and, above all, an expansion that confirmed the extraordinary success of this series.
Let’s start from the beginning, projecting to January 26, 2018, the release date that involved PlayStation 4, Xbox One and, a few months later, PC. The commercial success of this game is proven by the statistics: 16 million copies sold worldwide, in addition to 5.8 million units for the Iceborne expansion, reaching a total of 20 million. Monster Hunter: World was, in fact, a top seller on PlayStation and, subsequently, it was also added to the PlayStation Plus Collection. Same goes for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate but, regardless of this, we want to focus on the reasons that led to so much appreciation of the Capcom title.
We immediately noticed how Capcom’s path was mainly devoid of major problems: the timeliness in updating the game married an addition of interactions and events able to involve almost constantly. The first two months of launch were affected by some matchmaking issues on Xbox, for online sessions, which lasted until patch 1.06 in February. With the latter, some changes have also been made to the weapons, as well as to the stability of the game and its accessibility: faster loads have been implemented, the customization of subtitles and the possibility of kicking some members from the online session. All this has allowed us to enjoy the gaming experience more, shaping a strongly compact community regardless of the platform,
Huge creatures to hunt push the player to forge efficient equipment, and it won’t be an easy task.
The technical sector has already been thoroughly analyzed by our English Digital Foundry colleagues, who have compared the performance of the game on consoles. Monster Hunter: World makes use of the MT Framework Engine, known to support very large environments. As usual, the premium consoles enjoy more convincing performance, albeit less stable than usual: the game, in fact, does not enjoy a dynamic resolution and the basic consoles, respectively PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, stop at 1080p and 864p respectively. .
1080p, in reality, is much less qualitative in motion than a normal game, and the situation clearly escalates on Xbox. Different speech for the midgen consoles, which allow you to choose between three different options: a mode dedicated to resolution, a specific mode for graphics and, finally, the ability to focus exclusively on the frame-rate. In resolution mode the PlayStation 4 Pro produces a frame buffer of 1800p, while the Xbox One X renders at 1728p. Unfortunately, it is not possible to play at locked 30 fps, in fact on the PlayStation 4 the frame-rate is not stable and, consequently, the performance is not particularly smooth. On Xbox One it drops below 30fps maximum, but with fewer fluctuations. The premium consoles, on the other hand, enjoy a higher frame-rate that exceeds 40 fps, without ever, however, achieve a fixed 60 fps. The small problems we have talked about, however, do not affect the gaming experience, which still has many advantages already addressed at the time of the review.
PC owners, especially older hardware, can hunt their favorite monsters with an i5-4460 (or FX-6300) processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 (or Radeon R7 260). For those who want to push the game to very high details, we recommend an i7 3770 3.4GHz processor (or Ryzen 5 1500X) and an Nvidia GeForce 1060 (or Radeon RX 570X). The choice of the platform will depend exclusively on you but, in case you do not have a PC, we strongly advise you to try the title on the most advanced consoles, being more qualitative and stable.
Returning to post-launch support, the following three months were subject to particularly substantial bugfixes, starting from translation errors to brightness problems with guild cards. The game itself, with patch 3.0, has been updated with new monsters, armor, weapons and the new location “The Caves of El Dorado”. In August 2018, the Behemoth monster, the Dragoon armor and related gameplay fixes were also added. In short, from the beginning Capcom has tried to involve the player by adding new interactions, in order to encourage greater longevity of the game and, above all, of fun.
On October 4, 2018, patch 5.1.0 was released, very full-bodied and full of improvements for the quality of the game. Among the most relevant elements was the increase in the drop rate of the distorted Feystone, as well as the resolution of a purely technical problem: a specific error, in fact, would have led the players to disconnect intentionally, in order to maintain the level of chase in the siege of Kulve Taroth.
Other problems concerned the gameplay and were solved just as quickly: starting from the Dragon Piercer that would have fired out of the desired range, to solving an online connection problem on Xbox. 2018 ended with the correction of further translation errors, as well as weapons and, above all, combat. The latter was the victim of a bug where, if the player had fired the slingshot having the weapon drawn, firing a second time during half of the animation, the latter would not have canceled and the second shot of the slingshot would not would come out.
Either way, 2019 went on without too many hitches, except for some minor audio issues and some bugs strictly related to combat. A creature, in fact, could have been attracted to the player’s position, rather than to the point hit by the slingshot. A similar issue occurred with Gastodon, who allegedly discovered the player despite hiding in the bushes or wearing the camouflage cloak.
Let’s move on, however, to the real spearhead of post-launch support, namely the new Iceborne expansion, available on consoles from September 6, 2019. This additional content could be considered as the icing on an already delicious cake or the secret ingredient that makes the tastiest main course. Monster Hunter, in general, has never possessed a particular narrative plot and Iceborne did not want to distort the essence of the title, but wanted to perfect it by putting the dots on the i’s. This time the player receives real inputs to hunt the mammoth creatures of the new world, in particular they are given a series of objectives to be carefully analyzed that give more incentive to go hunting.
Palicos are the most gracious feline helpers, and will prove useful in a variety of circumstances.
But forget about strange narrative skeins or twisted plots and full of details: Monster Hunter World is not known for this, let alone its expansion. We assure you, however, to be able to interface with a hunting game worthy of being called such and that, with this content, has overcome its initial limits becoming extremely rewarding.
From Astera, the base village of the hunters, the player discovered the existence of the Velkhana, an elder dragon able to shape and modify the surrounding environment, transformed into the snow-covered Frosty Wastes. While new creatures and quests related to them have been added, Capcom has actually added few really unreleased monsters. Many assets have in fact been reused and modified from the original ones.
But, then, why praise a simple DLC? The expansion further perfected the game with a much more immersive, dynamic and fast-paced combat system. Monsters have an attack pattern full of new mechanics to study which, once understood, become extremely fun. A great contribution was also made by the balance of the weapons: this time the sling played a much more important role in the clashes, stimulating the player to use it much more often. New skills, combos and armor have been added at the same time. The former have an increased level cap, while the existing ones have different effects. The Palico, the cute feline helpers useful in battle, have also been subjected to some changes, including the level cap increased from 30 to 50.
The village of this expansion, Seliana, proved to be extremely accessible despite its small size. Precisely for this reason, every resource is available within walking distance, such as the botanical laboratory and the merchant, represented this time by a single NPC. Among the further additions, albeit less relevant, the accommodations could have been furnished to your liking, while a mini-game was made available that could have given away countless consumables.
In the following months, great attention was paid to the technical sector, solving various bugs and improving the interface. As for the HDR options, the gamer could have adjusted their contrast, as well as brightness and color. The reflection of natural light on the water has been made more realistic, as well as the shadow on the hunter’s face has been more defined, in order to give him more expressiveness.
2019 ended with the addition of the monster Rajang and the Stygian Zinogre, with new weapons, skills, armor and the Tundra region. Speaking of the Guiding Lands, Capcom has made some corrections to make them more accessible and easier to play, starting from the drop rate of the special tracks, to the materials obtained at each level. The “Fixed Region” parameter has also been added, to be set if you want to explore the Guiding Lands with fixed levels. The usual bugfixes are inevitable, on which the software house has always acted promptly and consistently.
Let’s move on to the current year, 2020, which began with several problems that led the game to freeze, such as with the use of a flashbug in certain conditions: fortunately these problems did not last long. The months of March and April involved adding new charms (Fury Charm V, Power Charm V etc.) and increasing the level cap for the armor master rank. Iceborne has continued to update and pleasantly involve the player with two new event quests, relating to the Kulve Taroth and the Arch-tempered Namielle. In addition, the number of parts for layered weapons has been increased, while new charms and charms have been added, surrounded by numerous bugfixes. The latest most relevant updates concerned July and October: there were several limited-time events, especially those regarding Frostfang Barioth, Fatalis and Arch-tempered Velkhana. The patches were made the subject, as always, of the inevitable bugfixes: the most important would have prevented you from returning to the game screen using the Surveyor Set.
The additional content and post-launch support have been decidedly healthy for the game: to date some slight bugs or complaints about the balance of weapons may persist, but Capcom continues to be present assiduously and there are no particular problems capable of ruining the gaming experience. Monster Hunter: World, can be considered an evergreen that is hardly boring, and is able to give hundreds of hours full of activities to do. Monsters, crafting, weapons to learn to master: the player can test himself with countless interactions without ever actually feeling that he has stopped and cannot continue.
The sentiment of the community was based on this dynamic: many players are totally satisfied with this title, although on PC a lot of content has arrived late. Among the various reasons, the community appreciates being able to access totally free events, which rotate every week and which allow you to take advantage of a visible programming on the Capcom website.
Those who feel they have already done everything and, inevitably, need to feel the initial involvement again, usually choose to simply switch weapons as the gameplay changes and takes on totally different dynamics. It is a perfect title for both new players and big fans of the series: even after two years since its launch, Monster Hunter: World is still alive and well and full of activities to do. Among the many positive sides stands the possibility of fully enjoying the game both in single-player and in the company of friends. Whether you are a lone wolf or a clan lover, the gaming experience will absolutely not be affected.
Although the PC version came out later, with a consequent delay in the various contents, the community is large and stable almost everywhere. It is not a particularly brilliant title for its plot, as mentioned before, but it is the best hunting game ever and, above all, it has been very well supported. As noted in our review, the progression is compelling and rewarding, and is probably one of the biggest selling points for a game where grinding might be inevitable. Defeating a boss over and over again, in an almost infinite loop, incentivizes the player to forge the strongest gear and experiment with new techniques as they go, without ever experiencing that classic feeling of monotony. You will not be alone because, if you decide to try the online mode,
At this point, a question could be legitimate: the game is present on all platforms, why on the Nintendo Switch, therefore, has not been ported? Well, in March 2021 Monster Hunter: Rise will be released for the hybrid console. We particularly appreciated the choice of publishing a title that is fully suited to the platform on which it is intended, so that you can play without any kind of limitation. The same producer of the series, Ryozo Tsujimoto, reiterated that he did not want to release a version of Monster Hunter: World for the console of the great N. The reason is simple and straightforward: the player must be able to live perfectly enjoyable experiences and, above all, try titles compatible with the hardware on which they are to be released. A very courageous and above all sensible move:
As already mentioned before, the choice of the platform to play on is totally subjective: the community is still solid and active everywhere, and you can count on any help and advice even if you decide to play in total solitude. The price is also now affordable, and the game can be purchased for € 29.99 on Steam, while on console it is € 19.99 (on PlayStation Store it is currently discounted at € 14.99). Apparently the monster hunt still has a lot to give: we hope that Monster Hunter: Rise can also give great fun to lovers of the hybrid console. It is clear that Capcom has made numerous strides and, given its great support, we can only be confident about the news to come.