A Look at Monster Hunter: World – Preview of Capcom’s Next Big Release

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An Exciting and Thrilling World to Explore

The newest installment from Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise is now peeking its way around the corner with new trailers and beta sessions. Coming into the new year, Monster Hunter: World will be unleashing its massive open world and addictive monster slaying gameplay on major consoles for the first time in almost a decade.

The premise behind the beloved Monster Hunter series revolves around the player’s “Hunter” taking on quests given around comfy villages, in which take the player on dangerous hunts for surreal and dangerous monsters. Using a perfect combination of action-adventure with RPG standards, players take on the world full of vicious beasts, develop their skills from early on and create some of the most devastating weapons to help conquer the many monsters.

The Monster Hunter Series

Starting off on the PS2, Capcom released Monster Hunter to a flurry of positive reviews, forming a cult-like fan base only known to the gaming franchises too few and far between. After a few years seeing releases on the PS2, PSP and Wii, the Monster Hunter franchise moved over to Nintendo for good, only seeing the light of day on the DS family of consoles. While the titles still sold relatively well with their new home on the mobile market, Capcom eyes an opportunity to expand the Monster Hunter fandom, and give back to what much of the current fan base has been craving: a move to current gen systems, like the PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Now coming to the console market, Monster Hunter: World will be introducing the world outside of the mobile industry to a new kind of adventure. In doing so, Capcom is also changing a few ideas to help adapt to the enormous open world to explore, unlike the previous entries which included a maps of smaller areas sectioned off into one segmented world. A ton of new hunters are about to be released upon the world, bringing with it a new age for Capcom’s legendary franchise.

Plenty of combat options to fit any playstyle will be available in Monster Hunter: World.
Welcome a New Age of Monster Hunter

The goal of slaying beasts in the time limit provided is a thrilling reward, especially since the game hinders from traditional RPG standards and wipes away the majority of character development. Instead of leveling your character and acquiring new skills and abilities, players only increase in Hunter Rank, which essentially is your pass to take on tougher quests featuring fiercer and stronger monsters. Hunters, along with their appropriate hunter rank, will loot and scavenge for supplies, upgrade, create or purchase new weapons and armor, which is vital for taking out stronger and stronger beasts the further you progress in the game.

In Monster Hunter: World, players will create their very own hunter, equipped with skills based upon the weapon of their personal combat style. In the world of Astera, players will undertake quests to track, and either kill or capture, dangerous monsters roaming outside of the central base, all in the name of – you guessed it – science. Defying the odds and pitting yourself (and friends) against deadly foes and beasts, it will always come down to strategically picking your weaponry and arming yourself with the appropriate equipment for the job. The story is said to capture dozens of hours of monster hunting action, from low rank quests, expanding to tougher high-ranking missions.

Upon embarking on a monster hunting quest, first and foremost, players must track down the beast in question. In previous entries of the series, breaking the experience into different “zones” and maps would hinder the gameplay, causing one too many breaks in the hunts. Players would lose monsters or they would just disappear, causing a number of headaches throughout the hundreds poured into the game.

In World, players will now venture forth into a seamless experience with a massive sandbox to explore. No load times and no zoning areas to break up the wonderful living and breathing ecosystem. Monsters and other animals will carry on into their own natural lives, both when the hunter chooses to get involved, or as a spectator from afar. While combating vicious and dreadful monsters, often the battles will plunge into another, usually larger monster nest. This will then either turn into a massive royal rumble of every man – and best – for themselves, or perhaps players can enjoy the option to sit back and watch the monster mayhem ensue. With the lively ecosystem in place, World looks to be an adventure full of surprises, more so than any other Monster Hunter released.

Freely roam to Your Extent

Another game changing feature presented in World is the ability to freely explore the game without taking on a timed quest. While previously in the series hunters would outfit their character, customize weapons and armor, stock up on items , pick a quest and head out, now players have the option to go wherever they please, without the hindrance of a timer. This completely opens up the exploration of the Monster Hunter series, as well as provides a much broader sense of adventure and freedom in the game. Gathering collectibles and crafting supplies,while also finding yourself amidst random monster encounters looks to be a huge selling point in bringing more players to the rich setting of the Monster Hunter universe.

A huge assortment of monsters and beasts – much like other titles in the series – will be swarming the skies, lands and waters of the massive sandbox.

Tracking down your monsters still require the keen ability to pay attention to your surroundings, most of all discover footprints and markings. A brand new feature brought into World is ability to release Scout flies, which act as prominent points of interest in the world. Releasing the group of glowing Scout flies will lead players into tracks, items, crafting supplies and other points of interest in the vibrant open world. While this new method of discovery made seem a little off-putting to the diehard explorers out there, the game does provide the option to use these little buggers at your own will.

Smooth Exploration and Combat

Traversing the enormous sandbox of World – and it’s long-awaited arrival to current gen consoles – runs as smooth as ever. The graphics and animations are gorgeously crafted, and the ability to use the hunter’s agility to your advantage is a delightful and welcome addition to the series. The Slinger tool is an outstanding piece of equipment, predominantly used by every hunter like a grappling hook. Helping swing or climb to out-of-reach areas makes exploring the massive open world that much more enjoyable. Parkouring up climbable surfaces, as well as using the new Slinger tool helps get around the world much easier.

Of course, using the Sling and other weaponry or items also has their advantage in combat. The combat in Monster Hunter is meticulous and strategic, but never lacks the excitement found in any other action-RPG. Finding weaknesses, the appropriate weapon that deals the most damage to a particular monster, and keeping up with the sometimes fleeing monster is all part of the hunt. That being said, making sure you and your party is properly buffed and healed, as well as setting traps is also just as important. Between the fourteen different weapon types, using and learning about each one is important to taking down monster effectively in battle.

Along with cooperative play online, single player mode will feature a unique cat-like companion, known as a Palico, to help when out in the field.

However, if players find themselves amidst a battle that turns for the worst, the all-new online co-op feature is changing things for the better. With the ability to summon online players mid-battle, players will fire off red flares and have the help of up to three more online hunters. Engaging in quests or roaming the free world, playing online is a welcome option for hunters of any strength. Taking off on an epic journey, and doing so with some talent at your side, is enough to make any thrill seeking gamer giddy with excitement for the next co-op feature in Monster hunter: World.

Through an engaging story line, a seamless open world brimming with the surreal and disturbing, tons of weapons to find, craft and purchase, a strategically demanding but all-too rewarding combat system, all surrounded by a living ecosystem, Monster Hunter: World is already looking like one of the best games coming in 2018. Hitting current gen home consoles for the first time in almost 10 years, Capcom’s glorious franchise looks like it’s delivering what long-time fans have been wanting for years.

Find Monster Hunter: World releasing on the PS4 and Xbox One on January 26th, 2018; while a later date will be confirmed for the PC release.

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