One of my favorite things from the past couple of years for E3 is going to the movie theater to watch the Sony press conference with my friends. We laughed, we clapped at likely inappropriate times, and we even made our own sound effects while the stream was having audio difficulties. The PlayStation Experience was a highlight of last year and this year was no different. To probably the confusion of my peers though, when Monster Hunter World was announced, I teared up a bit and was shaking with excitement. Capcom are finally moving the series forward in what I can only describe as amazing.
Hinted by the video and confirmed by the press release, Monster Hunter World will feature a living ecosystem in which hunters must keep in mind while chasing their prey. There are plenty of clever environmental traps and hazards, like crumbling rocks or entangling vines, which can be used to the advantage of the hunter or be a hindrance. Hunters can also lead monsters into the path of other monsters, which can lead to some interesting results. Never before have Monster Hunter fans seen something this dynamic, as the series has stuck to a formula for the most part since its its initial release.
Each of the monsters shown in the trailer look amazing, sporting full HD models. Finally, we’ll be able to see these lush environments on a powerful gaming system; the series has been almost exclusively on handhelds for many years. Not only do these monsters look better than they ever have, but how the player approaches them will likely feel completely different. For example mounting, a mechanic utilized on the 3DS entries, has now changed so that the hunter can travel along the creature’s body to deal damage to specific locations.
Main features of the franchise will be intact for this entry as well. Co-operative play will be a major pull for players, sporting up to four hunters at once as usual. These hunters can drop-in or drop out freely to lend a helping hand. Of course, single player will still be available for those brave enough to challenge the wilds alone.
Aside from the obvious gameplay changes, this also the first time Monster Hunter will be released globally at the same time. This is an effort to combine the global community, plus players will be able to connect with hunters from other regions, leaving no hunter behind.
Not only that, but Monster Hunter World is set to be a multi-platform release. The game is coming to PS4 and Xbox One in early 2018 with a PC release later on. This marks the first time the series has ever been on Xbox and the first international release on PC. While Monster Hunter has been a global phenomenon for a while now, these factors alone could skyrocket the series into even greater success.
Monster Hunter is a series I’ve always been passionate about, but never really got to play with other fans much. A few of my close friends are into the games, but we rarely get to play together. With Monster Hunter World, we can utilize the online features of modern consoles and I can stream our hunts to connect with even more players. The community pages across the web feature amazing stories about the game and how its brought people together, but that number of connections is now likely to increase exponentially.
There are no words that can properly explain how excited I am for Monster Hunter World. It’s everything that I’ve been hoping for since being captivated by the unique first game on PS2. Now, let’s hope that Monster Hunter XX is still coming to Switch globally; that would hold me over until Monster Hunter World drops.
For more in-depth information, check out the news update on Capcom Unity. A live chat about the new project featuring producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and directors Kaname Fujioka and Yuya Tokuda will air from E3 on Thursday at 12:30pm on the Capcom Unity Twitch channel.