If you're looking for some of the best emergent gameplay to be experienced on home consoles (as of writing this article), then look no further than Monster Hunter: World (MH:W). Still not convinced? Read on to find out why this game deservers a hundred hours of your time.
If 2016 was the year of open-world titles, 2017 was definitely the year of games as a service. These are games that receive continual updates in terms of gameplay adjustments and content to incentivise players to keep playing them. Where other games focus on delivering content in the form of DLC spaced out across a specific period of time, MH:W is brimming with loads of content right off the bat. Ardent players of the Monster Hunter series invest about five hundred to one thousand hours in one game. The sheer amount of depth and variety is unmatched by any modern game on the market right now.
You play the role of a Hunter of the Fifth Fleet who makes a voyage to the New World. The Guild of Hunters is researching the New World to find out about its habitability and you're the fifth expedition to be sent out. During this time, your objective is to hunt down different monsters for balancing the ecosystem, collecting data, and making some amazing weapons and armour.
The gameplay of MH: World is what will keep you glued for hours on end. There are 14 weapon types on offer and each of them offers a significantly different playstyle. For example, you have the Switch Axe which deals blunt force damage in axe mode but it can deal out slicing damage in sword mode augmented by elemental force. Then you have the Charge Blade which is unique in the sense that you have to build charges by repeatedly attacking your target and then you have to store your charge to make a gigantic axe which deals massive damage. You also have your standard ranged weapons in the form of bowguns and actual bows. You cannot use both ranged and melee at the same time. The choice you have in terms of weapons is immense and there's a specific weapon type for each player.
Combat encounters feel a lot like Dark Souls mixed in with traditional hack-and-slash games. You have to look for clues and tracks of the monsters you hunt, then you have to prepare accordingly to buff yourself against the monster's special attacks, and after you find the monster it becomes an exhilarating fight to the death. All encounters are different thanks to the amazing animation and intelligent AI. Also, there are times when you are fighting one monster only to be ambushed by another, more powerful monster. These are times which bump up the thrill a notch.
The weapons and armour are all crafted from the parts you scavenge during your hunts. And getting all the gear pieces requires an immense time investment. There are also a plethora of more monsters to hunt after you're done with the story and that is the one thing you'll be doing a lot of.
Overall, MH: World is one of the best action games you can play right now. The learning curve is steep but once you master all the mechanics, you'll be slaying monsters left and right. The fun doesn't wear out starting from the first time to the hundredth time. So there's plenty to keep you busy here.
Shahrukh Ikhtear is a sub-editor at SHOUT who stresses himself out while trying to learn marketing. Send him pictures of Philip Kotler as blessings at fb.com/sr.ikhtear