You are part of the Fifth Fleet, traversing the seas and heading to the New World as you track the crossing of an Elder Dragon. Sent by the Research Commission to find out exactly what takes place when these huge, destructive beings make their trek every decade, it’s up to you to make the journey and to hunt anything that gets in your way. Welcome to Monster Hunter: World.
Tracking the Elder Dragon known as Zorah Magdaros, your ship is thrown into turmoil and you (the player) get a quick look at the basics of movement as you make your way to safety. Once your introduction is over you arrive at Astera, where you reconvene with the rest of the Fifth, and your journey truly begins.The game does well at not actively holding your hand as you play, which is something a lot of games tend to lack these days. Further missions where you are taught how to gather resources, fight monster hordes, and use the ‘Scoutfly’ system to track (glowing green flies that guide the way) all build upon the narrative being laid out before you; the arrival of Zorah Magdaros in the New World is causing havoc amongst the local monster population, and it’s up to you and the Fifth to discover just what it is the Elder Dragons do when they complete the crossing.
Along the way, you are given a chance to uncover your own style of play in battle through access to 14 different weapon classes, which is further expanded once you learn how to craft and upgrade your weapons. For instance, I started off with the simple sword/shield combo, but found myself wanting more power so I switched to the Great Sword, which I found too cumbersome and slow, eventually moving into the Bowgun. Upgrading these weapons adds power and elemental damage, and can easily be switched between quests to allow for more than one play style.But the crafting doesn’t just stop at weaponry; armour for both you and your Palico (basically a support cat) can be created and upgraded, providing specific attribute bonuses and resistances to elemental effects. The more monsters you take down, the more materials you can retrieve to create and upgrade different armour, mixing and matching to suit your play style.