Feature Article

Why Monster Hunter: World Leaves Behind Handhelds For Home Consoles And PC

"World" is not just a title but the entire concept for the new installment.

After making its home on 3DS for the past five years, Capcom is bringing the Monster Hunter series back to home consoles with Monster Hunter: World, which is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early 2018 (with a PC release following soon afterward). Unveiled during Sony's E3 2017 press conference, World looks like something of a departure for the series, introducing new elements like camouflage and a grappling hook-like weapon that add a whole new layer of strategy to the way players approach a hunt.

In addition to the live demo we got to witness at E3, GameSpot got a chance to speak with Monster Hunter producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and executive director Kaname Fujioka via an interpreter about the new title. We asked the developers about their decision to bring Monster Hunter back to home consoles, as well as what new elements players can expect to find in the upcoming installment.

GameSpot: What made you decide to bring this particular installment to home consoles after the most recent ones have been on handhelds?

Ryozo Tsujimoto: The series has been going for about 13 years now, so it's quite long in the tooth, but we felt it was a good time to start reevaluating the series and what we want to do with the next title. It was a good opportunity at this particular time because the current generation of technology is so powerful that it will allow us to express a much more dynamic, living world than we've ever been able to before. So when we had that concept in place, it seemed to make sense at this time to take advantage of home console hardware and bring Monster Hunter back to consoles. It's going to let us have a lot more dynamism and monster behavior, more realistic AI, and complex interactions between monsters. Everything, the timing, just seemed to be right for us.

As far as how the game is structured, are all the individual areas of the map still segmented as they were in the older titles? Or has moving to home consoles allowed you make a more seamless world this time around?

Tsujimoto: We still have the idea that there are numbered zones, different locales in the map, but they are seamless. There's no loading screen between individual areas. It's created as each map is one whole area. That's something that has led us to flowing on from that change, making certain key quality-of-life improvements that make more sense within the concept. For example, in the past, whenever you used potions or similar items, your character stopped and did animations and it was kind of the strategy of what do you prioritize. You have to run out of the area and make a loading screen happen, and now that you're in a clear area you have a chance to take your potion. Now that there's no loading screen, it made sense to make it possible to drink potions while you're walking and other things like that. It's an exciting change to the way the maps work. It's really brought in a domino effect on other parts of the gameplay. But it's still at its core a Monster Hunter experience.

I think both of those styles are Monster Hunter gameplay. It's just that you have to make sure that the entirety of the gameplay system works within the context of what you've done with the maps. That's how we approached it.

Has moving to more powerful consoles allowed you to include more elements that you weren't able to achieve before on weaker hardware?

Kaname Fujioka: The power of the current generation of hardware has really let us make these seamless environments come to life, whether it's just literally the graphical detail, more detailed structures with everything like plants and smaller animals and creatures, up to the big monsters. But when it comes to the fact that we've got more complex 3D geography in the maps, with lots of verticality, that means the more complex the environment gets, the more you have to work on the computation of the monster behavior to make it move around those environments realistically because it's not just moving on a flat plane. It's got to climb complex inclines, jump down cliffs, and things like that. To add all those things together into one living, breathing ecosystem, it really does take the power of the current generation.

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How long has Monster Hunter: World been in development?

Fujioka: I think over three years, at the moment. We also had period of about a year when we were first kicking off the project prototyping the concept of what we wanted to do.

Does Monster Hunter: World build off the elements that were introduced in Monster Hunter Generations, like the Hunting Styles and Hunter Arts? Are they going to appear in this game, as well?

Tsujimoto: The Hunter Arts and Hunting Styles from Generations are not featured. Those were part of the concept of that title. That was kind of a celebration of Monster Hunter history to that point. One of the focuses of that title was flashy, unique action style, which was going to make everyone pick which one of the four styles they wanted to use. That was that concept. Every title we make, we have a key concept, and from that flows forth the gameplay decisions. That doesn't necessary mean that once you made a decision for one game it makes sense to just bring wholesale all those elements back into the next one. So, as I said earlier, World, the name itself, is the concept for our new title. It's a comprehensive, detailed, vivid, living, breathing world that you're just going to dive right into as a hunter. That's where all of our gameplay decisions flowed from.

Fujioka: We want you to think about this world and also use it. It's something you can use strategically as part of your hunting strategy. You've got this new sub-weapon or sub-tool called the Slinger. It's something you can use not just to hook shot off of parts of the environment, but you can pick up rocks and things and use it to fire them out or even create distractions. You'll also be able to use it to cause environmental effects which damage the monster. Thinking about the world that way, as an aspect of your actual hunting action, is a concept we wanted to go for this time. That's something that's just separate from what we did on Generations.

There was one weapon in the game's debut trailer that looked kind of like a machine gun. Are there going to be new types of weapons that change your fighting styles in this game?

Fujioka: It's the same 14 weapon classes that are in the existing series. It's separated into blades and guns, as usual. What you saw in the trailer was actually a special kind of ammo mode for the heavy bowgun. It's not a separate machine gun weapon. When you load up a certain kind of special ammo, you've got a certain amount of time in which you can create this machine gun damage effect. But we haven't added a machine gun. It's within the same construct within the existing weapon classes.

Every weapon has been reevaluated, re-looked at, with new moves, new combos. So even if you're a veteran hunter and you know your favorite weapon really well, you're going to have a lot of fun diving in and finding out what's new and what's changed.

As far as online play goes, is that going to be restricted by region, or will it be opened up to let you hunt with players from other regions as well?

Tsujimoto: It's first-ever worldwide global servers, part of the "world" concept. You can team up with anyone from around the world to go hunting with. Of course, if you choose to filter it by, say, language, you can limit your search as well. But, yeah, you can for the first time ever combine Europe, American, and Japanese servers into one.

That sounds more ambitious than previous titles. Has it been more difficult on the server side to ensure that players can team up with other hunters from all around the world?

Tsujimoto: We were totally ready to take on that approach from the start, because in the past Monster Hunter has usually released first in Japan. You've got a period of time [before] Western releases. I think the shortest was six months for Generations, but often up to close to a year before the Western version comes out. We knew right away from the start for this game we wanted to have a simultaneous global launch window for the title. We're planning to do that for World in early 2018. When you do that, it just makes so much sense. The title is releasing everywhere at the same time, then you want to make all the players be able to play with each other. So we have taken appropriate steps since the beginning of the project to be ready to bring global servers for online quests.

Will Monster Hunter: World also feature PS4 Pro or Xbox One X support?

Tsujimoto: Yeah, we're planning to support both Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. It's great to see the specs are finally coming out for Xbox One X. So, yeah, we're gearing up to bring you guys support for those platforms.

In Monster Hunter Generations and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, there were a lot of really fun collaboration items and gear. Can we expect those in Monster Hunter: World as well?

Tsujimoto: Yeah, we were looking at bring some fun collaborations to you. It's the kind of situation where, because we just announced the title a couple days ago, we can't even go talk to the guys we want to collaborate with until the veil of secrecy is lifted at E3. [Laughs] So we're going to try to bring something fun for you guys.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

kevknez

Kevin Knezevic

Associate news editor, Star Fox Adventures apologist.
Monster Hunter: World

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Avatar image for Itzsfo0
Itzsfo0

@timmyp1982: doesnt matter either way ive played mh titles on numerous devices all played n looked fine watered down is a subjective thing. Could careless what device its on 60fps on psp with freedom unite n mh3 its never been a graphically demanding franchise...too much emphasis on power or weak or underpowered specs n monster hunter equals lol. Wii ran game at 720p. At 60fps w no struggle games are not only average in size but never in the previous 11 north american releases been all that demanding...besides article in full version states more time is being spent on the handheld version of the other entry..generally ppl who buy mh titles in both n.a. and japan do so on handhelds like pokemon...you dont need a pc for these kinds of titles. Mh world looks a bit different approach wise but all previous titles didnt need to be "watered down" lol like pikmin pokemon n mario...whatever device runs said game is more then enough besides i could careless if im,playing a inferior or superior version of any said game lol nintendo monster hunter titles needing pc is like rayman 3d needing pc to ru. In highest specs...this isnt rdr 2 or witcher 3...besides with future devices..1080p at 60fps on consoles hybrids devices n pcs will be easy...not even noteworthy...future is...no desktop towers or consoles just slim small tabler n smartphone looking devices n microprocessing taken to the next level if the samsung galaxy 8+ is any evidence of future...pc vs console wont even matter neither will exist in their current forms. You will just have a smartphone looking device pocket sized n can walk into cafes plugvia usb or some future hdmi input into monitor n keyboard n mouse or controller...play..watch whatever the. Unplug...and its a phone again w apps n gps n text n talk....a pc/phone/tv/browser/gaming device/kindle all wrapped into 1 package for $799.99 at best buy...power n customization n pc elitesm or console plebs wont matter. Micro n nano processing n slim pocket sized devices will replace laptops desktops consoles n notebooks/netbooks (hell they r barely alive now) but all that said...who wants to play mh on pc ? Lol kinda....eh... even console...eh ...mh is like pokemon....on the go monster hunting unless u got an ultra thin laptop id rather play on vita switch or 3ds on the go while traveling. Ease/accessibility ...28 yrs of gaming and 99% of the devices ive used have been more then serviceable...watered down is just a word...i dont do fanboyism nor brand loyalty..i just own them all console handheld n pc...but ill take mobility over graphical superiority any day of the week. Lugging around a giant heat inducing tower just so i can brag that my overpriced gtx 1080 can run a cute n cuddly monster hunter title at slightly better resolution n frames...when even on a standard psp 20008 model it could run n perform w stability (for alot cheaper might i add) but meh every1 is different no good or bad right or wrong. Not trying to be arrogant or condescending but seriously a game like this (but again this new mh may be going a diff graphical style...more serious...higher resolution textures etc etc) but the bulk of past mh releases have been INTENDED to look gouache art style...i.e. semi cartooniish..

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Externalpower43

@timmyp1982: Absolutely. The developers souls are probably filled with shame each and every time they see their beautiful game watered down to console standards.

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NoobertoSolano

@timmyp1982: You do not have much options if you only own a PC anyways :D

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Johnnyboy787

I think im going to buy a PS Pro and this when its release.

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Prats1993

@lonesamurai1: No they were going to call it Monster Hunter 5 but they changed the title so it wouldn't alienate newcomers.

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Thanatos2k

It's shocking, Capcom devs that actually appear to want to improve the experience and not just squeeze as much money as they can out of the audience.

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RSM-HQ

Very excited for this!

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AccursedGamer

Great article! I am disappointed that hunter arts and styles aren't featured in MH:World though.

:(

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Otterbee

@AccursedGamer: I didn't care for the Hunter Arts/Styles concept. Admittedly, I haven't played that much of Generations, but I'm up to 3* and 4* (I think), and the Hunters Arts/Styles thing was kind of lost on me. It seemed to be "shoehorned" in and I didn't bother really exploring them.

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RSM-HQ

@otterbee: And yet the worst part of X/Gen is it doesn't have G-Rank!

XX does, but in all honesty it's the easiest G-Rank run I've ever had.

This is why I think Nintendo loyalists should shut up about the complaining "World is the casual Monster Hunter game"; that's exactly what the spin-off X-series was.

World we still don't know till we all get our Hunter hands on it. I'm excited and any true MH fan probably is as well.

The series has a real chance to evolve, something I feel hasn't been done since 4G. Let's all evolve with it.

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Otterbee

@RSM-HQ: I've only ever put significant hours into MH3U on the Wii U. I have a very hard time making any substantial progress on any of the handheld iterations of the game. I just don't play that much on my handheld. I still buy them, and I still love playing them.

Regardless of what World is, I'm sure I'll enjoy it immensely. I have the same feelings as you do about the game evolving.

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RSM-HQ

@AccursedGamer: Didn't care for them myself.

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Alexander_Mark

1. Should've brought a new MH title to the Switch

2. Should've developed Dragons Dogma 2 for consoles/pc

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Utnayan

@alexander_mark: 1) Your Switch doesn't have the power to heat up my morning Poptart. 2) That's coming as well. And also not getting Switch support.

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Alexander_Mark

@Utnayan: 1) + 2) lol ye good thing I'll be able to stream all my pc games in ultra to my Switch for free via Rainway.

poptarts are also bad for you. here are some healthier alternatives my salty friend:

https://greatist.com/health/healthy-fast-breakfast-recipes

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Doctor_MG

@Utnayan:

The Switch must really grind your gears, because Ive never seen someone so negative about a piece of plastic before.

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RedTailX99

@alexander_mark: Nah, I'm actually excited for MHW. You Nintendo boys hogged the series for too long. lol

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Thanatos2k

@alexander_mark: 1. Who cares.

2. Yes.

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RSM-HQ

@alexander_mark:

1) A new one? They probably will, but World is the teams priority.

2) Itsuno sans game is potentially Dogma 2, the MH team didn't make Dragons Dogma.

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mhfon

@alexander_mark: Do you know when the Dragons Dogma remaster will come to ps4/x1?

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snugglebear

Never played a MH game before. Is it going to be a single player game that you can opt to play with others online or always MP?

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DarkAztaroth

@snugglebear: there's both, generally with different missions and a few bosses exclusive to either solo or multiplayer.

I prefer to start solo because the progression makes more sense there and its more enjoyable to me.

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Otterbee

@snugglebear: Get ready for a treat!! I fell in love with this series back on Wii U (MH3U), and it's a GREAT series! I've always preferred the game on consoles, but I've bought every handheld iteration since. Yes, you can play it solo, but if you've never played an MH game, there may be a very steep learning curve. My first intro to the series was actually MH Freedom Unite, which I had a VERY difficult time playing (it was on PSP where I played it).

So, if you have someone that you can co-op with on the game that has played the series, you will have a much better/easier time. Co-op is absolutely waaay more fun anyway!!

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hughesyboozy

@snugglebear: I've always played them single player, as none of my mates are into this type of game, so there's no issues doing that.

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RSM-HQ

@snugglebear: Yes_

https://www.gamespot.com/forums/games-discussion-1000000/this-e3-is-killing-me-monster-hunter-world-hype-ov-33395007/#15

Check post #11 and #14

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adsparky

@snugglebear: You can go solo, but is encouraged to go multi since it's easier to beat the monsters that way.

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