What Happened To Monster Hunter's Underwater Levels?

You won't be swimming in Monster Hunter World, but it might come back some day.

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Monster Hunter has experimented with many different modes and gameplay styles over the years, but one of the biggest changes only lasted for a single iteration: underwater hunting. Monster Hunter 3 (in its various iterations) allowed you to dive deep underwater for a different take on the game's combat.

But why was that feature left out of later games, and is there a chance it could come back? During a recent Monster Hunter World preview trip to Capcom's Osaka office, we talked with game director Kaname Fujioka about what happened to the series' underwater adventures.

"We wanted to challenge ourselves to make underwater action in Tri because we had never been satisfied with how underwater sections worked in other games," Fujioka said. "And we wanted to see if we could make underwater action that still feels like Monster Hunter action. We worked really hard on it, but for the amount of time and effort it takes to make underwater action work, we felt that in [Monster Hunter] World we're better off focusing on other things. So, there are only a few parts where you're gonna dive underwater, but there's no main underwater action parts. As for what the future holds, I've got a really strong attachment to it. So I'd like to try it again someday, but I really can't say."

So, even with the wide array of stages that were previewed in the latest trailer for Monster Hunter World, none of them will take place underwater this time around. The game comes out on January 26 for Xbox One and PS4 (then next year on PC), and next month PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to participate in a beta. But for even more about the game, you can read an in-depth preview on our first 12 hours right here.

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