Monster Hunter: World is working hard to convince non-fans to give this long-running and (at times) esoteric series a try when it releases for everyone in late January. As the first entry on the current-gen cycle of consoles, it’s also the first to get a truly revolutionary update. Gone are some of the most annoying features, making this into the first Monster Hunter that promises true freedom.
The series core mechanics are still there — as a Monster Hunter, you’ll investigate giant monsters in large environments, and then do battle. You’ll be able to go solo or join a group of friends while hunting, with a variety of different classes you can select and an arsenal of weapons to employ. As you rank up, you’ll craft better and better gear at the Blacksmith, all while facing off against trickier beasts. It’s all about the monster hunting, and Monster Hunter: World is aiming to entice all of us that just want to duke it out with strange and cool critters.
#1: A Cinematic Campaign
Monster Hunter isn’t really known for having exciting stories, but Monster Hunter: World will include a full story campaign you can play solo or with friends, fighting immense monsters and completing quests like we’ve never seen before in a Monster Hunter game.
- NOTE: Key Quests have their own category in the quests menu now, making it much easier to progress the story and unlock new ranks / areas.
For instance, you’ll face off against enormous creatures that move through the world — types you can’t even fight on-foot. Instead, you’ll join a squad of AI helpers, using turrets and other in-game features to slow down and eventually defeat the massive monster. That’s just an example. The cinematic campaign promises lots more cool encounters that break from the standard Monster Hunter mold.
#2: Play With Friends & Explore The World
In the old Monster Hunter style, quests were split up based on whether you could play them solo or online with friends. No more in Monster Hunter: World. Now you can take on any quest with friends, now split into Bounties and Investigations, and the difficulty will scale depending on how many players you bring.
Bounties are a new form of quest that replaces the trash quests from the older entries. Instead of taking quests to collect resources or kill a certain amount of basic minion monsters, you can now stack up to 6 Bounties — passive quests you can complete while you’re in the open world. That should make the more tedious quests from past Monster Hunter games much, much more tolerable.
#3: Get Monster Map Locations & Weakness Info With Scout Flies
Scout Flies are a new addition to your arsenal in Monster Hunter: World. To help track monsters, you use a waypoint system called “Scout Flies” — glowing neon bugs that light up an area of investigation and show you the way toward monsters.
The Scout Flies make tracking monsters in the map way, way easier, and they’ll even help in a variety of different ways. As you use Scout Flies to search, you can slowly level them up and unlock more abilities. Later levels will give you information on monster weaknesses or simply show you their location on the map, so you can skip all the searching entirely.
#4: More Houses, More Functionality and More Pets
A personal house is a long-running feature of the franchise, and Monster Hunter: World expands on it with a variety of different houses you can unlock. You’ll even have a Training Room you can enter by speaking to your House Cat — he’ll send you to the training room where you can hone your skills and try out the different weapons in a safe environment.
- NOTE: The training room covers absolutely everything. Vines to swing and jump-attack off, methods to charge your various meters, and small enemies that spawn. Everything you need to test is available in the training room.
Not only that, but you can capture little critters with your net-launching utility while you roam around the open-world environment. Catching little animals and bugs isn’t just for crafting. You can release these creatures at your house, and they’ll roam around! It makes your place just a little more homey.
#5: Clans / Guilds Are In Thanks To The Squads Feature
Squads will help you coordinate and keep track of friends in-game. Essentially, a Squad is a guild or a clan, something you can create, customize and invite friends (or strangers!) to join so everyone can work together and unlock even more bonuses.
- NOTE: Joining / creating a Squad will give you access to Squad-Only Sessions, allowing you to jump into the open-world where only your squad members can join.
- Squads are limited to 50 members total.
You’re not limited to one squad, either. You can join up to 8 squads! All you have to do is toggle which squad is your “active” squad, which you can do at any time.
#6: The Wishlist
Finally, the new Wishlist is an incredibly useful feature that will make hunting down materials that much easier. When you’re working at the Blacksmith and looking through all the weapons / armors you want to creature, you can mark items and add them to your wishlist.
Now, whenever you find items required for your Wishlist items, a pop-up will appear. Basically, the Wishlist feature keeps you up-to-date on your progress toward the gear you want, keeping you on track, and making passive progression in the open-world areas easier to handle. No need to run back to the Blacksmith and check what items you need. Now you can mark them in your Wishlist.
Monster Hunter: World is changing the series in many ways. So many, we didn’t list them all here. Heard about a change you’re excited to see in-game? Let us know in the comments!