mon­ster hunt er world

XBox: The Official Magazine - - START - Daniella Lu­cas

Pub­lisher Cap­com De­vel­oper Cap­com For­mat xbox One ETA Spring 2018

Fight­ing weird and won­der­ful crea­tures in games is part of why we love them, be they dan­ger­ous bears in the likes of Tomb Raider, or fan­tas­ti­cal dragons in, uh, Dragon Age. Of­ten they’re rel­e­gated to just be­ing a dis­trac­tion be­tween big­ger, bad­der bosses – noth­ing more than fod­der for your blade or gun of choice, but in Mon­sterHunter they’re the main course. From tiny lizard things to mon­strous feath­ery bas­tards, ev­ery­thing in the series re­quires some se­ri­ous ef­fort to take down, and there are hun­dreds of choices on how to do it.

There are loads of dif­fer­ent weapon styles to choose from, from sim­ple swords to bow­guns, but that’s just the start – you’ve also got items such as bait to lure cer­tain crea­ture types out of hid­ing, and then traps to drive them into to in­crease your chances of a kill. At its heart the Mon­ster Hunter series is a tac­ti­cal game to the point where it can be over­whelm­ing to new­com­ers. World is look­ing to take that core tac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence and let it loose in one large seam­less world, while also stream­lin­ing com­bat to make it eas­ier for those look­ing to join the hunt.

The world it­self is look­ing gor­geous, with a lush for­est filled with crea­tures of all shapes and sizes, some leav­ing clues on where they might be. Since ev­ery mon­ster nat­u­rally lives in this en­vi­ron­ment, they all be­have dif­fer­ently – some are her­bi­vores while oth­ers prey on each other. You might find a crea­ture out hunt­ing, but if you fol­low it you’ll find it’s bring­ing food back to its brood else­where, like a real an­i­mal would. You have to think like an an­i­mal tracker to find them: where would a drooly preda­tor pass through to his hunt­ing grounds? In our demo we find some mu­cus on a tree and col­lect a sam­ple, prompt­ing a cloud of glow­ing green scout flies to ap­pear to help us track our prey.

Cave dweller

Once found, your tar­get might not be in a place that will be good for you in a fight – we found a T-rex-like An­janath sleep­ing soundly in a cave that was far too cramped to fight in, so had to throw some­thing to wake it and lure it out into the open. Once out­side you get to ap­pre­ci­ate just how huge and dan­ger­ous it is – it’s go­ing to take plan­ning to take down. You can con­ceal your­self in the flora to sneak up closer and mount its back, forc­ing it to crash into a tree and do a chunk of dam­age to it­self while at­tack­ing it. Or steer it fur­ther into any traps you’ve laid to make it eas­ier to hit. You could even force it into an en­counter with other mon­sters to get them to do all of the hard work for you. Though if you find your­self in a re­ally tight spot you can call in other play­ers at any time us­ing an SOS flare so they can drop in and lend you a hand.

Once you do man­age to top­ple it you’re re­warded with its skin, flesh or bones which can then be used to craft better gear for even tougher hunts, or can be used to help cook a re­vi­tal­is­ing meal to give you the strength to keep fight­ing. The bits we’ve seen so far all feel pretty seam­less so far, and you can be sure to ex­pect even more op­tions to play with come its fi­nal re­lease in 2018.

“Once you man­age to top­ple the T-rex you’re re­warded with its skin, flesh or bones”

left You can use a grap­pling hook-like de­vice to grab onto fly­ing mon­sters for a ride.

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