Two Accounts from the first hours on the job
To date we have sent two brave warriors into the New World. They've seen some things, but more importantly (#questionable), they've felt some things...Here are they're impressions of the first few hours.
Having never played a monster hunter game before it’s difficult to explain how my first few hours with the game went. This is mostly as I feel in some form of shell shock. To put it bluntly Monster hunter is an attack on the senses leaving you baffled yet wanting more, I think.
There are a lot of things Monster hunter has that will appear very familiar to the average RPG gamer. You have a story involving adventure and travel, you have a character set up screen with a lot of opportunity to shape your character how you want, you have a cute sidekick, and you have an unknown island full of stuff to kill. It’s not the premise of MH that is the shock and awe; it’s how it goes about this.
In what stands for a tutorial you are thrown feature after tactic after skill after mechanic. These are usually in the form of simple one page tutorials that don’t, in my opinion, give you either the context they are used in or often what they actually do.
This is not to say my first impressions of MH are bad. In fact the opposite, it’s a beautiful game and that goes a long way. The characters are expressive with a slightly cartoony feel, but are lively and fun to watch. In typical fashion for me I spent close to half an hour creating my character and considering you only have to design your head and hair that shows you the amount of customisation (and my indecision) that is possible. The environment is lush and makes you want to explore. The monsters both large and small are well designed and as of yet have stayed away from the overtly Japanese craziness that I tend to shy away from.
You can tell there is a wealth of collecting to be done, and it’s clear that grinding will play a big positive part in getting the parts for what is, already after two hours, a large selection of gear and weapons to make.
You can collect samples for research to give you points to upgrade your armour, you can bring back food ingredients to impress the chef to help you create meals which add timed bonuses to your stats, you can kill and stalk prey to learn more about them in your journal, you can mine, you can explore bonefields for parts, you can complete side missions for XP… This list goes on. You can do this in story quests, optional quests, expeditions all of which are different forms of being sent into the field with different time restraints and rules… And this for me is the problem with MH. There is just so much going on that it’s almost freaking me out.
My other issue with the game is the combat. When you are fighting a single beast then I can deal with it fine, the tracking is a little disappointing so even when you lock onto a hunt you often spend a lot of your time missing your weapon swings or shots, but when you add multiple smaller creatures into the fray, I’m finding it close to impossible to keep track or attack them other than a messy button mashing technique which, from what I have gathered, is not the calm, collected, defend and timed attack MH way.
I want to say I jumped into MH and I’m so immersed that Chris and Hope may not hear from me for a few weeks, but compared to other deep RPG games like The Witcher3, Fallout4 etc I’m just finding the game a little lacking in that ability to draw me in.
Whether it’s the “throw you in at the deep end and hope you swim” tutorial experience which has left me running to online guides every 5 minutes or whether it’s the lacking of a defined direction to go in once you have settled on the island, I’m struggling to enjoy this in single player. Chris is looking to pick up MH soon so maybe with the addition of a hunting buddy the game will live up to it’s hype for me.
I've also recently just picked up Monster Hunter World and just like Mark I am new to the series. I was amazed at all the things you could do in this game right from the get go, from getting food cooked by Palicos to slinging your weapons around in the vast amounts of wild. Initially I loved this idea, almost being thrown into the game right from the start instead of spending hours on tutorials and beginner stages, however as I got a few quests deep I started to realise why a game of this caliber needs stages like that.
With not a lot in regards to tutorials you're kind of thrown in the deep end with Monster Hunter and when it comes to taking down beasts it is really difficult especially being new to the game. My combination of button mashing and a few well planned strikes don't fare well anymore and so I'm back to square one of trying to master my weapons.
What also doesn't help is the vast amount of weapons to choose from, again this is probably good for most however for me it just seems like too many for me to even begin to decide what to start off with. The small training room gives you a little area to find your feet with a weapon but it's a whole new feat trying to put these newly learnt skills to the test on a huge flying/moving beast.
This doesn't put me off the game though, and although I'm getting frustrated with constantly being killed by the monsters - this game keeps me coming back for more. Eventually with some perseverance and reading countless online guides I should master this game to some degree. As a whole this game is great but not kind to beginners.
I'm looking forward to trying the multiplayer out properly one day but for now the single player is infuriating me, however I just can't put it down.
Any of you playing MHW?