During the first business day of TGS 2017 this was the first booth I went to. I got in line and was ushered through the line, but to my surprise this was a fast pass line and I was given a ticket stamped for a later time in the day. My cohort and myself returned at the appointed time, but we still had to wait for roughly an hour. However, I can confidently say it was worth the wait.
While standing in line I spoke with one of the staff working the booth. She handed me quite a thick book (all pics are at the bottom of the article) with instructions. While my katakana and hiragana or okay, kanji is still a bit of a challenge for me. The staff member was nice enough to get us an English version without even having to ask. We were then grouped with two other people, both Japanese. We spoke with them for a bit and planned what we were going to do.
For this demo you had the choice of one of three different monsters to hunt. We chose to try the hardest monster out. This was probably a mistake since I’ve only played a couple of MH titles and my cohort hadn’t played any at all. We also picked out what weapons we’d each be using in our hunt. The weapons to choose from in Monster Hunter World include a heavy bowgun, light bowgun, bow, insect glaive, charge blade, switch axe, gunlance, lance, hunting horn, hammer, long sword, dual blades, sword & shield, and great sword. I went with the charge blade while my cohort went with the bow. In the book we were given, it showed the ease of use for each weapon. This made choosing pretty easy for the most part.
After moving ahead in line a bit, we were eventually greeted with a ten minute tutorial video on how to play. It was pretty nice, because it told you exactly what you needed to do in order to make the most of your time with the game. Somewhat shortly thereafter, we were ushered to our playing stations. We played the PS4 version of the game.
We dove right in accepting the quest we’d decided on previous to that and started the hunt. The game, for the most part, plays exactly like any monster hunter game you’ve played before. There are a couple of differences that stand out to make the game incredibly co-op friendly. Each station also had a staff member on hand to guide us and help us along. One of the most useful tools were the “Scoutflies” they assist in helping tracking monsters through their footprints or gashes in rock faces. These Scoutflies guide you to other tracks and eventually lead you to the monster.
One problem my group encountered very quickly was that we were very unorganized. We almost instantly split up and went different ways. Which, all in all, was not a bad idea because we needed to find our target. Sadly for my cohort, he ran into the big baddy first, the Anjanath. It very much resembles a big bad T-Rex, and like most monsters, has massive amount of HP. I had a problem getting back to the group, but then I was assisted by the attendant to use fast travel to go to a camp that was close to the fight. You can also drop right in on the fight as well if you desire. These kind of additions made the game seem like it was going to be super co-op friendly.
Another useful tool was the Slinger. It’s basically a hookshot that helps you maneuver around the map, as well as around monsters. The Slinger can also act as a slingshot and hurl stones and other items and baddies. Sadly, we did not have access to Palicoes (the cute cat support characters) for this demo. Of course, all the other trimming expected of a Monster Hunter game are there, such as cooking and crafting. However, due to the time constraints with the demo we didn’t have a chance to experience all of this.
Some hardcore fans of the series are disappointed that the game has more of a western straightforward feel to it. On the flip side, as a lighthearted fan, I’m quite excited. I do think Capcom is trying their best not to push these die-hard fans away with the inclusion of things like a classical control method. The game is going to be released January 26th, 2018. If you’re looking for something to play with friends around that time, keep an eye out!