Dark Souls vs. Monster Hunter: Which is better for you?

When you think about fantasy games that feature huge bosses and long fights, a couple of major games that come to mind might be Dark Souls and Monster Hunter World. Some people may say that they are very similar in the way that they are, but others say that they are not alike at all.

Monster Hunter World is a game about fighting monsters, and Dark Souls is a game about getting through the bosses and finishing the game. They have both similarities and differences. If you don’t like anything about either game, then I would probably suggest you not play them.

The best thing to do is compare different aspects of the game to one another and see what you as an individual would like better in either game. I am going to be comparing all the key things that make up each game to see which game suits you best.

Here are the different aspects of both games that I will be going over:

  • Gameplay and Controls
  • Replay Value
  • Graphics and Optimization
  • Character Customization
  • Co-op and Multiplayer
  • Story/Character Development
  • Environments
  • Enemies
  • Weapons/Armor
  • Bosses

Gameplay and Controls

Whether you are on console or PC or using a keyboard and mouse or controller, both games have a very fluid movement system. It seems as if both games struggle very little to help the player dodge and fight smoothly. However, even though it seems like Dark Souls and Monster Hunter have the same movement system, they are vastly different from one another.

Gameplay in both games can be compared to each other because of what you are fighting, but same with the controls, they are vastly different from one another. Here is what each game offers you in terms of gameplay and controls.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls is a hard game in terms of being a game that just throws you into a world and expects you to figure things out on your own. The game is not story-based at all. There is tons of lore about the game that you don’t really find out about unless you go through a wiki.

What you’re supposed to do is slowly make your way through a world and its enemies, then you will finally come upon a boss. Once you defeat that boss you can go to the next world and repeat what you did in the first world. Pretty self-explanatory to be honest, but the developers created the game with precision and a lot of thought.

The controls in Dark Souls are very smooth, but there are some catches to the movement. For example, when you use an Estus Flask, the healing potion of the game, you come to a complete stop; and it takes a second for it to take effect on you. That leaves you open for an attack while you are drinking it.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter is also a difficult game, but it is different by the way to best fight the monsters. The better the gear and higher the level, the easier the monster. The thing that the Monster Hunter games are known for is the amount of time it takes for you to beat a monster. The longest I spent on one single monster was about an hour.

The game is very story-based with there being chapters to complete. The movement is very smooth and the fighting feels very satisfying. When you hit a monster, there is a big vibration that makes you feel like you are doing damage to it. What is unique about the game is the number of monsters that the game allows you to fight.

There are tons of monsters to beat and the story gives you a lot of time to complete everything the way you want to complete it. The healing in the game lets you run around while drinking the health potion, and it gives you the option to have bigger and better potions as well.

Replay Value

The replay value of both games is huge. Each game has its unique way of rewarding the player that finishes the game and keeps playing it. What makes a game worth buying is that when you finally reach the end of the game, it makes you want to keep playing by how fun it was. Here is what each game offers you for beating and replaying the game.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls has a very different way of letting you replay the game with the option to do NG+. NG+ is basically when you beat the game, it brings you back to the beginning of a new game, but it gives you all of your levels and gear from your previous playthrough.

The only thing about NG+ is that all the enemies and bosses have almost double the health from your first play-through. There are even more NG+’s every time you beat the next play-through, and it goes until NG+7 which is seven times the first play-through.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter allows the player to replay any missions that they have played in the past, and the game is not done when they beat the final boss of the game. There is actually so much replayability in Monster Hunter because you can play with other people, which gives it a different experience.

When you beat the final boss, you are allowed to play any mission that corresponds with the hunter’s specific level and lets the player play as much as he wants. There is a great deal of content in the game, but some people might not like that.

Graphics and Optimization

Graphics is what sets the games apart from one another because they look vastly different from each other. Bear in mind that Dark Souls was released in 2011 and Monster Hunter was released in 2016. The graphics are obviously better in Monster Hunter just because it is newer.

Dark Souls

There are two editions you can get for Dark Souls, and those are the original edition and the remastered edition which brought the max frames up to 60fps. The original was locked at 30fps by default. The graphics are not that great comparatively, but that is not really a huge deal to the people who enjoy the game.

It is optimized very well and has no frame drops at all, and can be run on any basic machine or console. In my opinion, it should be played with a controller because it makes the smoothness of the game better since it is locked at 60fps.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter has impressive graphics and looks awesome. One downside of the game, however, is that the optimization is not that great. Same with Dark Souls, I play it with a controller, and it makes it easier for me to enjoy the lower frames per second.

The textures look very realistic in this game. The style of it makes it very immersive and fun to look at. The game plays 30fps on console, and on pc, it is uncapped, which can go above 240fps.

Character Customization

Character customization in games is a good way to let a player create whatever person he wants in-game. Sometimes they make their character to look just like them, or they just make them the way that they specifically want them.

The more options the game gives you, the better you can make your character to your liking. Here are both Dark Souls and Monster Hunters’ character customization.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls starts off with letting you choose what body type and skin color you want. It then allows you to do anything to the character that you can possibly think of, like letting you distort the character’s head in certain ways or even making you super tall.

Sometimes people go overboard with the way they make their character, but that is how they like it. The game also allows you to start with a gift like a health ring or bombs.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter’s customization is not as broad as Dark Souls’ customization, but it is still very big. It lets you pick gender, body types, hairstyles, and tons of other things. It also allows you to customize your pet’s colors.

You get armor and things to wear later on in the game, so the customization screen is just to make how your character looks specifically.

Co-op and Multiplayer

The way co-op and multiplayer is in each game is very different from one another. You can do multiplayer in both games and even though they might have a few similarities, they work very differently. Multiplayer aspects of a game are very important to people because it allows them to enjoy the game with a friend.

Dark Souls

The co-op in Dark Souls is more about helping another player out rather than just playing through the game with another person. The way co-op works is you can either be summoned into another player’s world to help them fight a boss or you can invade another players world so you can have PVP.

Being invaded by someone can be pretty annoying when you are in the middle of something, but there is just something about fighting your way through a level with your friend and beating the boss in the area. The only person’s world that counts for killing the boss is the host’s world, but it can also be fun to help out another person if you can.

Monster Hunter

Multiplayer in Monster Hunter is more to play through the game with a friend. When I played the game, my friend and I actually played through the entire story together which made for a better experience entirely. If you want a game that you can play entirely with a friend, then Monster Hunter is the game for you.

Story/Character Development

The story and how the game makes you care about your character is sometimes what makes a person keep playing the game. There are those games with great stories and gives you different emotions depending on what happens in the game. There are also those games that don’t really have that big of a story, but you are totally fine with it.

Dark Souls

The way Dark Souls portrays the story is very different from other games because you don’t really find out much about the story by just playing the game. It heavily relies on the lore of the game to make everything seem better.

The best thing to do is to play the game, then after you are finished with it, look up all the different lore of the bosses and enemies. You will have a better appreciation for the game you just played.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter has an interesting story that has good character development. Your character starts out as basically a nobody and by the end of the game, you are a hero. I don’t want to spoil anything for new players, but it is totally worth your time and money if you are into a game with a story.

Environments

What the world looks like can sometimes determine whether a player likes the game or not. If a game has boring worlds with nothing to do, then it will turn everyone away from it. The better the environment, the more time people will spend looking around and exploring it.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls has a very dark and dreary atmosphere to it, and it was made to be eerie and unsettling. You are an undead person that goes around and beats other undead people and monsters. That’s what makes Dark Souls stand out with its worlds.

Just look at the name, you shouldn’t expect the game to be all colorful and beautiful, it is a game about death. The worlds are filled with tons of enemies and dead bodies, and you are constantly exploring new areas. The developers did a nice job with helping you not be bored the entire time with the worlds.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter has very unique environments from a grassland/jungle, to a volcano erupting with lava. There is even a place that looks like a coral reef, but it is not underwater. The environments were made to feel like you’re in a fantasy world.

There are a few places that feel depressing, but that is because of the monsters you fight there. If you enjoy a beautiful world that you can constantly explore then this game is for you.

Enemies

The enemies in both games are very different because of the main progression in each game. Enemies are what makes a game difficult in a lot of ways and can sometimes if there are too many, can interfere with you enjoying the game.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls is known for having some of the hardest mobs in gaming history. Sometimes you will run into a huge gathering of enemies and before you can even blink, the “YOU DIED” sign comes up onto the screen. I can’t tell you how many times a normal enemy has killed me because of a wrong dodge that I did or mistake that I made.

From small dogs to large knights, there are many different types of enemies. Each has their own move sets and weapons, and can, therefore, be a challenge when you don’t really know what they are going to do.

Monster Hunter

The enemies in Monster Hunter are not really that hard compared to Dark Souls. In each world, there are different creatures that count as regular enemies that you can choose to take out. Every creature that you fight gives you an item when you beat it which can help with upgrading.

There are many different small enemies like different types of dinosaurs and birds, and many different kinds of hybrid animals. All of them except the plant eaters will just run away from you, but any other creatures will attack.

Weapons/Armor

The gear in a game allows for a person to like the game, and lets them see if they like the gear or not. If the developers make all the weapons feel like pin needles, then most people won’t enjoy the game. The armor has to be different and needs to feel like it is actually protecting you.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls has hundreds of weapons for you to use, including spears, bows, swords, axes, crossbows, hammers, and even maces. Every weapon has an option to infuse it with different stones that give the weapon different attributes and damages.

There are also tons of different armor sets in the game that you can upgrade if needs be to get better defense out of it. Sometimes you might find one set of armor and use it the entire game. If you want to constantly change your armor then that is fine too. There is always a new set to find in the world.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter is very straight forward when it comes to weapons. There are hundreds to craft and the way you craft them is killing the specific monster for the items you need. Each weapon has different attributes just like Dark Souls and because of that, some weapons are better against one monster than another.

Armor is received the same way as weapons and that is by getting materials to craft them. There are tons of different sets to collect and is very satisfying when you finally get the whole set you want. If you have a full set of armor, then you will get a bonus attribute depending on what it is for that specific set.

Bosses

Both of these games certainly have a few good and bad bosses. There are games that center around fighting bosses and there are games that have only a few bosses. Every game should have some sort of boss-like enemy to fight even if the game doesn’t count it like a boss.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls is known for its bosses because of the difficulty brought with them. Since I have played it, I can’t tell you how much fun beating some of the bosses was compared to just getting through the world. There is something satisfying about finally beating a boss after dying many times.

Dark Souls throws a boss at you from the start of the game, and that reveals what it has in store for you later on in the game. If you like challenging bosses and an adrenaline rush while fighting them, then you will like Dark Souls.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter basically has you fight a boss each mission you play. When you start a mission, it tells you to fight a monster. When you go to the world and track it down, you start to fight it. After fighting it for a little while, it slowly runs away. You then go chase it down and slowly kill it.

It takes a while to defeat each monster, but after you finally defeat it, you feel a sense of relief after the long battle. To give you an idea, the first mission in the game where you have to beat a Great Jagras takes about 10 minutes to finally defeat him.

Conclusion

Both games have similar mechanics and both are unique to each other. Personally, I like both of these games for their similarities. If you are thinking about playing Dark Souls or Monster Hunter, do your research and see which game you would like better. If you want to get either game, here is a link to Monster Hunter: World on Amazon, and here is a link to Dark Souls Remastered on Amazon.

Don’t be afraid of picking up either title just because people say they are hard games. Any game can be completed with enough patience and time, so go ahead and play these two enjoyable games.

Caleb Simmons

I first started playing video games on my Nintendo Gameboy Advance, and I have not stopped playing ever since. My goal is to help others with questions about their favorite video games.

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