Monster Hunter World is the first title in Capcom’s popular action RPG series that was tailored to appeal to a wider audience, more specifically gaming audiences in the West. Despite having evolved considerably over its predecessors, Monster Hunter World manages to retain the essence of the series. Gathering loot from monsters to develop new weapons or armor and improve stats remains the core game loop. The latest iteration is more open in terms of design, and there’s an undeniable sense of discovery when roaming about the game world in pursuit of new monsters. While multiplayer is a major draw in a game of this nature, there is enough single player content in Monster Hunter World to last you more than 30 or so hours for the main story alone. To get a more thorough rundown on Monster Hunter World’s core experience, head over to our review for the PS4 version.
It’s one of the finest Monster Hunter experiences to date and has already received a successful launch on the PS4 and Xbox One around 8 months ago. With the PC version finally joining the fray on Steam, things get a little more interesting. There’s a substantial gap between the release window of the console and PC brethren, and one would expect a bevy of meaningful enhancements for the latter.
As far as performance goes, a PC close enough to the recommended system specifications gives you the opportunity to play the game at a stable 60fps with some tweaks to the game’s comprehensive graphical settings. Particularly handy is the resolution scaling setting, which can be set to favor performance and scale down the resolution during taxing scenarios. The higher frame rate works wonders for Monster Hunter World’s controls, which, as we pointed in our review for the PS4 version, often feel clunky. As a result, combat on the PC version feels more fluid and responsive, and, hence, more enjoyable. What’s more, if you’re playing on a 120/144Hz display, the game lets you unlock the frame rate even further. Similarly, support for arbitrary resolutions allows you to render the game at the native resolution of your display. It’s also nice to see that HDR support has also made its way into the PC version of Monster Hunter World.
One can’t appreciate a game’s PC port without bringing up the implementation of its mouse and keyboard support. PC purists will be glad to know that Capcom has done full justice to the input device combo, with the inclusion of both hotkeys as well as support for clickable UI menus. The hotkeys are fully customizable, as are the other control settings.
The PS4 and Xbox One versions have a radial menu for quickly accessing items with a controller. The same menu is available here for those who prefer to play the PC version with a controller. However, Capcom has also included a second option for keyboard and mouse purists, which lets you bind the selection of these assigned items to a series of hotkeys. These may seem like minor options on their own, but when seen as a whole, they make controls feel more intuitive when using a mouse and keyboard.
Another welcome change is the replacement of the in-game Squad system found in the console versions with full Steam group integration in the PC version. Squads are essentially Monster Hunter World’s term for guilds. It’s nice to see that Capcom went the extra mile to offer a more robust solution to Steam users, making it all the more easier for players to team up with each other on a regular basis.
As far as content goes, it’s a bit disappointing to see that none of the post-release content available for the console versions ended up being a part of the PC version at launch. However, Capcom has announced that these updates will be rolled out at a relatively quick pace. Therefore, unfortunately, PC players will have to wait a while before they can take on Deviljho or Lunastra.
Another disappointment is that the graphical quality hasn’t received a worthwhile upgrade over its console counterparts. If you’ve already been playing the game on a PS4 Pro or an Xbox One X, one of the two key improvements you can expect is a consistent 60 fps, which neither console version can accomplish. The other key improvement is the PC version’s reduced load times, especially if you’ve installed the game on an SSD. The console versions suffer from pretty lengthy load times, and it’s great to be able to head straight into the game without much of a delay.
The omission of post-release content at launch and the lack of a noteworthy visual overhaul over the PS4 and Xbox One versions remain the only shortcomings in what is otherwise a port that plays to its platform’s strengths. There is a lot to praise outside of the obvious performance improvement, such as the intuitive mouse and keyboard support, a robust Squad system, and faster load times.
Monster Hunter World Review (PC)
Game Reviewed on: PC
Game description: Welcome to a new world! In Monster Hunter: World, the latest installment in the series, you can enjoy the ultimate hunting experience, using everything at your disposal to hunt monsters in a new world teeming with surprises and excitement.
The omission of post-release content at launch and the lack of a noteworthy visual overhaul over the PS4 and Xbox One versions remain the only shortcomings in what is otherwise a port that plays to its platform's strengths.