Monster Hunter World was announced for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC at Sony’s E3 press conference last night, finally confirming all of those rumours that had claimed that the franchise would be making its way back from Nintendo to PlayStation. The game looks to be a thorough refresh and rethinking of Monster Hunter mechanics, going for a radically overhauled approach to series conventions in an attempt to appeal to the west.
This means that even if you are a series fan, Monster Hunter World has a lot that is new about it- a lot of things that you might not know, because they are completely new to the series. Here, we present ten of them for you.
NO SEGMENTED AREAS
Since time immemorial, Monster Hunter has had segmented areas- you enter the area where you are supposed to be stalking your prey, and that area is further broken down into segmented arenas. Monster Hunter World ditches this approach, going instead for a seamless open world. Given that there are no longer more contained arenas, this should definitely change up approach to battling and hunting prey, since a lot of mechanics of the series so far have relied on the segmented approach
This goes without saying, but if you have one vast seamless open world, then there will be no loading between areas. This means, in turn, that the flow of combat or escape is never broken- you will never be fighting a monster at the edge of an arena anymore, and suddenly find yourself in a loading screen, because you mistakenly pressed your analog stick in the wrong direction in the heat of the moment, and ended up leaving the area. Rejoice!
FIRST MONSTER HUNTER GAME ON PC AND XBOX
While both PC and Xbox have received some Monster Hunter spin offs in the past (mostly the MMO and its expansion), they have never received a proper, mainline Monster Hunter game, which Monster Hunter World is. This means that for PC and Xbox players, Monster Hunter World is the first time they get to enjoy the series which enjoys a high level of popularity around the world.
FIRST MONSTER HUNTER GAME ON PLAYSTATION IN YEARS
Monster Hunter originally started on PlayStation, before it finally made the jump to Nintendo with Monster Hunter Tri and Tri Ultimate. Since then, it has been a mainstay of the Nintendo 3DS. 4, 4 Ultimate, Generations, and Double Cross were all 3DS games- Double Cross is even coming to the Switch, but not to any other system. This means that Monster Hunter World marks the return of the Monster Hunter franchise to PlayStation for the first time in a very long time- since Portable 3 in Japan, and since Freedom Unite in the west.
FIRST CONSOLE MONSTER HUNTER GAME IN NINE YEARS
By that same metric, this also makes Monster Hunter World the first console Monster Hunter game in nine years- Tri Ultimate was technically a 3DS game scaled up to the Wii U. While we loved playing Monster Hunter on our 3DS, and the series works wonderfully as a portable franchise, there is something to be said for experiencing the thrill of these hunts on the big screen.
MADE BY THE SAME TEAM THAT MADE MONSTER HUNTER 4
Monster Hunter 4 was the freshest Monster Hunter game in years, energizing and revitalizing the series with some bold new ideas that mixed up the metagame. Monster Hunter World will be made by that same team, further emphasizing its status as a true, mainline Monster Hunter game.
HD, AT LAST
Monster Hunter has used largely the same assets and models since the PlayStation 2 days- this is because all of the systems that the franchise has been on since – PSP, Wii, 3DS – have been on roughly that level, hardware wise. This means that ever since the franchise’s inception, players have seen very little forward movement graphically for the Monster Hunter series. With Monster Hunter World making the jump to HD at last, we finally see a Monster Hunter game realized with modern standards for graphics.
MORE DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT
While the environment has always been a major part of the gameplay in Monster Hunter, something that can work against you as much as it works with you, it seems like it will be even more dynamic in Monster Hunter World. Everything shown off in that trailer for the game yesterday hinter at an emergent environment responding to the player and the monster that they are battling, which should make for more involved battles.
For the first time ever – and presumably because of the more sophisticated online functionality on PS4, Xbox One, and PC – the series will have drop-in multiplayer, allowing you to join hunts already in progress. Previously, multiplayer was party based, and parties had to be set up ahead of the hunts, too. This new system should hopefully be more convenient.
COMBAT STYLES HAVE CHANGED
While we will have to wait for more hands-on impressions and gameplay streams of the game to be sure, it looks like combat has changed quite a bit. While a lot of weapons seem to have made it into the game, it does feel like they control different- Monster Hunter has had a deliberate, slow, hefty sense of weight for each weapon until now, and it looks like that is being sacrificed in favour of something faster and more immediately responsive. How will this work in context of Monster Hunter? Is it even true, or will further gameplay streams allay our concerns here? We don’t know just yet, but we are interested to see the far reaching mechanical implications that such a change would have, that is for sure.