So, I just watched
Tuna's MHW review and thought I might also give my two cents. Or more like fifty cents all in pennies.
To give you my answer first, YES, I think the game is very much worth it.
Obviously, whether the game is for you depends ultimately on your preferences, and as such you would have to actually play the game to make a definitive decision. I hope, nevertheless, that my descriptions of the game would help you make a more informed decision. I say 'descriptions', because they are not always reasons you should like the game.
- MHW is a lighthearted game. For a game that pits you against ferocious monsters and a game where the majority of the game experience consists in killing them, no human character dies or even gets seriously injured. The most prominent index of this is that compared to games where death is a commonly occuring event or even an integral part of the game lore, the player character in MHW never dies. They instead 'faint'. The lighthearted nature of the game is also strengthened by the quirky humor that has been one of the defining characteristics of the franchise.
- MHW has a great depth as far as the combat mechanics are concerned. Going into all the details wouldn't be much help to anyone who hasn't played the game, so let me just tell you that you will still be picking up new things even after 500 hours.
- Lore is not the game's strong suit. If you play games primarily to learn stories about a complex world, MHW will not satisfy you in that department.
- BUT, that doesn't mean MHW doesn't offer a rich experience.
- The game's world is beatiful and complex. There are countless environmental details that exist for almost purely for immersion, including the sounds of nature.
- Monsters in MHW are also some of the most well designed ones, both aesthetically and in their movements. The monsters are the 'story' of Monster Hunter games.
- MHW excels at representing the weight of the movements, of both the hunter and the monsters. When you swing a giant sword, you can vividly feel its weight. Multiple game design elements contribute to creating the effect, but here I will just mention the 'hit lag' effect. A 'hit lag' refers to the moment when the character's movement momentarily slows down upon landing a hit, which effectively tricks you into feeling the blade sinking into the flesh or the hammer head crushing bones. MHW utilizes hit lags masterfully without going into the realm of comical exaggeration.* (* Yes, there are certain 'anime' moves, but MHW is nowhere close to games like Devil May Cry.)
- MHW has an excellent sound design. The franchise's soundtracks have always been top notch, and MHW is not an exception. Also, the sound effects of the battle are very well done, so much so that I would highly recommend playing the game with earphones (or a good surround system) to take a full advantage of them.
- MHW is in a way like a sport game. While it does offer the experience of progression (which I will talk about next), it is also a game that offers a framework within which you can repeat the same match that nevertheless never stays the same. The reason why a sport game is enjoyable (for people who enjoy them, obviously) is because even though the overarching frame and rules never change, every moment of a match is controlled by the player. The same can be said about MHW. That being said, if you want a game that you can 'complete' within a set period of time, MHW might not be for you.
- MHW offers a great sense of progression. To talk about this, though, I must talk about what 'progression' exactly means in the game. MHW has no level, or any kind of experience system commonly found in games with RPG elements. The game's progression is realized in the form of equipment. As you progress through the game, you acquire more and stronger gears. In-game skills are attached to the gears not the player character, which means you are never locked into a specific specialty and can 'respec' on the fly. In fact, the game in many ways encourage you to experiment with different weapons and builds.
- There are currently 14 weapon classes. They roughly correspond to 'classes/jobs' in more traditional RPGs, but as aforementioned you can use whatever weapon you want any time you want. Each weapon class offers unique mechanics, which make you approach the fights often very differently and experience the game as a whole from a fresh perspective. Along with enriching the game experience, multiple selections of weapon classes also allow you to devise your own ways to deal with different monsters. You are not forced to deal with every monster with the same weapon (as you would have to with a locked-in job class). Conversely, you can fight the same monster with every weapon class there is with the same character.
- The most important 'leveling' in MHW is the progression of the player's own skill and knowledge. Many games, including MHW and the previous Monster Hunter games, have the typical equipment progression system. But compared to games where the fun of playing largely evaporates once the player acquires every good endgame gear, the ultimate endgame of MHW is becoming a skilled enough player who can actually take full advantage of the best gears. While good gears certainly help the fight, they in no way guarantee an easy fight, and even with the exact same gears the skill gap between a veteran and a relatively less skilled player can be vast.
- MHW can be played in both singleplayer and multiplayer, each offering different kinds of fun. While there are currently two major 'raid' monsters,* the majority of the game can be played solo. (* I'm not counting Ancient Leshen here.) Conversely, you can play the majority of the game with help of others, too. The game's multiplayer system has its own problems, as do most other games with multiplayer components, but it does a decent job at allowing the player to choose between a quick accessible option (by inviting random people to their quest) or a more engaged communal experience (by creating a lobby which random people and/or friends can join to play together for a prolonged period of time). It is also worth mentioning that aside from the few 'raid' monsters, MHW is not the kind of game where multiplayer is limited to special quests or 'modes'. Choosing between singleplayer and multiplayer is simply a matter of deciding whether you want to play the exact same quests alone or with other people.
- MHW has a very dedicated and active community. As much as there is a lot to learn about the game, especially when the game doesn't always explain everything there is to learn, you can find pretty much everything and more online.
- MHW doesn't have in-game microtransactions. It does have 'cosmetic' DLCs you can purchase from online distributors like emotes, but they have zero impact on the hunt. There isn't even any cosmetic DLC for gears, except for one that is offered with the Deluxe edition; transmog options are acquired through in-game quests. There is also no in-game menu to spend real money, nor is there any notification for DLCs within the game.
- You have a cat companion. You can customize their look. Go to youtube and look up some videos of people creating their characters. They go bonkers when they reach the cat customization screen.
I tried to keep comparisons to other specific games to the minimum because I believe MHW is its own genre and easy comparisons do no justice to both MHW and the games that are being compared to it.
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