Is ‘Monster Hunter: World’ the best RPG of 2018 so far? (Review)

Sarahy Lopez, News Editor

Monster Hunter: World is an action role-playing game (RPG) developed by Capcom studios that were released on Jan. 26.

As part of a franchise, Monster Hunter: World already set the highest of standards of 2018’s RPG games, receiving numerous praise from journalists and players alike. It has already sold over 2 million copies, making it the 10th best-selling PS4 video game within just two weeks of its release.

But is it worth the hype?

Monster Hunter: World sets the player up in vast environments where they can explore and fight monsters to their heart’s content.

Each world has its own ecosystem, meaning that all creatures and monsters function without player interaction. One day you might see a peaceful forest, where animal herds casually roam around and eat plants. Other times you might witness two giant, territorial monsters fighting to the death.

The hours alone exploring can be limitless, as players can gather resources to help build better armor, potions, and weaponry. Herbs, mushrooms, metal ore and bugs can all be collected and used to make better items, presenting a near-overwhelming world of possibilities for customization and specialization.

As part of this ecosystem, the player is also in charge of making sure the food chain and natural environment don’t get disrupted by a dangerous predator. The game sends players on missions to kill those predators, ranging from dinosaur-like creatures to giant dragons.

With 14 different weapon types, players can choose how they want to hunt their targets, either by bow, blade or mini-machine gun.

Some weapons may require more practice over others, but with time, players can master their chosen weapon. The game does not lock you into a certain weapon class either, so you may change a weapon anytime you want.

You also get the most adorable companion, a Palico, a large cat that helps you fight and collect items.

And the best thing about this game?

It has no difficulty levels to choose from, meaning that there is no “easy” or “hard” mode. It is an equally scaled game for every player; every monster hunt will be just about the same difficulty for everyone.

The game is somewhat unforgiving, throwing new players into giant monster fights right in the beginning. Every monster hunt is a battle for survival, and each battle can take about 10-50 minutes in real time.

The monsters feel real within the game. They run away when hurt, they get more aggressive when they feel like their health is lowering, they can get into fights with other equally giant monsters, and they can chase after players and prey when they’re feeling hungry. Every fight feels unique and different because you’re never really able to predict the monster.

After you defeat a monster, the loot and rewards are satisfying, allowing players to make new armor to show off to friends in the game’s multiplayer system.

I’m about 30 hours into the game, and I still feel like there is a ton of questing and hunting left to do. If you judge playing hours by its retailing $60 price tag, I would say that you’re getting your money’s worth and more.

One of the only pitfalls that this game runs into is the confusing online system. It can be overly complicated to invite a friend into your game to do missions together.

You can play with friends but only if they are in your online session. If they are on another server, you won’t be able to go on missions with them. Also, friends are required to have already completed specific missions in order to play together.

You’re fighting against the system in the game just to go into expeditions with friends. It is a very different multiplayer, compared to other modern games where you can just immediately jump in with a buddy.

You may fight giant monsters with up to four friends and it is definitely more fun, but there are setbacks.

But the best part about inviting friends is that it doesn’t make the monster hunt fights easier, it makes them harder. The game automatically makes monster fights more challenging than its regular single-player mode when you are in a group of two or more.

There is also a squad creation system where players can make their own guild up to 16 players.

Besides the main quests, there are plenty of side missions to keep you busy. Optional quests will provide extra items and in-game currency, and are often fun and challenging.

Despite it being only one month into the year, Monster Hunter: World has already established itself as one of the frontrunners for best game of 2018.

So grab your shield, sword and your Palico because it’s time to hunt, meowster.