Update: Online play really makes a difference! Now that I have had more time playing this game, gained levels, unlocked new missions, and played online, I can really appreciate what the game has to offer.
After feeling confident with the game mechanics, I began joining online hunts and I can say that playing multiplayer drastically enhances the game experience.
The story still lacking after 10+ hrs of gameplay, but this game is not so much about the story but the hunts.
No story at all after 5 hrs of gameplay. Big learning curve if first time playing MH. Menus can be overwhelming. Battle feels sluggish, but I guess that's a staple of MH series. Exploration is fun, riding and using wirebug to travers vertically. Haven't tried online yet.
Having fun with it so far, trying to learn my way around leveling and upgrading gear as well as learning all the boosts available during hunts.
Will rate and write a full review once I've played the game longer!