Capcom was present at ESGS 2017 and it only had one game available at their booth - Monster Hunter World. This action adventure game set for a 2018 release in January had the longest line I've ever seen during ESGS. They had two station setups running the game demo with a PS4 Pro and I was able to try out the game for a hunt.
I failed in my first Monster Hunter World experience. Without me knowing beforehand that the monster hunts available were given a 10-minute time limit, I wasn't able to take down the beast I was tasked to hunt. A mistake on my part because the time spent during the mission was me getting accustomed to the changes in Monster Hunter World.
When the demo begins you will be at a camp with an NPC giving you three possible monster hunts. I picked the second one which is considered to be in the normal difficulty range. You then start the mission tracking the monster by examining footprints and other points of interest that eventually leads to your target's location. My monster was roaming the map, and with the trusty fireflies tracking the monster for you, it was an easy find. As I was heading closer, I found myself sliding down steep muddy slopes, swinging in dangling vines, climbing and occasionally hiding in bushes because, well I was trying everything. Thus, the failed monster hunt. But there's a lot of different interactions with the environment that could make each encounter a different experience. When I charged head-on at my target, equipped with my two-handed sword that can transform on the spot, I was welcomed by a buddy slop that leads to me sliding down into a pack of wildlife that dispersed as I got close. That small experience got me excited on other possible encounters in the game. The possibility of trapping or damaging your hunt based on the terrain and traps laid out by you. It's a dynamic feel that could alleviate any possible redundancy that could appear since Monster Hunter is known to be a grinding experience.
The Battle Begins!
The battle with the monster itself was nothing new to my eyes. When it comes to the combat, it's simply Monster Hunter. It reminded me of my PSP days, hunting different monsters with a few friends. It's thrilling. I had my trusty Felyne sidekick during the hunt and while I didn't see much of his participating during the mission, I did see him fly when he got in the way of my massive sword swings. I got a good chuckle from it but went back to focusing on the beast in front of me. I was dodging at key moments when the monster attacked and I was able to topple the beast by constantly hitting the legs, giving me free reign to wail on the beast as it was trying to recover. At one point I was able to cut off a part of its tail, which I noticed had the option to loot from it just like past games. The fight was going in my favor and the beast started to flee, limping away to another part of the map, hoping to recover from the battle.
Then, my time was up - Mission failed.
I was left surprised. I wanted more. I wanted to learn my weapon's move set, and also hunt with a different weapon (not sure if other weapons were available in the demo) But the 10-minute demo available gave me the impression that everything seems to be on track with Monster Hunter World. The demo was a short but perfect introduction to those unfamiliar and to those that are veterans of the franchise. It gave you the impression on how a mission will be and how the environment could play a big role in the success and failure of your hunt. It's still a surprise to see the next entry will be available not only on current generation console but on PC as well. It looked gorgeous from start to finish and I was hoping to get another round at it, but then I saw the long line of players, waiting for their turn. I moved on, but now I'm highly considering in jumping in on the hunt when it comes out in January.
A beta for Monster Hunter World was announced at this year's Paris Games Show and will go live this December.
Monster Hunter World will be out worldwide on January 26, 2018 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.