At the end of this month, the long-awaited Monster Hunter: World is hitting PS4 and Xbox One. Fans of the series and gamers who wanted to give it a try have been able to play the beta twice in December, which was met with praise from many sides. However, while fans of the series and those who have tried the beta know exactly how to prepare for the new game, newcomers to the franchise might have a bit of a hard time. Whether you want to try the game because you’ve heard good things, or because you want to go slaughter some giant animals, but aren’t legally allowed to in real life, here’s what you need to know about Monster Hunter: World.
1. There’s gonna be another beta… but it’s PS4 exclusive again
If you’re still on the edge about buying Monster Hunter: World, you won’t need to go onto an internet forum or to your local game store to ask what they think about the game. In fact, you can still try it yourself. It’s starting late on January 18 or early on January 19 depending on where you live and goes for two days. They stacked even more content compared to the previous betas which makes it the perfect chance to see if the game is right for you.
The only problem here is that the beta is only on PS4 again, so fans who would want to try it on the Xbox One before it comes out will not be able to do so. On top of this, you’re going to want to grab yourself a PlayStation Plus subscription to be able to play it, as it’s online only and exclusive to subscribers. Capcom seems to have an exclusivity deal with Sony of some kind, as this is not the only advantage that PS4 players get.
2. It is coming for PC, just not yet
Fans who were waiting to play the game on PC will have to wait quite a bit longer as the PC version has been delayed several times in development. While the PS4 and Xbox One versions are coming at the end of January, the PC release landing in autumn is the best case scenario that Capcom is currently aiming for. It’s not quite clear yet how different from the console versions it’ll be exactly, but Capcom seems to mostly be focussing on having a working matchmaking experience, as they don’t have existing multiplayer infrastructure on PC.
Technically, they could’ve released the game with its single-player mode while they continued to work on the multiplayer, but they’d probably be harshly criticized for releasing a half-finished game, especially one of this scale. PC players will have to live with getting the game later if it means getting it fully polished instead of badly ported.
3. It’s not your dad’s Monster Hunter
The first thing fans of the series will notice is that there aren’t any loading screens between the different areas of the Monster Hunter map, despite its size. This means you’re always either hunting or being hunted in the giant world, and there’s no safety to be gained from going to another area, as it won’t load.
Another big new difference is that addition of so-called “Scoutflies” that help you find things by highlighting stuff in the area, which might be annoying for some that want to find things completely on their own, but it’s also a big help for new players.
Fast travel is another new addition to the series, letting you jump from base camp to base camp so that you don’t have to travel over the entire map.
There are even more additions from what we’ve seen in the beta alone, which means that anyone who tried a previous game but couldn’t really get into it might want to give Monster Hunter: World a try.
4. Bring your friends, it’s time for massive multiplayer fun
In Monster Hunter: World, it’s possible to make communities, so-called Squads that can have up to 50 members. Next to that, there are many opportunities in-game, where up to 16 players can meet up and do a bunch of things together before going on a mission. Missions themselves can be played with up to 4 players, with a drop-in/drop-out system that allows players that leave a group to seamlessly be replaced by anyone wanting to play the same mission. Up to a certain point, the player who drops in will still have the mission count as cleared if they clear it with the group, but if too much time has passed between the group starting and the new player dropping in, they’ll have to do the mission again early enough after a group starts, or starting with their own group.
You can even start a mission solo, if you want, only getting other players if you really need help.
5. No loot boxes, no microtransactions
It’s sad that this is even an important point, but thankfully, Capcom hasn’t added themselves to the list of developers that only care about money. The developers even said that adding loot boxes or microtransactions for better gear wouldn’t make sense for the game, as the whole point of the game is to get used to the gameplay and learn how to defeat the monsters, adapting to what happens.
On top of that, they feel that putting in microtransactions would destroy the harmony in four-player co-op, as some might feel that one of the other players didn’t earn the loot, they only bought it, which might create tension within the team. The developers even went as far as to say that feel that finding monster’s weak points and realizing what you are doing wrong is such an essential part of the game and a great feeling, so that letting people pay past that step just so that they can make money would be pointless.
That’s what you need to know before getting into Monster Hunter: World. Any Monster Hunter aficionados will probably be able to find something missing on this list, so make sure to tell us what we’re missing.