So far this year, it’s been relatively slow in terms of major game releases. But that early-year drought is about to end with the release of Monster Hunter: World. And it just so happens that Carlos, who is a Graphic Designer here at KontrolFreek, is a HUGE Monster Hunter fan and is borderline freaking out over this release (let’s hope Amazon doesn’t drop the ball on delivering his copy today!).
This particular Monster Hunter game is poised to be the biggest release in the series yet (both in terms of in-game scope and international appeal), and as such, there is a lot to uncover. What’s different? Why should we care? Is this game going to be any good? Yes it is. Well, Carlos was kind enough to boil down all the hype into his “Top 3 Reason To Be Excited.” Enjoy!
MORE “OPEN-WORLD” THAN EVER
Somewhat constrained by the modest hardware on which legacy installments of Monster Hunter games were available, the games’ maps always felt very segmented. Anytime you needed to make your way into a new area of the game’s map, whether you were hunting down your prey or trying to farm some ore, you were met with a loading screen. Without fail. How many times have you loaded into a new area only to realize you went the wrong way and needed to retreat to a previous section of the map? And guess what – LOADING. Ugh!
But after tinkering with the beta and scrubbing through early review coverage, it seems the power of current generation consoles and PCs make those annoying loading screens a thing of the past. In fact, GameStop’s review probably sums it up best:
“Monster Hunter: World feels like an open-world game to some extent, with fantastically large maps of a scale that we haven’t seen before (both vertically and horizontally), no discernable game-pausing loading screens between zones in hunting areas, and a wealth of beautifully rendered environments to slaughter colossal monsters in.”
Now it’s not true open-world, but knowing that getting stuck between frequent loading screens is a thing of the past adds an additional layer to our excitement for Monster Hunter: World!
In the past, Monster Hunter games have not been what you’d call “graphical showpieces.” Typically the games were available on handheld systems, and as such, there was just much those brave little machines could pump out in terms of shiny visuals. So. Many. Jaggies…And Jaggi (inside joke for you Monster Hunter fans).
But here is some amazing news per IGN:
“The major work, however, has clearly come in Monster Hunter’s move from handheld to console (and PC, in August) where the graphical spectacle can finally match the design. World’s hunting grounds have shifted from particulate zones connected by loading screens into huge, seamless maps. Hunts feel far less self-contained and interrupted, and give Capcom’s undersung artists a much larger canvas to work with. The results range from beautiful to breathtaking.”
Graphics aren’t everything in games. But all the same….HYPE!!!! We can’t wait to see all those Jaggi without all the jaggies.
HONEST-TO-GOODNESS MODERN ONLINE FUNCTIONALITY
One of the best things about Monster Hunter games is the ability to hunt down incredibly intimidating dino-dragons with a group of friends. However, it was always such a pain in the ass to get a game up and running online. There were no such things as online lobbies. Instead, you had to go to the in-game town, find the area of the town that allowed you to connect online and then create or find your own “online room.” You’d then have to make sure your friends knew the name of your online room and the password to enter said room. And assuming you could coordinate all that outside the game and get everyone online, you then had to trudge through a series of boring and redundant fetch quests and work your way up to FINALLY being able to hunt some monsters together.
According to USGamer.net, that antiquated online system is a thing of the past (and should remain deader than a dinosaur):
“‘Baby steps’ would be the kindest way to explain the online functionality of past Monster Hunter games. Capcom clearly added it to past games out of weary obligation, and the best thing you could say about online play is that it worked… most of the time. In keeping with its general theme of streamlining, Monster Hunter: World makes online multiplayer simple. Instead of going to a separate hub (with separate and often redundant quests), you can now create or join an online session as soon as you start the game, and be on your merry way. If people jump into your session while you’re off doing your thing, you can easily post a quest and have them jump right into your current area—or, they can help you with the quest you’re currently taking on (albeit with fewer rewards). Again, this may all sound very basic to Monster Hunter-newcomers, but these improvements come off as nothing short of astounding to series veterans.”
With online co-op monster hunting now being easier than ever, it seems we’re about to lose dozens (maybe hundreds) of hours in the world of Monster Hunter (see what we did there? You’re welcome!).
Now, Monster Hunter: World is a gigantic game and these are just a few of the improvements we’re looking forward to. But we want to know what you think? This you first Monster Hunter experience? You a legacy player from the PSP days? Hit us up on social with your thoughts.