let me share my views after almost getting out of the tutorial after around 70h. This is of course an inside joke, as until you finished the main story you didn’t really encounter all the game mechanics.
In total my view didn’t change too much but slightly improved. Due to some updates the games matchmaking starts actually to work, I can join 10+ people seesions and also played a bunch of games lately with other people. This doesn’t mean I still find the “teaming up part” of the game a bit odd, or the social features a bit weird but once one gets used to it it actully works well.
If you don’t get one of the main error messages, they change all around a bit but boil down to “a hobbit cut your conncetion to our server please hit the button again.” I wouldn’t call the connection stable yet but compared to the first couple of days its a massive improvement. People even start to use the gathering/social hub which we discovered recently. Its basically what we where looking for last time but due to the conection issues on PC they are still underused.
The menus are still kinda weird on PC if you use mouse and keyboard, its better with controller though and I’m just too stupid to use that instead. The menus are defintely not the games strong suit but given the amount of fun I have its a small price to pay! I fine tuned my buttons a bit which helped!
What didn’t change is my addiciton to this game. Beside the glaring connection issues initially I racked up 70h of playtime mostly in the last 1.5 weeks. The combat mechanics are fantastic, each weapon has its own style and mechanics. Changing weapons really changes the pacing.
My first weapon of choice was the great sword, a kind of oversized sword with charging attacks. It makes for a hit and run playtstyle. Later on I used the long sword which charges a meter over time increasing your damage along the whole fight, with the meter being some sort of ressource. Or the dual swords, super quick jumping attacks, the bow with charge attacks and so on. Everytime you need to re-learn your approach, with each weapon type for each monster.
The monster design is simply brilliant, one look at it and you can grasp what it might do. The enviroments are still stunning, especially if you traverse it with ease and use of your grappling hook. Everywhere ist stuff to find and figure out! Maybe some crazy stuff is happening, like a certain T-rex picking a fight with the stupid oversized chicken you were tracking. Not a single fight feels the same, unless you fine tune your approach so much and try to control the enemy to some masterful degree.
Even if you loose a fight to the monster of choice it mostly feels fair. Sometimes you might question it though, maybe because that jump was a bit too far for your liking, or it charged like 4 times back and forth… and then you rage at your screen and want to punch it in the floor with your massive oversized sword… .
Sorry, I lost track. These events are however scarce. You will hit your head against it over and over again anyway just to get that fancy new armor or weapon you saw the other guy carrying. Once you learned its movement you will master fighting it and it will feel amazing.
Conclusion: a true masterpiece of a game, a massive timesink BUT with some really odd choices which kinda add to its charm!(?) Maybe watch Super Bunny Hops review, he describes perfectly what “odd choices” I mean.
Please excuse me now, I need to sleep so I can punish that Elder dragon tomorrow! Even got a new weapon, should make skinning him alive much easier after he refused so today…