Kakoli Chakraborty tries out one of the most-anticipated games of 2018.
Photograph: Courtesy monsterhunterworld.com
When it was announced at the E3 2017, Capcom's Monster Hunter: World received a lot of attention. It was one of the most-anticipated games of 2018.
The fifth installment in the main series, the video game was released simultaneously for Japan and Western markets; especially since the previous installments hadn't gained much popularity because of delayed release in other markets.
Monster Hunter: World is set in a world divided into two continents -- Old World and New World.
Old World is inhabited by humans, while monsters roam the New World.
As with human behaviour, they embark on a journey to study the monster-filled world. For this purpose, 'Fleets' are sent out to set up bases on the 'untamed' continent.
The plot revolves around Hunter, part of the Fifth Fleet, who is on a quest to find Zorah Magdaros -- a colossal monster who appears every 10 years -- and hunt monsters on the way.
I haven't played any other game in the series and was a bit sceptical at first.
However, I found myself immersed in this action role-playing game. The game is not a bland hack-and-slash fest; one has to study the monsters' behaviour and the flora surrounding them.
The Monster Hunter series has been criticised for its steep learning curve. But this instalment is full of tutorials that help understand the game mechanics better.
So, for the first few hours, you find yourself hunting monsters.
Add to it a picturesque backdrop that makes even the inane activities satisfying.
Monster Hunter: World depends more on the players' decision rather than plot devices. The combat moves will depend on the weapon the player chooses.
Similarly, the type of armour used, keeping the preferred weapon in mind, will determine whether it will provide a boost in combat or not.
Unlike other RPGs, the loot one gets from slaying monsters or completing quests is used for building most equipment.
Thus, the player has to learn how to build weapons and armour that are effective in combat; a weapon with better attributes will be better against higher-level monsters.
As the story progresses, the player has to track down monsters with the help of Scout flies.
Once tracked, monsters can be slayed or captured.
The game's environment can also be used to capture or attack monsters.
For instance, weather and the time of the day can affect a monster's behaviour.
I spent 20 hours on the game but didn't complete it, mainly because I found myself exploring the open-world environment and mastering the game mechanics.
The game has both single player and co-operative modes.
And since the game relies on how you use the loot, co-operative mode turns into a truly enjoyable experience.
In a nutshell, Monster Hunter: World is a well-rounded RPG that will have you spend hours on it.
The game has been released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A Microsoft Windows release is expected in the second half of the year.