Monster Hunter: World was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One today, but instead of hunting giant monsters in a virtual world, I’ve been hunting for the reason why currently there are no Metacritic reviews available for the Xbox One version.
Well, actually there’s one, provided by Xbox Achievements, but upon close inspection you’ll notice a disclaimer at the foot of it that reads “This review was based on playing the PS4 version. Xbox One online servers have yet to go live. We will remove this disclaimer once we’ve fully tested the Xbox One version online.” So actually there’s none. And that had me puzzled.
It got me thinking: were there any issues with the Xbox One version of the game which meant that Capcom didn’t want outlets to review it? Or did the company’s close ties with Sony mean that they didn’t want the PS4 Pro version of the game compared to the Xbox One X version on or before launch?
I reached out to the PR firm handling review code for the release who replied to me stating that there are “No ‘issues’ with the Xbox version other than it’s not possible to grant access prior to launch”. That, however, doesn’t ring true to me. In an article penned by Keza MacDonald for Kotaku just yesterday, Keza closes with the line “Kotaku’s review will be published in the coming days, after I’ve had some time with the game on live servers.” which means at that point the servers either weren’t live or had only just been activated. And you can see in the video embedded into Kotaku’s article that she is playing the PS4 version of the game. So why were outlets provided with PS4 review code before the game’s launch but not Xbox One?
Having been reviewing Xbox One and PS4 games for a number of years now, I know there’s certainly no reason why access to Monster Hunter: World before launch was impossible on either platforms. Maybe it was sent to some outlets and we just got pushed to one side, it happens, but then why are there no reviews in progress for the Xbox One version from other outlets? In any case, Xbox One gamers are left in the dark with regards to the performance of the game on their preferred format, as well as what Xbox One X enhancements they can look forward to.
I’ve also reached out to Microsoft’s Xbox UK to find out if they can shed any light on the matter and will update if I receive a reply.