The Monster Hunter franchise has been around since the days of the PlayStation 2, but has been often overlooked as too difficult and not friendly to new players. Capcom wanted to change this perception with the release of their game: Monster Hunter World. This game was a success for both new and returning players, leading them to release an expansion called Iceborne. This expansion has been out on console since 2019, but with the PC receiving it a month ago, everyone can now enjoy the new game play improvements. As this is an accessibility review, I will not get into the specifics of the game play, but I will at least cover the basics.
In Monster Hunter, you play the role of a hunter who has traveled to the new world. As a hunter, it’s your job to track down and hunt the large monsters that are making a mess of the local ecosystems. The Hunter can choose one of 14 different weapon types and use one to take down these large beasts, use their materials to forge new weapons, and then repeat the loop by hunting even stronger beasts. Monster Hunter World adds a few new mechanics that support this loop. You’ll occasionally find footprints, mucus, and other monster traces throughout the large expansive environments. Collecting these tracks will eventually allow your scout flies to lead you to your target.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s cover what we all came here for, the accessibility. The game opens with subtitles active and they are reasonably sized, however you can make them slightly larger if it is needed. Controls for this game are fully remappable on mouse/keyboard as well as having many different options for controllers. The control options are very complex, with multiple ways to handle different attacks, actions, etc such as don’t like lock on cameras, no worries! You can set target camera instead. This option makes it so that holding the lock-on button for a second targets the nearest large monster, after this, further presses of the button shift the camera to point at the next target. Next, the color blind options: These are honestly some of the best I’ve seen in a game to date. Instead of placing a filter over the entire screen, we get changes to the colors that matter. Only the important gauges are changed, and honestly, these alternate color schemes may even help the average gamer.
On the other hand, there are some things that could have been done better for this expansion. The entire source of all my critique comes down to one simple thing, the scout flies. Often times they blend in with the environment, especially during the day cycle and this makes them hard to follow for those who have more severe visual challenges. However, there is a new feature called the Raider Ride, which is like summoning a small monster taxi to carry you around the map, allowing you to bypass the scout fly frustrations. There’s one small problem with the Raider Ride function, in order to use this feature, you need to go through some visually challenging bits of game play to unlock it for each map individually.
I do strongly recommend this game though, despite the frustration of chasing scout flies, or needing to do some visually annoying bits of game play. If you can make it through this, the game is very playable, no matter the disability. You may need to tweak either your own control settings, or the armor skills you use, but anyone can play and enjoy this entry into the Monster Hunter franchise.