PAX West 2017: Take Hunting to the Next Level in Monster Hunter: World

When Monster Hunter: World first revealed at E3, the trailer presented was a gorgeous display of many new mechanics, but left a lot of information to be desired for both new and long-time fans of the series. It wasn’t until a while later that players finally got the chance to see gameplay in some promo footage and finally the public got the opportunity to try it in person during both Gamescom and PAX West for the first time.

The original World trailer showed off one of the biggest new mechanics for this latest Monster Hunter, the ability to use the surrounding area to trap and damage monsters through various means. Whether they get tangled up in a tree or into a brawl with another wandering monster, this gives players a lot more choices to choose how they approach each fight. This adds to the overall sense of realism the surrounding area has and offers a chance for players to feel like the surrounding area is more than just a pretty background for these monster brawls. Of course those who want a more traditional fight can just as easily take the monster head-on without using any of these new additions, but it does make for a fresh way to approach battles.

The actual surrounding world of Monster Hunter: World is one that is more alive than any iteration of the series to date. From the foliage to the animals, there’s a lot to be observed and much to interact with. Players must track down the monster they’re tasked to fight and along the way can quickly pick up items as they walk through the map instead of being slowed by gathering animations. Additionally, many useful small creatures and plants have been added in order to help during an actual fight. Glowing bugs can be found to set off in order to stun the monster and poisonous plants can be rustled in order to spew dangerous spores and help deal a little extra damage if the monster happens to be close enough.

All fourteen weapons featured in the previous main-line Monster Hunter series make their triumphant return in World. While returning players will notice they mostly play the same, they have all received some new moves and adjustments to be discovered. New moves are also able to be used under certain circumstances, such as when sliding down a hill or when completing a mounted attack. For new players, simple tutorial messages will appear in quests to help when starting out. Players can also choose to include simple button combos on the screen if they like, which can also aid with weapons such as Hunting Horn which can now display its helpful songs on-screen for easy access

Monster Hunter has traditionally featured two different quest lines, one for single player and one for multiplayer. This time around the single player quests are tied in with the multiplayer. While quests can still be done entirely solo, players can also take on a quest alone and then call in a friend if they find themselves in trouble. An interesting difference between quests is that taking it on solo will set the difficulty in mind for a single player experience but won’t be increased if friends join into the fight. If the quest is taken on from the multiplayer lobby the difficulty will be set with two or more players in mind for a more challenging experience. Considering Monster Hunter: World is reaching out to a broader audience, many of who will be new players, this will help those who are having a more difficult time in the beginning on their own.

So much of Monster Hunter: World is a huge leap forward for a series that hasn’t seen an exclusive console release in the main series since its original days on the PS2. While it departs from some of the smaller traditions usually seen in the series, it lends itself well to becoming the next evolution of the series with many welcoming aspects for new and returning players. Those anticipating this hunting action won’t have to wait too long, as early 2018 is when players will be able to take down giant beasts alone or with comrades in Monster Hunter: World.