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Monster Hunter World

Chasing After Your Prey Takes the Shine Off Monster Hunter World

We’ve spent over 30 hours now in the sprawling lands on Monster Hunter World, and yet we still feel as though we’ve only just scratched the surface of what the game has to offer.

Our time with the game has been filled with ups and downs, however. Initially, its unwelcoming nature to new players was somewhat overwhelming, almost making us turn away without giving it a chance. We stuck with it though, and after a few hours we got drawn into the addictive routine of hunting monsters, making new weapons and armour, unlocking new gameplay features and progressing the story. It’s a repetitive process, but once you get past the game’s somewhat convoluted systems, it’s incredibly fun – especially in co-op (although the game makes this much harder to do that it really ought to be).

What’s really starting to turn us sour on the whole monster hunting experience, however, is how tiresome it can be to fight some enemies. The environments that Monster Hunter World lets you explore vary in their beauty, and the monsters within them are truly magnificent, but having to chase them around their natural habitat time and time again soon gets to be something of a chore.

Initially, the monsters’ instincts to flee rather than stand and fight feels organic and natural, and having to keep on your toes to continually chase them feels thrilling. You feel like a true hunter – and seeing the beasts encounter other creatures along the way, often engaging in battles with them – is a true spectacle to behold. The game gives a great impression that these monsters are living, breathing creatures by showing you their nests, instincts and hunting grounds. At least, that’s how it feels the first time it happens.

The problem with Monster Hunter World is, the novelty soon wears off. The monsters’ AI is programmed to travel along the same route, to pause in the same areas, and encounter the same beasts time and time again. It quickly becomes formulaic; something of a grind to constantly run the same routes to kill the same monsters repeatedly. As your hunter becomes stronger with better armour and weapons, you spend less time actually in combat with monsters and more time simply chasing them around the breadth of the map. It’s a tiresome and laborious process.

That’s where Monster Hunter World’s Arena Quests come in. Unlocked as you progress further into the story, the Arena Quests allows you to fight against monsters you’ve already encountered in an artificial arena environment. It’s closed in, meaning the monsters can’t take flight in moments of danger – they’re forced to face you head on, leaving you to enjoy what the game is really all about: whacking them as many times as you can with your choice of weapon without having to worry about chasing them.

The arena comes equipped with a number of tools to help you kill monsters in more creative – and dare we say fun – ways, too. There’s a number of ballistas and canons (although these can be destroyed by bigger monsters, so use them quickly and wisely), as well as two environmental traps which can both be used once to deal massive damage – providing the monster’s standing in the right spot, of course.

The first is a large boulder, which when activated by a switch, will drop into the middle of the arena. Timing is of course the key here, making sure the monster is in position when you press the switch. And if you’re playing in co-op, make sure none of your team mates are in the vicinity first! The second, again activated by a switch, thrusts two giant pneumatic spikes from the edge of the arena wall into the centre. If the monster is in the right area, it deals a massive amount of damage – and is incredibly satisfying to watch!

Once you’ve gained access to Arena Quests, they become a much easier way of obtaining parts from particular monsters. Fights are much quicker and easier, but of course you won’t come across other monsters or find extra ingredients as you would out in the wild. If you’re farming for specific monster parts, however, this is certainly the best way to do it.


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