From humble origins on the PS2 in 2004, Capcom’s Monster Hunter games have only evolved over the years. On the 26th of January, fans and newcomers alike will finally be able to play the newest game in the franchise, Monster Hunter: World… and slamming oversized weapons into dinosaurs has never looked more delightful!
Whether you’re a rookie attracted in by the Beta or a veteran who can’t wait to stun-lock a Diablos with your trusty lance, here are ten reasons to get hyped for Monster Hunter: World!
10. A Whole New World
The game has the subtitle “World” for a few reasons, one of which is the brand new, seamless hunting areas. These zones are massive, with an added emphasis on verticality and interactions. These beautiful environments house all kinds of creatures (some of them can even be captured and kept in the player’s house) and many secrets that are just waiting to be discovered. Destructible terrain, shortcuts, traps, and more litter the terrain and offer tons of new possibilities for hunters with a bit of cunning.
9. Revamped Weapons
That’s right! In the latest iteration of Monster Hunter, all 14 weapons from the main series are making a glorious return with new combo chains and attacks. Run up the side of a monster with your longsword to bring down a powerful Helm Splitter attack! Ram your fully-charged switch axe into a beastie’s face before unleashing a powerful explosion that sends even your hunter reeling!
With the move to a console controller for inputs comes an updated control scheme that greatly benefits the ranged weapons. Gone are the days of “crab-clawing” to control camera aim with the d-pad while thumbing the analog stick to stay mobile. Land those Dragon Shots and Wyvernsnipes with accuracy!
8. Game-Changing New Gear
World introduces a completely new equipment slot with unique special abilities in the form of mantles. While mantles don’t add to the skill pool the way armor pieces do, they do allow players to bring a useful buff to the hunt. For example, the Challenger Mantle causes a monster to focus and chase the hunter that equipped it, allowing allies breathing room or the ability to lead the creature into a trap. These items can be used multiple times throughout a hunt, but there is a cooldown period before the effect can happen again.
But wait, there’s more! Each hunter gets his or her own Slinger, which functions as both a combination arm-mounted grappling hook and a projectile launcher. The Slinger serves as a new toy that allows the player to interact with the environment like never before. Evade attacks by pulling away to safety, drop parts of the environment on enemies, or launch a myriad of new ammo types. The Slinger introduces all kinds of new possibilities!
7. New Monsters
It wouldn’t be right if there weren’t new challenges to overcome, but fear not—Capcom has you covered. So far, there are seventeen new monsters to hunt, each one with new concepts and mechanics to learn. For example, the savage Nergigante is capable of regrowing its protective spines after they break. Its spines start out white and darken to black as they harden over time. With the creativity behind these added creatures, hunters are going to have a blast learning how best to counter and take them down.
Longtime fans can also expect plenty of classic monsters such as the iconic Rathalos and Rathian. There are also plans to introduce more monsters to the game through continued DLC support after the release, such as the dreaded Deviljho coming in a free update this spring.
6. New Wish List Feature
Anyone who has played a Monster Hunter game before has experienced this infuriating situation: you set your eyes on a certain set of gear, go out to farm up the materials, and return to the smithy only to find out you are missing just one more teensy item to make that final piece of equipment. In World, this small annoyance will become a thing of the past with the new list feature. Just add whatever catches your eye to your list while in town, and when you collect a material related to it, a pop-up will show your progress!
5. More Detailed Character Creation
Creating a hunter has never been more involved than in World. Anyone who’s spent hours in other games to create that perfect character is going to be ecstatic to find a bevy of sliders and selections at their disposal. The level of customization is better than in most MMO games. There are even facial animation and armor preview options to help you nail the right look.
Creating a hunter, however, is only half the fun! Players also get to create a Palico, a companion Felyne who will act as an A.I. partner when playing solo or with one other friend. Prepare for a cuteness overload as you scroll through the various options to create your soon-to-be lifesaving pal!
4. Stunning Monster Interactions
Because of World’s large hunting areas and the ecosystems within them, multiple monsters will inhabit each map. This can lead to some amazing sequences of events that can be played to your benefit. Fiercely territorial, these large beasts tend to fight when they come into contact with each other, slugging it out with some exciting maneuvers and attacks that will please the inner Kaiju fan inside anyone. Environments get destroyed, big monsters get tossed around, and moments of breath-taking intensity can come out of nowhere!
3. No More Paintballs!
One of the biggest pains to deal with in the earlier titles was tracking down your quarry and, after finding it, keeping it marked with the paintball item. When starting out or learning a new monster’s habits, paintballs could be a real annoyance with their limited inventory capacity and knack for wearing off just as the monster ran away.
The addition of Scout Flies eliminates the paintball problems completely. This time around, hunters will rely on these firefly-like creatures to act as a breadcrumb trail to the target creature. In order to get the flies to lead the way, they’ll have to pick up the scent from tracks, secretions, fresh kill sites, and whatever else the player may find scattered around. The more clues that are found, the brighter and more obvious the trail of insects becomes, leading straight to monster.
While they make tracking easier, Scout Flies serve another important purpose. With the Scout Flies, you’ll be able to get more information about each monster they obtain. This information is added to the player’s bestiary and includes elemental weaknesses or material drops. Scout Flies even help with gathering by highlighting objects of interest in the environment.
2. More Single or Multi-Player Experiences
In previous games, players could choose between offline Village Quests or online-oriented Guild Quests. This meant that, to progress the “story” of the game, they’d have to tackle all the Village Quests solo. This time around, any quest is able to be completed solo or with friends and enemies will scale to the number of players. There’s even an SOS Flare used to call in other players to aid you if things are looking rough. If you end up feeling really social, there’s a new Squad system that will allow players to join clans so that co-op gameplay will never be out of reach!
1. A Real Story!
The ability to play story content with friends should prove as an awesome new feature because, for the first time in the main series, there’s an actual fully realized story! The powerful Elder Dragons have migrated to a new unexplored continent and a group of scientists and hunters, known as the “Research Commission”, have decided to dispatch a fleet to figure out why. Be ready for cut-scenes and fully voiced dialogue as you explore the new environments and learn more about what lies within.
One More Thing…
Capcom has announced one more Beta for PS4 users starting on January 18 and lasting until January 22, 2018. In addition to the same content as the last two Betas, hunters will get the chance to test their mettle against a Nergigante! For anyone who hasn’t had the chance to give the game a shot yet, we strongly suggest jumping in on the Beta this time around since it showcases the combat gameplay. Just don’t expect to run in mashing buttons; Monster Hunter is similar to Dark Souls in that evasion and well-placed attacks are what lead to victory.
This list has only been a taste of what’s to come in Monster Hunter: World! From quest overhauls to player housing, UI upgrades to a decked out Training Hall, there’s a ton of exciting new features and changes that will surely bring a fresh perspective for old fans and newcomers alike. MH:W is shaping up to be an exciting game for anyone looking for a challenging but rewarding new action game in 2018. See you in the field, friends, and good hunting!