The first new game announced at Sony's E3 conference was the next installment in the Monster Hunter franchise. After showing two games that we already knew of (Uncharted: Lost Legacy and Days Gone) and an expansion for an already released game (Horizon: Zero Dawn), we were finally treated to one of the biggest surprises of the night: Monster Hunter World is coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in early 2018.
Monster Hunter World debuted with a trailer that showed a lone hunter on a mission. This hunter was wielding one of the basic Great Sword weapons from the series. The trailer showed off the beautiful new graphics, as the hunter explored the level. Monster Hunter World seems to focus more on the free movement of the player, as exhibited with the grappling hook that the hunter used to quickly traverse the stage (in a manner similar to the Survey Corps of Attack on Titan). The resource collecting seems to be intact, as the hunter was seen collecting items from the stage.
The trailer showed off some dynamic chase sequences, as the hunter becomes the hunted, being chased throughout the level by a monster that resembles a T-rex. This is something that is definitely new to the series and seems to be more akin to Uncharted than Monster Hunter. The hunter is saved when Rathalos kills his prey for him, causing him to succeed in his mission.
Monster Hunter World's trailer concludes with a shot of its massive environment and several quick action sequences that depict battles between hunters and monsters. One of the new things shown during this segment was a brief clip of a hunter hanging on to a flying monster by his grappling hook, as it attempts to fly away. This would be an incredibly useful ability in the other Monster Hunter titles, as your prey has a tendency to run to a different area when it is wounded and will force you to chase after it on foot.
The most successful Monster Hunter games have all appeared on portable consoles. This is because the PlayStation Portable titles became a cultural phenomenon in Japan, to the point where people used to play the game with strangers on commutes. Capcom have been reticent to leave this era, as most of the Monster Hunter games that have been released since have come out on the Nintendo 3DS. It seems that they are finally ready to bring the series into the HD era, in an impressive new way.
PREVIOUSLY: MONSTER HUNTER WORLD TRADEMARKED BY CAPCOM
Moving the Monster Hunter series over to consoles might seem like a risk to some. The Monster Hunter series is much bigger in Japan than it is overseas and Japanese gamers are far more interested in handheld and mobile games than they are on consoles. This could be Capcom's attempt to bring the series to a global audience. It is also surprising that they have ignored the Nintendo Switch for this new game (rather than the upscaled version of Monster Hunter XX that it is getting), as the console/handheld hybrid nature of the system would be a good testing ground for this new direction for the series.
Monster Hunter World is coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early 2018, with a PC port planned for a later date.