Epic boss battles, and gathering things obsessively: two staples of gaming that have incited gamer zeal and fueled addictions for as long as video games have been around.
Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise has hyper-focused on these two specific gameplay elements since 2004 and has nearly perfected cramming the perfect combination of both into content-rich titles across many consoles, attracting countless hardcore series fans in the process.
Monster Hunter World is an attempt to bring the game, which has typically used the same outdated engine since its inception, into modern times with a fresh coat of paint in the form of cutting edge visuals, and to a wider variety of players with a more streamlined gameplay experience.
Capcom launched a beta for the game on the PS4 in late 2017 that was successful in generating hype and luring millions of new victims to its psychologically addictive model of gameplay. While most of these players probably aren’t willing to pump as much time into the series as traditional hardcore fans, they were hooked sufficiently enough to come back the following year and buy the same game with additional content a second time when Capcom released the expansion, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne.
Capcom has exercised the practice of releasing each new Monster Hunter title multiple times, with “G” (Ultimate in the western world) versions of each since the earliest days of the Monster Hunter Franchise. In these times where society is becoming more and more progressive, at least they are actually calling and treating Iceborne like an expansion this time, rather than simply selling their addicts an upgraded version of the same product again for full price.
Crushing Monsters is Fun as Hell, and in Monster Hunter World you will Relive the Experience Again and Again
As formidable as some of these proclaimed “legendary” beasts are, there is also an inexhaustible supply of them, and a plethora of different bone-shattering weapons to use to swat their uncullable ranks.
It’s basically monster-slaying Groundhog Day, but instead of playing as Bill Murray and wooing all the monsters into telling you their intimate secrets, you have to figure out how to bash their surprisingly robust skulls into shards of bone and brain matter with unwieldy monstrosities of weapons that are usually made from the parts of the monsters you slay, ranging from hilariously oversized swords, to a stick that giant insects are really, really fond of.
Sure, doing it for the money is one thing, but how badass is it to kill something, wear that dead thing, and then kill more things with other pieces of the dead thing you just killed? Hell, most of your pay is funneled back into the crafting and upkeep of said weapons and armor, as well as the purchase of medicine, ammunition, various hunting tools, and overindulgent meals.
Your hunter is essentially the perfect hobbyist, just like the real world player who buys this game multiple times on different platforms…
Why stick to the PS4 version of the game when the much crisper PC version with support for mods comes around half a year later? Yes, now you can wear a dumb anime maid suit while you slowly pound your prey into submission instead of badass, blood-soaked, scale chainmail.
Many players both old and new in fact waited for the PC launch rather than immediately jumping on the PS4 version for these reasons, but of course, the most hardcore players bought both (All four versions, if you consider Iceborne and its similar exclusivity period) versions of the game.
The only thing better than an infinite number of monsters to slaughter is two sets of an infinite number of monsters to slaughter!
Even Though Streamlined Compared to “Old” Monster Hunter, MHW is Still Rich in Content
With constant special limited time events running from launch all the way to present, Monster Hunter World offers hundreds of hours of gameplay, and Iceborne offers hundreds more. As the reviews for the PC version of Iceborne pour in and mod support grows, it’s very likely the expansion, which initially passed over with not as loud of an impact as the base game, will be in a much better place come the end of 2020.
So far this year, Capcom has put out several free title updates, featuring new monsters and returning favorites, like Furious Rajang, Raging Brachydios, and soon, Alatreon, one of the most powerful elder dragons hailing back from Monster Hunter Tri, the third generation of the game.. Early in April, The PC version of Iceborne will meet parity with the PS4 version for the first time, meaning both versions will have the same amount of content, and will from that point sync up for future content releases. Capcom has started using a “roadmap” system to display what new upcoming content will be released when with clear and concise info graphs. It’s apparent that they are ready to pump out tons more free content to hold Monster Hunter fans until the next release, be it another expansion of Monster Hunter World, or a whole new game entirely. With the popularity of the series at a massive all-time high, we can probably expect news about the future of the series later this year.