A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Monster Hunter: World is a fantasy action/role-playing game for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. Players set out in a fantasy-themed world, hunting massive creatures and collecting various materials needed to supply and safeguard their community. While killing (or occasionally trapping) the creatures is the primary focus of the game, there's surprisingly little blood or gore. Monster Hunter: World isn't an easy game to play. There's a fairly steep learning curve, as well as a lot of trial and error when it comes to learning how the different weapons and items work. The game leans heavily into encouraging online play with others, including letting players call for help when they're in a jam. Although this is great for learning about teamwork and camaraderie, parents should keep an eye on their kids' online interactions, as the game does support both voice and text chat with others.
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What's it about?
MONSTER HUNTER: WORLD takes hunters on a mission to a brand-new land, and opens the epic fantasy action franchise to a brand-new audience in the process. As an A-list hunter in the Research Commission, it's your job to help study and, if necessary, deal with the wild creatures roaming the land. The Commission's Fifth Fleet is sent to examine the inexplicable behavior of a massive volcanic Elder Dragon known as Zorah Magdaros as it crosses the sea, drawn to the New World. With a new land to explore, and a new mystery to solve, you'll need to take down mystical beasts, craft new gear, and most importantly, survive in the wild, as you try to help the Commission discover the hidden secrets that draw the Elder Dragons to this place. Proving that the party that hunts together lives together, players can form groups of fellow hunters in online co-op play. And for those times when you have trouble in a particular hunt, send up a flare and call in for reinforcements from around the globe. Make no bones about it, Mother Nature is a real beast. Do you have what it takes to tame her?
Is it any good?
This immersive adventure provides more than enough content to keep players tracking monsters for months to prove they're the best hunter in the game's vast new world. Monster Hunter games have always had a sort of niche fan base. It's a gorgeous series with a lot of fun packed in, but it's been trapped behind a wall of intense complexity that's never really been welcoming to newcomers. Capcom is looking to change all that with Monster Hunter: World, the latest entry in the fan favorite franchise. While it's not a reboot in the traditional sense, the game is a fresh start for the series, with a heavy emphasis on bringing more people of different skill levels together to join in the monster hunting excitement. Make no mistake about it, Monster Hunter: World is still a far cry from being a cakewalk. It's still a game that you'll have to put some real time and effort into if you expect to get the most out of it. But the game does a fantastic job of easing new or casual players into the experience without taking anything away that returning fans have come to know and love.
Whether this is your first outing as a fledgling hunter or you're a veteran that's taken down more Rathalos than you can shake a Gunlance at, there's plenty to discover and to be in awe of. The world you're dropped into is a gorgeous, sprawling place that looks amazing no matter which system you run it on. Unlike previous games, the different sections of the map smoothly transition from one into the other, so there's never a break in the expedition. And speaking of the expedition, there's so much to find in the game that it's almost overwhelming. One minute you're tracking the footprints and other clues left by a creature, and the next you're swinging from the trees searching out plants or ore. Then there are the times when a chance encounter with a powerful monster flips the script, and you go from being the hunter to being the prey. It's times like these when it's nice to know you can send up an S.O.S. flare and call in some support from other online hunters. Whether you set out as a team from the start or call in the cavalry mid-mission, working together as a team -- especially with experienced hunters -- is a treat. Coordinated attacks, distractions, traps, and all the other tricks of the trade quickly come into play, and can turn the tide of almost any confrontation. Monster Hunter: World is so much more than just playing a game. It's adventure on a truly epic scale, and the way to create your own journey while helping others build their own.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about nature and working with it. How did our ancestors use the plants and animals of their environments to survive? What are some ways that we can continue to work with nature today and how does it help in modern times?
Talk about playing online games safely. What are some things to look out for when playing with an online community? What are some signs to be aware of, and what should you do when confronted with toxic or offensive behavior?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Capcom
- Release date: January 26, 2018
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Mild Language, Use of Alcohol, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.