Capcom’s dinosaur-destroying smash hit Monster Hunter World belatedly arrives on Steam today nearly six months after its launch for consoles. Monster Hunter World has defied expectations to become one of the most successful games in the developer’s history. It’s already sold well over 8 million copies, and the PC version could push that number up much higher. But was it worth the wait?
The PC version of Monster Hunter World is solid and, in many ways, better than the console experience, provided you have the rig to support it. It’s hard, however, to see where the extra half-year of development has been spent. Most of the configuration options you’d expect are present, but there are key PC-specific features missing, like ultrawide support. The game also doesn’t feel very well-optimized for all but the highest-end of hardware.
On my PC, which is based around an i5-6600K with a GTX 1080 and 16GB of RAM, I could generally sustain 60 frames per second at 1440p, but I’d sometimes run into stuttering and strange bugs. The situation appears to have been alleviated somewhat in the run-up to release through a combination of patches and Nvidia driver updates. I’d just be cautious about running this game on lower-end systems.
On console, I mostly played Monster Hunter World on a PS4 Pro in its 1080p performance-priority mode, which still doesn’t manage to hit 60 fps. The PC version does give me a strong boost in performance, then, but it doesn’t look much better beyond the bump in resolution — assets and effects are almost identical to my eye. It’s a very different situation to the last delayed console-to-PC port I found myself waiting for, Destiny 2, which looked, ran, and played so much better than the PS4 version. It was practically a whole new game. (Granted, the comparison is particularly stark because you should really be playing Monster Hunter with a controller, even on PC.)
If you’ve already invested hundreds of hours into Monster Hunter World on console, you probably don’t need to start from scratch on PC. But if you mostly or only play games on PC, you should absolutely check out Monster Hunter World because it’s one of 2018’s very best games so far.
I’ll point you to my review if you’re unfamiliar with the game or series. I only managed to put in around 40 hours before deadline time, though, and I’ve tripled that since, so allow me to expand a little on where Monster Hunter World took me from there. It’s true that, with 30 main monsters, the base content is a little slighter than other Monster Hunter games, and the end game isn’t altogether as satisfying. You can still play this game forever; it’ll just get repetitive slightly sooner. But Capcom has done a pretty good job of keeping players coming back by pumping out free downloadable content updates with new monsters roughly every month. The latest update is probably the biggest yet, an ambitious Final Fantasy crossover in which you take on the iconic Behemoth.
This content won’t be available for PC players at launch, unfortunately, but that’s understandable. Almost no one will have leveled up enough to handle it for a while, and these types of high-rank events tend to rely on having a large base of players that are able to check it out at the same time. The real question will be whether the inevitable “G-rank” version of Monster Hunter World, with substantially more quests and content, will come in the form of a paid update or an entirely new full-price version of the game, as has traditionally been the case.
For now, though, what matters is that a mainline Monster Hunter game is finally available on PC for the first time, and it’s the perfect entry point for players who are new to the series. The joys of jumping off a cliff to bash a dragon’s head with a hammer have never been so accessible or available to so many.
Monster Hunter World is available on Steam today.