Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review

MHW_screenshot01-700x394 Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review

Mud-covered wyverns, mountain-sized dragons, and a rainbow chameleon bird that shoots… poison? Let's hunt them all!

  • System: PS4, XB1
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer:Capcom
  • Release Date: Jan 26, 2018

Who it Caters to

Monster Hunter is one of Capcom’s most successful franchises… in Asian countries. Dedicated fans in Western countries have not had as much access to the game as they would like. The last major MH title for a home console was Monster Hunter 3 (2013). That was almost five years ago. Last year Japan received Monster Hunter XX for the Nintendo Switch.

As of now, Capcom has stated no plans to release that game for NA or Europe. However, Capcom has taken a huge step forward giving Monster Hunter: World a worldwide release on the same date. Loyal fans of the franchise will love this game. Newcomers to the franchise have a prime chance to see what this series is all about.

What to Expect

MHW_screenshot01-700x394 Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review
Since the last Monster Hunter game that was released in the West there have been many changes that are quality of life upgrades. For example, graphics have been greatly updated, the game is no longer constricted to specific zones, and scoutflies and the Monster Field Guide make hunts much more enjoyable. These changes, of course, are welcomed by veterans.

There are now 14 different weapon classes to choose from, each with their own fighting style. Within those classes are specific weapons that have certain elemental affinities. (You'll want to choose the one that deals the most damage to your prey.) There are hundreds of items to craft, from potions to armor, ammo, explosives, camouflage cloaks, and a plethora of other things. Luckily, collecting items has become more polished in this game.

Items are now easier to pick up and when you break off pieces of a large creature you are guaranteed to add that specific material into your inventory (which wasn't the case before). There are so many combinations of items, weapons, and armor that you'll want to ease yourself in by sticking to one weapon class at first. Then, once you've got the hang of crafting you can branch out.

Though this is a good opportunity for gamers to try out the Monster Hunter franchise, if they haven't already, this title isn't catered specifically to new players. There's no attempt to introduce them to this brand new universe they've never seen before. For example, they could have provided some additional background about the "old world" that this expedition of hunters is coming from. Or maybe they could have talked about previous dragons and wyverns that have been hunted due to the devastation they were causing. The Monster Hunter lore is so rich that it seems like a waste to not mention some of the epic bosses from previous games or talk about the heroic feats accomplished by past hunters (a tradition that you now have to carry on).

That being said, there are systems in place that will give you tutorials on things such as inventory, weapon crafting and usage, a monster field guide, and so on. Specifically, there is an area used training and trying out different weapon types. While this is good for understanding the basics of combat and the attacks of your weapon, it is very bare bones. We would have liked to see a more in-depth tutorial detailing the uses of some of your attacks. Or perhaps, they could have added small creatures with AI to practice against.

Monster Hunter: World - Launch Trailer


MHW_screenshot01-700x394 Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review
An elder dragon, Zorah Magdaros, has decided to migrate to a new continent for unknown reasons. A faction of the Research Commission, an organization of hunters, scholars, and engineers, has decided to willingly follow Zorah Magdaros into uncharted territory. You are an A-List hunter from the 5th Fleet, the last squad sent to the new continent. But, you, the other A-List hunters, and their corresponding Handlers are said to be exceptionally skilled and stand the best chance of solving the mystery of the elder dragon's migration and establishing a permanent settlement for the Commission within the new world.

Monster Hunter has never really been a franchise that focused on compelling storytelling and deep characters. For the most part, the story just serves as a device to get you to this "New World" filled with new animal and plant life. Here you'll take on a near limitless number of hunts and quests as your character becomes stronger and more capable of taking on legendary creatures. The plot is just a backdrop to the thrilling battles that will unfold throughout your 50+ hours of enthralling gameplay.


MHW_screenshot01-700x394 Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review
As mentioned up above, improved graphics, larger areas, scoutfiles, and the Monster Field Guide are huge components of this game. Though some of the faces of NPC's can look add at times, the monsters in this game are extremely detailed and pleasing to look at. Each of the six areas is vast and beautiful to behold. In particular, the Coral Highlands has a dreamlike mix of pink coral with an aquatic feel that is quite unique and truly breathtaking to see in motion.

The game is also no longer constricted to specific zones. What we mean by this is that in previous Monster Hunter games, a hunting area was divided into ten or so zones. When you reached the edge of a zone, the game had to take a few seconds to load the next zone. It distracted from the immersive experience. Now, entire hunting grounds are open for you to explore, which is a good thing when retreating from large monsters that have just inflicted heavy damage on you.

MHW_screenshot01-700x394 Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review
Scoutflies are an addition that has become essential to finding specific prey during hunts. Whenever you discover an oversized footprint on the ground, a strange marking on a tree or wall, or a puddle of dripping mucus, your scoutflies will use these clues to track down your prey. They'll move out ahead of you and leave a lit up trail for you to follow. We can't count the number of times we've lost track of a creature while hiding and recovering health and had to rely on the scoutflies to track them down.

Because each monster has a unique design and behavior during battle, the Monster Field Guide is essential. It provides valuable intel for taking down enemies in an efficient and satisfying manner. It gives you a drawn image of the prey, highlighting the points on the body that are vulnerable or susceptible to being broken. On top of that, it tells you what elements the creature is strong and weak against. Even, when you are knocked out by a fire-breathing dragon or jigglypuff looking creature, you don't feel hopeless because tracking and battling the creature has unlocked additional intel in the monster field guide. Taking a read through your prey's chapter will tell you how to better engage the creature and emerge victoriously.

MHW_screenshot01-700x394 Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review
Besides crafting and collecting materials, combat is where you'll spend the majority of your time. Hacking through Jagras and beating the feathers off of a Kulu-Ya-Ku feels extremely satisfying when you see their defeated corpse lying at your feet. Unleashing a flurry of strikes with katanas or smashing your prey into a pulp with a huge hammer is gratifying when pulled off successfully. However, the movement and camera angles in this game are a bit sluggish and unresponsive (especially when fighting large creatures), compared to other titles with fast-paced action. The combination of movement, attacks, and evasive maneuvers are probably second nature to Monster Hunter connoisseurs, but it may feel a bit awkward to new players. However, with the number of hours you'll want to put into this game because of the exploration and crafting system, you'll begin to master the combat system soon enough.

MHW_screenshot01-700x394 Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review
The last thing we wanted to highlight is multiplayer functionality. Four player co-op works seamlessly with the campaign. It doesn't feel cumbersome nor does it feel like a separate mode. You can open up your quest to random people or play together with a group of friends to take down powerful creatures and pick up valuable crafting materials. The only issue with co-op is that if you want to play a story quest with a group of hunters, they must have watched any cutscenes related to that same story quest otherwise they can't join you.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Monster Hunter: World is exactly the game that fans of this franchise have been waiting for. It's an upgrade in terms of visuals, item collection, weapon and armor variety, and in area expansion. This is a highly addictive game that lends to probably 100+ hours of gameplay to unlock and collect every item. This could be just what the franchise needed in order to have all of its future titles available to western countries. Even though this game was released in January, we can comfortably say that this will be a contender for 2018's game of the year.

Honey's Pros:

  • Visually stunning
  • Vast improvements from previous games
  • Weapon and armor variety
  • Engaging boss battles

Honey's Cons:

  • Lack of exposition for new players
  • Sluggish controls
  • Barebones weapon tutorials

Honey's Final Verdict:

MHW_screenshot01-700x394 Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review
We can easily overlook the few flaws Monster Hunter: World has because it does a variety of things so well. Though it's not a specially catered to a new generation of gamers who haven't played the franchise, we can't recommend this game enough. Loyal fans and tentative gamers will find this game immersive and addictive. There’s even a collaboration with another of Capcom’s intellectual properties, Street Fighter V Arcade Edition. Keep an eye out for that since it will take place in mid-February.
MHW_screenshot01-700x394 Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Review


Author: Javier Garcia

Hey guys! I'm a huge fan of anime and video games. I used to be a competitive fighting game player (search my name in YouTube). So, I guess it was natural for me to make my way over here to Japan. I teach English, write anime articles, and put together videos when I have time. I hope you enjoy the content we've created for you here at Honey's Anime!

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