I am a Monster Hunter neophyte. It was on my radar as a potential game, though the PC date of “fall 2018” doesn’t really inspire much confidence. I never pre-order, and after some rather positive vibes and initial reviews, I figured what the heck and picked up a copy at my local game store. (Side note, the reservations were low, but reviews were high, so their stock was near empty. Brick and mortar stores in igloo-town have the same price point as online stores, just faster delivery.)
Syp would be happy with the character creation tool. Everyone is human, mind you, but the options are pretty neat. And you can customize your cat butler. After spending a bit too long in this section (wonder if you can change it later…) I started up the main game.
It’s rare to start a game without training wheels these days. Following the intro mission, which is just an interactive cut-scene, the game opens up pretty much every single system at once. Every weapon type, crafting, eating, mission types, scanning… everything. There’s a breadcrumb system to lead you through it, but it is a lot to absorb at once.
How are you supposed to select a weapon style from 14 options? I barely caught that there was a training scenario were I could test them out, and even then, it’s about pacing swings more than understanding the nuances of each. I opted for dual blades – short range, slash damage, has a super saiyan mode.
I finished the first quest, which boiled down to “kill 7 bears”. There are items all over the place to pick up. Either as slingshot ammo, gear crafting, potion crafting, food crafting… I don’t rightfully understand it. The end of the mission gives you some time to collect the big bad guy. I did learn that spamming the collect button makes it go a lot faster. I also learned that the default action after ending a run is “sell all”. Which is not what I would have expected, since all that loot is needed to make stuff.
Return to town and I opted to craft some stuff. The weapon crafting is just… I thought that Path of Exile was obtuse in skill points… this thing is something else. It’s a giant tree of options, none of which you know what they are until you craft them. There are plenty of paths, and you can undo the choices (great!) Impressive. The armor crafting is a bit simpler, in that there are distinct items with benefits. You can mix and match pieces, and each one has a linear power upgrade. That seems simple enough.
I don’t quite get food/potion crafting yet. I’m sure that will come.
I don’t quite understand monster research either. I did some investigation on footprints and mucus and so one, but I don’t quite get the relation to the active mission, rather than eventually unlocking more info outside. It appears I break a leg… but I did nothing but attack legs and nothing broke. I’m sure it will make itself clear.
I’m up to the Pukei-Pukei mission. Very early on, but still a couple hours in. It’s going to take a while for me to figure out exactly how all the pieces fit together. It seems somewhat obvious that each system works with the others, I just don’t see all the links yet.
I will say that I greatly enjoy the art, music, and setting this game presents. The world feels lived in, which is quite an achievement. Items and services seem to be placed with purpose, and the various wildlife interacts with each other. The time I spent was simply lost to looking around. It’s a great feeling when 2 hours go by and it feels like 15 minutes.
There’s more digging and swinging to do. I’m not convinced for the need to go online yet, but maybe once I get a better hang of things. Should be a fun ride.
Sadly I have to compete with my 12 year old for PS4 time – he and his friends are playing Fortnite Battle Royale a ton. I am probably stuck waiting for “Autumn 2018” for the PC version. Maybe Dauntless will be out before then.
Bah, you’re bigger and pay the bills.
Dauntless looks intriguing.