Monster Hunter Online Information
Monster Hunter Online is a 3D free to play Chinese Action MMORPG released in 2013. It has high quality action combat, monsters, a unique weapon system that allows you to customize your playstyle at any time, and one of the best character creators in an MMORPG. It also shares an interconnected universe as all other Monster Hunter games, including Monster Hunter World.
Video Review - Is Monster Hunter Online Worth Playing?
Is Monster Hunter Online Worth Playing in 2018?
I’ve been a fan of the Monster Hunter franchise ever since I played Monster Hunter Tri back in 2010.
There was something about the large open areas.. being able to run around looking for deadly monsters to slay that gripped me.
See, I’m a huge JRPG and FPS fan. I hadn’t played a game like Monster Hunter in the past, so at the time the concept of a game like Monster Hunter was alien to me.
After finally caving and purchasing it however, I found myself disappointed with the fact that it was so instanced.
There weren’t really any towns – there wasn’t really anything outside of the main hub that I could see. That bothered me to no end.
However, after playing the game – actually taking the time to play the game.. I found it was not only challenging, but it was equally as charming.
Monster Hunter Online takes more or less the same route – expanding on the multiplayer features of the Monster Hunter franchise and taking it completely online.
It is the franchise’ very first PC release for the Monster Hunter series and shares a variety of familiar monsters, weapons, and gameplay elements with the core game series.
Now, please be aware that the game is currently not available in the West. It is fully playable though with a fairly coherent English patch that translates quite a lot of the game.
This makes the game a lot more bearable and assists with the whole “I can’t understand anything that’s going on” problem a lot of English speaking players have.
Monster Hunter Online’s character creator is very impressive.
By far one of the most impressive character creators I’ve seen in an MMORPG. Potentially even better than the one found in Black Desert Online.
Although slightly more limiting with regards to hair customization, the overall creator itself has significantly more features than anything else I’ve seen.
The main drawback I saw with the character creator was that the avatar you create always looks very Asian.
While I don’t have a problem with Asian looking characters – nor do I have a problem with Western looking characters, I know that some people are heavily turned off by it.
You can blame the heavy influx of Asian themed MMORPG bombs in recent years for that.
Like all Monster Hunter games, you do not grow like you would in traditional RPG games. You do not level, nor do you have any intrinsic attributes vital to your progression. Instead, you are defined by what equipment you select prior to leaving on missions.
Now, given that Monster Hunter Online was released 5 years ago all the way back in 2013, the game looks and plays surprisingly well. Better than most games released to the West in the last year or two.
Your characters’ movement, combat animations, skill effects; everything works so seemlessly.
There wasn’t a single time in our 20+ hours of playing where I felt like the gameplay in Monster Hunter Online underperformed.
Since the entirety of the game revolves around combat, you’d expect the combat to perform above and beyond expectation, right?
Thankfully the games combat does not disappoint.
For a game released way back in 2013 – a time when Action MMORPGs weren’t really all that common – the combat is probably some of the best I’ve seen.
It’s fast, tactical, and makes use of a large variety of weapon types and combat styles that are dependant on the weapon you have equipped.
If you’ve played a Monster Hunter game in the past, then you’ll be happy to know that it makes use of familiar combat features.
The only problem I had with the combat was – and this is more of an inability to understand what was going on issue – the fact that I couldn’t figure out how to use specific items in combat.
There were times where Wiggy and I were dying and couldn’t figure out which of our items were health items and which were even usable in combat, which made for some near-death experiences.
I do recommend if you’re going to play – make sure to figure out which items do what in combat zones and don’t leave it until you’re fighting a huge ass monster to think “Wait, which of these heal me again?”
Monster Hunter Online doesn’t have traditional classes, nor a traditional class system. Instead, the game offers a variety of weapons that drastically alter your characters playstyle.
Each weapon functions more or less as an entirely different class as each weapon you have equipped has their own combat style.
There are a grand total of 9 weapons in Monster Hunter Online: Great Sword, Long Sword, Sword and Shield, Dual Blades, Hammer Hunting Horn, Gunlance, Bow, and finally, a new weapon type exclusively for Monster Hunter Online, the Bowgun.
So although there aren’t any classes in-game, you can rest assured they do in fact have the option to utilize different playstyles and combat styles to suit however you want to play.
Except for magic.
But I don’t recall Monster Hunter games ever having magic as a combat mechanic.
Like Monster Hunter Online’s predecessors, the game is very story-lite.
It follows more or less the same formula as every other Monster Hunter title: “This specific monster is irrirating the local inhabitants, we require you deal with it.”, “Yes sir, I shall ride out immediately and deal with the monster post-haste!” Rinse and repeat.
Now, while that is more or less fine – as it works for the franchise, some people may find themselves wanting for more.
So, unfortunately while there is a narrative of sorts.. the fact remains that the game doesn’t have much of a semblance of one.
Not that it needs one.
Monster Hunter Online is a very beautiful game.
Since the game is instanced, it is capable of having large, heavily detailed environments without putting much of a strain on your PC.
The character models are some of the best you’ll find in an MMO. You might argue Black Desert or Blade and Soul’s character models look better but Monster Hunter Online’s just look so natural and real that to me.. it’s incomparable.
It’s disappointing that the companies behind the game, Tencent and Capcom both, refuse to release the game outside of China.
With the huge success that Monster Hunter World was, the popularity of the Monster Hunter genre, and the stale state the MMORPG market has fallen into – now would be the opportune moment to act.
Since it’s a Chinese MMORPG you can be damn sure the population is large. Every single time we logged in there were a ton of people around, and there are several servers all equally as packed.
Those numbers though are insignificant in comparison to how many players are out on missions – the focal point of the entire game.
Monster Hunter Online, and every Monster Hunter title for that matter is completely instanced.
The entire game takes place in various instanced zones, each with multiple maps you can traverse.
The main town or city functions as a hub where you go to talk with other players, find groups, take missions, purchase items, craft gear and more.
It’s where you’ll be spending all your time outside of doing missions.
Each Monster Hunter game gives you access to diverse regions with incredibly differing weather conditions, ranging from fiery volcanoes to frigid tundras.
Monster Hunter Online is a PvE game. All it is is PvE. There aren’t really many things to do outside of hunting and crafting, and let’s be honest.. the aforementioned features are why you’re here anyway.
There are no “dungeons” – at least in their traditional form, nor are there any raids.
Instead, missions take place in “instanced” areas, that are, more or less, synonymous with dungeons in a loose context.
You can tackle the instance by yourself or with a group of friends, finally coming across a “boss” that needs disposing of.
So once again, instances can function more or less like dungeons if you’re interested in that.
Now, I wasn’t sure what to classify this as.
See, Monster Hunter Online has an Arena mode that functions as PvP content – in so that players can vs each other – but again.. not in the traditional sense of the word.
Instead, players are put on separate teams and must go head to head with each other in PvE content, against groups of monsters, in an attempt to beat the other players and team.
While an interesting form of PvP – one that doesn’t involve actual violence against other players, it will leave testosterone filled teenag- I mean, PvP enthusiasts with a need to prove themselves sorely disappointed.
Overall - Is Monster Hunter Online Worth Playing?
With most games, there is the chance for a Western release somewhere down the line in the future.
With Monster Hunter Online, there is no potential for a Western release. Ever.
So you have to go into this game knowing that if the translations for the game ever come to a halt, you’re going to be screwed. If they ever IP block the West, you’re screwed without a VPN.
Outside of that, if you want to see what an online version of Monster Hunter could be, then this is the game for you.
It’s beautiful, fun, and will satiate any need for monster slaughtering you might have.
Monster Hunter Online Minimum System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 512 MB
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 15 GB
Monster Hunter Online Recommended System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
CPU: Intel Core i3 2.4 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 970
Video Card: GeForce GTX 760 / Radeon 7950 or better
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 15 GB