Monster Hunter – Return to World

by Ben Kirby
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Capcom announced Monster Hunter Wilds at the game awards, and after watching the video, I think it’s pretty reasonable to say that it’s prompted people to want to go back to Monster Hunter: World.

So much so that as of January 1 2024, ‘Monster Hunter: World‘ achieved a peak of 131,964 concurrent players, according to SteamDB stats. This marks the highest player engagement in the New World since October 2020.

On New Year’s Day, the game ranked as the 12th most played, outperforming titles like ‘Rust,’ ‘The Finals,’ ‘Elden Ring,’ and ‘Cyberpunk 2077.’ Quite impressive for a title that debuted back in 2018!

Monster Hunter World - Joining

Just the announcement?

Several factors might explain this renewed interest. The announcement of ‘Monster Hunter Wilds’ at The Game Awards on December 7 seems to have ignited excitement. But, Monster Hunter: World and its expansion ‘Iceborne’ are currently available in the Steam sale at their lowest prices—less than £10 and just under £15, respectively. Let me tell you know, that this is incredible value for money. One of my favourite games of all time, so much stuff to do, for so little.

Add to that, the Steam Deck compatibility, and you’ve got a full-fledged Monster Hunter title on the go. Arguably more than Monster Hunter: Rise.

Interestingly, ‘Monster Hunter Rise,’ the latest instalment in the series, hasn’t experienced the same level of resurgence, despite its current low price. Its player count increased modestly from around 15,000 to 27,266 at the year’s start. The spotlight remains firmly on ‘World,’ likely due to its more complex gameplay compared to the more streamlined ‘Rise,’ which is tailored for the Nintendo Switch. With ‘Wilds’ appearing to be a direct successor to ‘World,’ it’s clear why players are gravitating back to it.

Monster Hunter Wilds Logo

Let’s go!

I love Monster Hunter: Rise, but World is just better. I’ve wrangled with this for a long time, and the portability of Rise was always the trump card. With the Steam Deck able to give me that now, I have no other excuses that I can make. I love Monster Hunter: World and seeing the resurgence, and the announcement of Wilds has got me pumped!

As usual, I’ve contemplated leaving my trusty Insect Glaive and then going back to Old Faithful immediately. I’ve got so much Iceborne and side-content to do still on PC, I’m re-energised to get it done. Jumping in with randoms in arena quests is a favourite pastime of mine, and it feels really good to be back at it a bit.

The game, even after five and a half years, remains my favourite in the series. Like many others, I’m eagerly dedicating more hours to ‘World’ while eagerly waiting for ‘Wilds’ in 2025.”

Monster Hunter World - Here we go

Join me on Monster Hunter?

I can’t recommend Monster Hunter: World enough to anyone, and whilst it’s so cheap, I’d love to help others get to grips with the game. It can be quite dense and tough to “get” initially. But it will click, and you’ll find a weapon and playstyle that suits you and off you go. You’ll be hooked!

With layered armour, you can play fashion hunter and look stylish, whilst all your gear might be a mishmash to get those skills and perks you need.

The end-game is rich, and the min-maxing of gear is deep. Monster Hunter: World has it all, and is arguably the best example of the series. Even going to get a pre-hunt meal is entertaining.

I know I play a lot of Battle Royale games and report a lot on shooters. But damn, there’s nothing that hits quite like a Monster Hunter, and specifically Monster Hunter: World.

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