The Monster Hunter World beta for PlayStation Plus users is live and it is so good. I’ve been a longtime fan of the Monster Hunter franchise. I still remember the first time I played. It was during the summer for middle school, my friend Alex brought his copy of Monster Hunter for PS2 over and I was in love from that point forward.
Monster Hunter World beta gives players three different hunts to cut their teeth in the Monster Hunter franchise. Before you can start hunting though players are given a chance to get a look at the customization options for the hunter and your Palico companion. A Palico is a humanoid cat that fights alongside players to give buffs or deal some decent damage. The customization is rather bare, but the devs have stated that in the retail version of the game there will be more in-depth options. And unlike past Monster Hunter demos, players not only have the chance to try out all of the weapons, but they have the option to change their armor to better suit their playstyle.
Before I go too far into the hunts themselves, I just need to say, Monster Hunter World looks amazing. The environments not only invite players to memorize and take advantage of their secrets but rewards those who are able to catch their prey off guard. Not only that, but the environments feel alive. There are creatures absolutely everywhere. Pay attention to your surroundings. You may be going after the Great Jagras, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an apex predator lurking just around the corner. This adds a sense of urgency that forces players to not only plan ahead and plan for anything but makes players think outside of the box to tackle their prey.
While I’m a massive fan of the series I was a little hesitant on how Monster Hunter Worlds would control with the shift from the Nintendo 3DS to an actual console controller. And honestly, after an ignorant number of hours poured into the beta I can comfortably say the controls are solid. The controls are simple and easy enough to get the hang of, but reward mastery. Attacking feels natural and the simple controls allow players to get into a groove and create their own combo and playstyle for a particular weapon.
Let’s talk about the hunts. The first one pits hunters against the Great Jagras, which is a weird lizard that grabs food for its young and vomits it back up to be eaten by the family. It’s a great monster to start new players off with. It doesn’t offer too much of a challenge, but it gives new hunters a chance to get used to the controls and how to control the flow of combat.
The next hunt pits you against the mud covered Barroth, a large shovel headed monster that feels the need to slam its head around. This is the first monster I felt an actual challenge with. But this should be the first hunt new players feel pressure from these monsters. The monsters have their own lifestyle and patterns. Players would do well to figure these patterns out can use them against the monster themselves.
The last hunt pits players against the brand-new mucus spitting monster, the Anjanath. For veteran players think of a fire-breathing aggressive Deviljho, but for new players, this should the first taste of monsters being stronger than they are, but as soon as you defeat the monster, the feeling is total bliss. I know I’m gushing too much, but honestly, this game makes players feel unstoppable. There’s always a constant sense of progression at the player’s own pace. You set your own goals and desires. You control your own story.
Players are allowed to hunt these monsters as many times as they please, whether it be by themselves, with total strangers, or friends. Monster Hunter World is a great challenge alone, but playing with friends is where the game truly shines. Gathering a party and going after monsters is when it is at its most fun. But if players are feeling up to it there are a couple of stronger monsters hidden throughout the environments. Good luck if you seek them out.
I honestly try not to get too far sucked into hype for a game, but if this beta is a sign for things to come, everyone should be excited about Monster Hunter World. It’s a blast and has unlimited replayability. It is an absolute treat to look at and feels great to play. The controls are quick and responsive, the world is inviting, and the training mode allows people to get acquainted with the numerous weapon types. If you have PlayStation Plus and are on the fence please do yourself a favor and check the beta out. If you’re a veteran and nervous about the switch to console, try it and see it feels like the game we fell in love with. I cannot wait to see and experience the full game next year.
Monster Hunter World beta is available now on for PlayStation Plus members. The retail version will release on January 26, 2018, for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.