Recently Capcom have released two videos thus far surrounding the hunting experience of the latest title to be announced: Monster Hunter Worlds. Which. for those unaware, is part of the main Monster Hunter series, this being the fifth generation's first entry. The original E3 trailer didn’t do much to excite the diehard fans of the series for many reasons, the open nature looked like it’d pave the waves of easier hunting experience lowering the skill floor and ceiling dramatically. Which wasn’t helped by the lack of information regarding Monster Hunter XX (pronounced Double Cross, as the letter X means cross in Japan) on whether or not it’d be brought west side, no news or statements were given other than the usual nothing to say about it. But with two “live” demonstrations given, one in Japanese (which did contain multiplayer and how it worked) and English (pure singleplayer hunting experience). I thought it’d be time to do a quick summary of what Worlds will entail.
More dynamic and fluid hunts:
Lots of information has been circulating about this already, but in essence: gone are the old days of loading zones with its segregated map zones. All of it is relatively open in a open world like structure for each location. Along with this is a change in Monster behaviours, now they will pursue you actively (if engaged) across the map. But finding them will be more difficult with them actively roaming the location with its own aims and goals. This means understanding the map, vantage points and their respective behaviours will lead to less repetitive repeat Monster engagements. Short version, hunting section of hunts are less arcady and more actually tracking the thing.
A living, breathing ecosystem:
Monsters now have a food chain and will actively perform more natural acts such as carnivores eating herbivores. The example given is Great Jagras is prey for a Anjanath, but the king of the skies Rathalos being the predator of Anjanath. The dynamic hunting system means not all of them will behave exactly the same, with some encounters potentially going really south for hunters thanks to Monster’s behaving more independently.
Revised combat and gear (kinda):
There are new moves for weapons, not all have been shown, but some of them are more fluid and over the top in some situations. An example is the Greatsword having a comb similar to the new hunter art in XX. But the biggest game changer is the ability to change armour and weapons on the fly when at base camp and the lack of different armour types for Blademaster and Gunner, which stopped most people from dabbling in both. The English demo’s video switched between Greatsword and Heavy Bowgun. But you won’t be able to restock items as expected. Included in your new arsenal of tools is a slingshot (which changes aesthetically depending on armour), this little thing will act as a grappling hook on grapple points (or as an emergency recovery on failing to mount a Monster the first time). As well as fling nuts (with various properties) to either agitate, draw/lure and damage the Monster, certain bugs in the map will act as emergency healers, stunners and status inflictors (hunter is susceptible to harmful effects as well) when interacted with. There are temporary buffs with the new Mantle system which draw a Monster’s attention and away from you, as well as grant you rocksteady.
Other adjustments and changes:
Those being the main points and revisions, less poignant and more quality of life adjustments include the following:
- Paintballs have been changed to bugs that will permanently track Monsters, once they have its trail. So look for tracks, mucus and the alike for its whereabouts.
- Harvesting certain resource nodes don’t require you to stop, wait, and collect to have items.
- A brief glimpse in the English demo vid showed automated crafting potentially when the Hunter collected herbs and blue mushrooms.
- Menu has a radial function, making quick access to items faster (not emergency god-caster saves from 3U and Gen).
- You can now consume items without having to stop. Using items will have gradual effects, but you can be knocked out of using it and lose said item.
- There are now multiple camps in each location. Fast travelling to them is possible, when out of combat though.
- Secret areas can be found if a Monster destroy openings for them, English demo shows this happen.
- Environmental damaging traps are a thing, similar to trapping Monster’s in vines with certain actions.
- Single-player hunts can become multiplayer hunts with a special SOS flare (Japanese demo).
- Fully fleshed out tutorial explaining the new mechanics as well as on-screen button prompts (assuming demos show features for your first actual hunt).
- Damage numbers can be displayed, no Monster health bars though.
- UI seems to be more dynamic, popping in and out when idle/not actively displaying “values”.
Final notes for the core experience include: 14 weapons, customisable palicoes (no prowler), no Hunter Arts or Styles, and usual offline play and online hub gatherings are available! Additions to this that are more player experiences include: worldwide cross gameplay, meaning Western players can play with Eastern players (auto-translate is a thing); PS4 players do NOT need PS+ for online play; 4K and HDR is supported; fully voice acted NPCs. Phew that’s all done and dusted now. Still waiting for XX to come out though.