The First Ten Hours – This is not one of those games that you can hammer through in a weekend, which is why, despite putting in more than 10 hours worth of gameplay into it so far, I have only just finished the tutorial levels.┬áNow this may be seen as daunting to some players, its daunting to me and I think of myself as a pretty decent gamer, but once you push through all of the overly complex skills needed to play this game competently, there is a fantastic world awaiting for you on the other side.

I don’t normally choose to play these types of games, in fact I scoffed at the trailer when it was debuted at E3, yet I was convinced to purchase it by a friend of mine in addition to some gameplays I had viewed.

MH:W is heralded as the most accessible MW on console in the franchise… which made me fear just how difficult the previously released games had been. Almost from the get go you are bombarded with menus telling you all of the intricate things you can do within the game, so much information is thrown at you that on several occasions I wished for a physical ‘how-to’ manual to have come with it just so that I could go back and reference certain features that, thanks to the high level of other things going on, I have completely forgotten about. This overbearing list of things you can (and must) do actually made up the majority of the first few hours of gameplay, meaning that it wasn’t until about hour 3 that I began to hunt my first monster.

Admittedly this was not helped by the fact that I spent a long time within the character creator. The menus seen within the creator itself are not as hard the rest of the game, it is instead a rather comprehensive and well put together creation tool that, in addition to allowing me to make my character look like one of my all time favourite comic book characters, allows you to customise what is essentially a pet cat that can help you fight within the game.

After several hours of, what was essentially, revising integral material, I was allowed to hunt and kill my first monster… and it was definitely worth the wait. With battle controls that can be likened to Dark Souls and Bloodborne I was able to bring my first target to bloody justice with an impressive combination of light and heavy elemental attacks that, had you not known that I spent a good twenty minutes in the training area learning how to do it, looked rather impressive. The rest of my time in the game continued on much like this first interaction, yet it was only when I played multiplayer with a few friends that the experience really began to shine.

There was three of us in total, myself included, all of us having reached the same point in the games narrative to allow multiplayer play. We all signed on, slipped into the same session, and then 40 minutes later finally figured out how the bloody hell multiplayer worked to allow us all to hunt the same creature at the same time. Much like the rest of the game, the steps needed to start a multiplayer session are overcomplicated and in real need of streamlining, which is odd seeing as the multiplayer component is one of the more heavily advertised aspects of the game. Surely for something to be so orientated towards group play it should be easier to all get online and on the same hunt? Apparently not.

But, yet again, like the rest of the game, as soon as we had figured out how to do it all of the proverbial pieces slipped into place. From that point on it was easy for us to arrive in the beautiful lush scenery and begin pursuit of whatever oddly named creature we were after.

As previously stated, this is not a game type that I would normally play… and now I cannot possibly understand why. Despite the often frustrating steps needed to do just about anything, the game (at least the first ten hours) is a joy to experience. The fun had in multiplayer is far better than single player play yet that won’t stop be logging on at any available moment to see what the next creature I must hunt is.

Hopefully the rest of the game holds up.

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