When Monster Hunter: World was announced at Sony's E3 conference, many gamers -- especially Monster Hunter veterans -- were struck with the good news that the franchise would be making its way back to consoles. Even the Japanese trailer was well-received, considering that Japan has a trend of preferring handheld consoles to home consoles.
The announcement of Monster Hunter: World is a big deal, and it promises to be a unique experience in the series. So let's look at why this title is so important to the Monster Hunter franchise, and why both veterans and newbies alike have something exciting to look forward to in early 2018 when the game releases.
Monster Hunter: World's announcement dropped two very significant bombs. First, the game would release internationally and at the same time for all regions. That in and of itself is a very big deal, since that never happened before. Monster Hunter's home country is Japan, which means that Japan usually gets all the titles first, and the West trails a few months behind. So in a sense, Japan has an advantage in terms of experience and getting to play the game.
But by releasing at the same time for the West and Japan, players in both regions get an equal start and an even playing field -- so that way, no region will have any sort of advantage over the other region.
The second (and perhaps more exciting) reveal was the fact that Monster Hunter: World will be the very first title in the series to have cross-region play. That is absolutely phenomenal news -- because with past titles, the games were region locked, meaning that Japanese players could only hunt with other Japanese players, and Western players could only hunt with Western players.
With Monster Hunter: World's release, Western players will finally get the opportunity to hunt together with Japanese players, and vice versa. It's an exciting opportunity to meet new hunters, discuss the game, and learn something from the experts -- after all, Monster Hunter is way more popular in Japan than it is in the West, and Japanese players have access to more Monster Hunter titles than Western players.
It is however, worth noting that Japan has more PlayStation owners than Xbox owners, since the PlayStation is Japan's native console and thus is more popular than the Xbox. As a result of that, the game will launch exclusively for the PlayStation 4 in Japan, meaning that the Xbox version will not have a release over there.
Monster Hunter's true home is the PlayStation, since the first Monster Hunter titles were released for PlayStation 2 and the PSP. When Monster Hunter: World was shown at Sony's E3 conference, it was a safe assumption that the franchise would finally be returning to its true home, plus making a debut on Xbox and PC.
This is yet another piece of awesome news, because past Monster Hunter titles of this generation were exclusive to Nintendo devices, particularly the 3DS family system. It is no secret that Nintendo's hardware is less powerful than Sony's and Microsoft's, which would explain why Monster Hunter titles on Nintendo systems didn't have the best graphics and resolution.
Monster Hunter: Generations on 3DS
By releasing the next Monster Hunter installment on more powerful consoles, we finally get the opportunity to see the game performing at maximum capacity. Better graphics, better resolution, and a higher framerate (most likely higher on PC) are everything that true Monster Hunter fans have wanted.
The game's release also marks the very first debut of a Monster Hunter title on PC. That is even better news for PC gamers, because PC games perform better than console games -- meaning that the textures, FPS, and graphics will be vastly improved.
Monster Hunter: World will be receiving quite a number of new gameplay mechanics and overhauls. One main example that was shown in the trailer is the ability to shoot a flare, thus sending an SOS signal of some kind and having fellow hunters to come to the rescue and aid you in the hunt at any point.
Another mechanic that was shown in the trailer is the ability to disguise oneself using camouflage outfits, and using that to either hide from monsters or attract them to you.
One final mechanic that stood out the most is how all the areas of the map will be connected with one another and there won't be loading screens when making your way from one area to another. As a result of that, the entire map will feel like one giant area rather than multiple smaller areas separated by loading screens.
Though these are completely new additions to the game, that doesn't necessarily mean that the game will become much easier -- especially for newcomers and Western players. Game director, Kaname Fujioka, had the following to say about Monster Hunter: World and some of its overhauled gameplay:
"We're not taking things that people in the West hate and fixing them to make Western players buy it. People sometimes make that assumption, or they've got that fear, but that's not the case at all."
Though it may seem like a spinoff title, Monster Hunter: World will actually be the next installment in the main series, and will offer the same type of challenges as the games before it. So there is nothing to really fear -- only to look forward to!
With so many new gameplay mechanics, cross-play, and a return to more powerful consoles, Monster Hunter: World promises to be an extremely unique and one-of-a-kind entry in the franchise. The game is set to release in early 2018, so there is still plenty of time to expose yourself to the series and the community as well (if you are a newcomer). If you are a veteran, you can just start getting excited for a whole new and intriguing hunting experience!
What are some of the things that you are most excited about in Monster Hunter: World? Would you like to see previous mechanics return, or whole new features? Let us know down in the comments!