I absolutely love the Monster Hunter series, and despite initial concerns about playing with others online, I’ve actually found Monster Hunter Rise to be one of the best ways to engage with online strangers.
With online gaming being an absolute pot-luck of good communities, lone-wolves, trolls and team killers. Monster Hunter Rise hits a spot that other games just can’t do. A focused, relatively safe and rewarding co-op experience! How so? Isn’t the matchmaking crap? Well……yeah, but jump through a few hoops and you’re in for a treat.
I’ll start with why it’s the perfect online co-op, and then maybe we should look at why you would even bother playing Monster Hunter online.
Sod it, I’ll say yes. Monster Hunter Rise has the perfect online co-op play.
You can search for people hunting the same monster that you want to hunt, and help them. You can ask people to come and help you. No matter what you do, everything is so tight, that the only real option that you have is to work together as a team.
I think the classic Monster Hunter boundaries (enclosed map, hunt timer, 3 lives) all work in such a way that Capcom has created the solution to cohesive online play.
No matter who you are, you’re likely to need to hunt a specific monster for gear or to complete a quest. So finding someone to help you do it, is perfect! Better still, a squad of four means you get to absolutely roast a monster that might have been giving you grief.
Knowing that you have less than an hour on the clock and only 3 “faints” before the hunt is declared a failure, everyone has to work together to achieve anything. If you’re not cutting parts off and around at the end for the carve, you’re not going to benefit at all. All Monster Hunter hunts are only beneficial to the player if they’re there at the end.
People are literally forced into a common goal with some limits to make you collaborate. This means that there are no trolls (certainly none in my experience), no people going AFK and leaving everyone else to do the work, and nobody trying to steal all the loot (you can’t!).
Tell me that this isn’t the perfect online co-op with random strangers. Especially compared with online shooters!
After hundreds of hours in World and Rise, Monster Hunter has become my favourite online game. Either jumping in to help people or asking for people to help, we’re all working towards a common goal and it’s just a bloody blast doing so.
Why bother, though?
That’s the best bit, Monster Hunter has the perfect online experience, self-contained, no trolling and always working towards a common goal. But better yet, the moment-to-moment action of a Monster Hunter game is improved massively when more players are added.
If you’re stuck trying to move on with the story, but a Tigrex or Barioth are giving you a rough time (they sure do!!), you can call in some people to help. Then what you see is that some people are absolute masters of their weapons of choice or masters of watching how a monster moves and attacks.
Every hunt is a lesson, and every hunt with others is a better lesson. You get to see how people play, how they work to smash a monster, but also perhaps support allies. Heals and buffs, taking aggro from Rajang whilst someone is trying to sharpen. These spontaneous, emergent moments come out of nowhere every single time.
Monster Hunter is a series made up of “what the fuck” moments and hitbox porn. You get to see and experience things that you just don’t see in other games. Massive Great Sword whacks to the head of an Anjanath, or a dude rolling out of the way in the last split second, before getting wrecked by a fireball.
Each hunt comes with the rewards of monster parts, rare, random drops that might mean you can finally make that weapon or helmet.
Knowing you’re not alone, and all working towards a common goal, whilst having all of those Monster Hunter moments is something that other games just can’t match. Or at least not so frequently and so consistently.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is due out in a week or so. If you’re working to get levelled up for it. Now’s the perfect time to hop online and get some help. I’ll be there if you need anything!
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