Back at E3 2017, we got our first glimpse of Monster Hunter: World at PlayStation’s press conference. Now, the beta version of the game is available to PlayStation Plus subscribers. Naturally, we spent a good amount of time playing with the game over the weekend, and it is easily the most visually impressive – and accessible – Monster Hunter game yet.
The Monster Hunter series has always been a favourite of mine, but whenever I try to introduce new players to Capcom’s highly successful franchise, they’re put off by the game’s complexity and odd controls. Thankfully, these issues are mostly addressed in World.
If you’re familiar with Monster Hunter’s controls, you’ll have little to no trouble adjusting to World’s controls. Unlike the complex Hunting Styles introduced in Monster Hunter Generations, World’s combat system is stripped down to its core, keeping only the essential moves and adding some new ones (which are not too hard to perform) to each weapon – there are a total of 14 different weapons to choose from.
Controls aside, it is much easier to track monsters now in the open world environment. Instead of marking monsters with paintballs, players can use “Scoutflies” to locate said monsters. By collecting clues each monster leaves behind – such as footprints and carcasses – the Scoutflies can track the monster down.
Speaking of the open world environment, it’s quite refreshing to walk into different parts of the map without any loading screen – it’s my personal pet peeve with previous Monster Hunter games. Not only are there no loading screens to interrupt your hunt now, the environment itself can aid the players too. You can trap monsters in certain areas, and you can even swing on vines now.
But enough of that; let’s get to the good stuff. Previous Monster Hunter titles were mainly developed for portable consoles, so it goes without saying World is the best-looking game in the series yet. The environment looks lush, the hunter’s movements and weapon attacks both look and feel great, and most importantly, the monsters look downright intimidating.
Players can hunt three different monsters in the beta version of Monster Hunter World: Great Jagras, Barroth, and the mean-looking Anjanath. Out of the three monsters, Anjanath is the most difficult monster to hunt, and it may prove to be difficult for new players to take down the monster on their own.
But that’s where the Multiplayer system comes in. If you’re having difficulties completing a quest, just queue for an online games to hunt with three other players. In the beta, I managed to find a couple of games rather easily online – I reckon the game’s retail version will be just as easy (if not easier) to look for online matches.
Monster Hunter World keeps the series’ core while introducing new mechanics and improvements that will make it easier for new players to jump into the game. So far, the beta version of the game shows plenty of promise, and if it’s any indication of the game’s retail version, World is well on its way to be the most polished entry in the series yet.
Set to be released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 26 January – with a PC version slated for release on a later date – the beta of Monster Hunter World is currently available to PlayStation Plus members until 13 December at 12.59AM Malaysian time.