This explains much. Remember that you are a playing a Guerilla game. Their ‘easy’ setting is never easy!
If you haven’t gone beyond the initial environments you won’t have seen the game’s apex enemies of Stormbird and Thunderjaw. Each makes for a very memorable fight.
I’ve played it all single-player as I don’t have PS+ - it works just fine.
As to the game, it is absolutely a love-and-hate game - which my various posts attest to!
If you don’t like boss battles, then you’re going to have problems as killing the smaller monsters alone won’t progress you enough to get anywhere in the game.
I’ve a digital copy, which was a mistake, but as I’m stuck with it, I persisted and have to admit that damn gameplay loop of ‘kill monster, create better gear, kill stronger monster’ is bloody addictive. Enough to overcome what I consider to be the flaws.
I don’t think it is the mainstream game it has been marketed as. The difficulty level alone proves that for me, it is pretty brutal, especially towards the end of the low rank quests. (Though, I could well see Monster hunter experts consider it too easy.)
It does hoard its secrets behind walls, the High Rank stuff I’ve started on is far superior to the earlier game - I’m currently assembling the pieces for an armour set in order for me to go after a certain monster more easily in order to craft a Longsword, with Paralysis ability. This was simply not available earlier in the game.
Things I love about the game is its creature and world design - it really does feel like a living world. Some of the details in how they animate it all is very impressive. The array of weapon and armour sets is excellent, I’ve only explored four of the 14 weapons it gives you access to and each armour has low rank, high rank alpha and beta sets, with you gaining more as you kill stuff. Your palico companion is very cute and is effective in battle.