Awesome Game, MH Outdid Themselves
MH:W is a great game. I say 11+ because:
1) If you haven't played a MH game before, this is a hard game to figure out. (The game literally tells you to figure the game out before you go slicing down elder dragons)
It's Hard: Yes, MH:W is a LOT easier (and way better) than the previous MH games, but your at a disadvantage if you haven't played any other MH games/don't understand MH. The game doesn't tell you every little gimick there is to it and the weapon controls can be tough (depends on your weapon). The tips they give you whenever you open something new is super small (on console and the computer version is awful), so you miss half of the controls. There is no great weapon tutorial or for forging and upgrading stuff.
(2) Multiplayer a.k.a cursing, rather innapropiate languange and such.
Online Sessions: The multiplayer servers are very simple and easy to set and figure out. Choosing your save file, before you play it asks you to join or set up an online session (you can do this again at the quest board in-game). When you post a quest, the people in the session see your quest and can join it (only if you set up your quest allowing other people in). Creating a session is different since you can make it private, kick people, ect..
SOS Flares: Send up an SOS and everyone (even outside your session) can see/search for your quest and join it. Before you send out a SOS the game tells you what it will do. 3 people can join your quest (so 4 is the maximum amount of people per quest). You can set it to how many people can join your quest (to keep it private or you could put a password on it. The SOS breaks the password lock though). So sending a SOS makes people more likely to join your quest and help you.
Guild Cards: This is MH's way of friending people. You can custimize your guild card and send it to people. They can recieve it or delete it. There's a player list of everyone in your session. In a quest it also lists the people in your quest. It tells you if they are in an expidition, SOS quest, a quest, or just at HQ. You can choose who in your quest or session to send your guild card to from the player list. Anyone can send you their guild card, and their isn't really a way to not recive them. There is no parent restriction thingy in MH:W either so you can receive or send your guild card to anyone.
Shoutouts and Gestures: During a quest if you do something like, mount a monster, or get stunned, ect. an automatic shoutout appears on the side of your screen. You can edit these shoutouts and put in a custom message or turn them on/off. There is a voice chat option for people in your session/quest but after the tutorial it specifaclly asks if you wanna keep it on or off (this can be changed in settings later). Voice chat is useful but not everyone will keep it clean. Shoutouts are less useful, and you will definitely come across someone abusing it sooner or later. There is no way to aviod seeing the other person's shoutout. There is also a chat box but on console no one uses it. There are manual shoutouts ( you can edit those too) accompanied with gestures but their seldom used.
When you sit at a table in the Gathering hub, there are certain gestures you can use. All MH gestures are greatly exagerated and almost comical that way. You can chugg down some beer/ale, lay down 2 different ways or cheer. Some of these actions may resemble being drunk because they are so exagerated.
Blood and Gore: Previous MH games have more violence than MH:W. When you slice and dice monsters small red effects follow. Now in MH:W there is no red or blood when you attack monsters and instead there is damage numbers, which is really helpful. Your still attacking monsters but no blood. When you slay a monster you have to carve it for materials a.k.a stick a small hunting knife in it. Do not overreact, it is not as bad as it sounds. Monsters can be a little scary (they're monsters) but they are usally all cool looking. A monster's tail can sometimes fall off but its rather funny to see this powerful monster with a stumpy tail. No blood there either. There is no language from the computers.
Caputure, not kill: For research purposes, you capture instead of killing monsters which is 1. easier less trouble at the end, less risk of fainting 2. better overall, more stuff and bonuses 3. increases your research lvl more then killing would. They encorage you to capture and help endargered species. Also you can capture small creatures with a net and let them run around your house.
Overall I think MH:W takes a mature gamer who understands MH and is fine with hard gaming. And is OK and experienced with the online multiplayer. Eventually you will have to do some multiplayer because the monsters are so tough and work with the clean and dirty people. I say 11+ if the gamer is experienced and used to the multiplayer. Graphics are great. Positive messages about teamwork, and never giving up. You slay/capture monsters to keep Astera safe.