Monster Hunter Wilds looks to be a graceful evolution of the popular franchise

Monster Hunter Wilds
(Image credit: Capcom)

Since debuting two decades ago, Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise has become the company’s premiere action RPG and most successful foray into online multiplayer. Slaying large beasts with oversized weapons while crafting gear from their body parts is a core gameplay loop that refuses to get old. 

Add online multiplayer with friends into the mix and it’s no wonder the 97 million unit-selling franchise is second only to Resident Evil as the Japanese developer’s best-selling franchise. Now, the upcoming Monster Hunter Wilds seems similarly set for success, especially with new features like crossplay between platforms.

Back to base-ics

Monster Hunter Wilds

(Image credit: Capcom)

Launching next year on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC, Capcom held a lengthy hands-off presentation at its Summer Game Fest 2024 booth. Played by Monster Hunter Wilds director Yuya Tokuda, gameplay began in the Windward Plains region at a base camp. 

Here, players interact with Gemma the Smithy in preparation for a hunt of the large monster named the Alpha Doshaguma.  As players prepare, several things become noticeable. Alongside a more streamlined approach to crafting, certain base camps and villages will be known for certain items. 

Once ready for the hunt, you’ll find that mounts can be ridden anywhere on the map. Speaking of the map, Capcom representatives mentioned that it’s around two times larger than those found in other titles, while offering seamless transitions without loading screens. 

As with other modern Capcom titles, Monster Hunter Wilds has been built in the RE Engine that powers everything from recent Resident Evil titles to Street Fighter 6 and Dragon’s Dogma 2. From what was shown, the game looks gorgeous from character design to technical aspects like lighting and various rendering effects; especially during the Alpha Doshaguma sequence. 

The hunt commences

Monster Hunter Wilds

(Image credit: Capcom)

Once ready to leave for the hunt and head out into the field, players can build mobile camps on certain areas of the open map. Players will have to be careful as they aren’t invincible and can be destroyed by nearby beasts. 

With eyes laid on the Alpha Doshaguma, which looks like a monstrous cross between a lion and a bear, it’s hanging out in the middle of a lightly grassed field with smaller versions of the beast surrounding it. We watched as Tokuda crept behind it for a stealth attack before running toward a nearby desert as the Alpha Doshaguma and its pack gave chase. 

During the desert chase, we witnessed how environmental traps work. A nearby snake monster had the ability to create sand traps that knocked out the smaller Alpha Doshagumas, which made the battle more of a one-on-one affair. 

During the presentation, this came up a few more times during the hunt including using the grappling hook to make rocks fall on top of monsters in the cave or to create vine traps. There’s also a cool moment in the desert where a sandstorm with lightning made its way into the battle. 

As seen in the trailer, weather effects will change gameplay and visuals in real-time. While running away from the Alpha Doshagumas, it’s possible to get another Alpha beast of the region to fight the target monster where it was revealed that they’ll have wound points that can be exploited for more damage. 

Monster Hunter Wilds

(Image credit: Capcom)

Interestingly enough, a wounded monster can also attract smaller beasts that’ll try to attack it which players can use to their advantage. One nice touch is that there’s an automatic mode when chasing monsters so players can focus on aiming projectile weapons as they run away. There have been some changes to combat through focus mode, too, that allows different strategies for attacks and defensive maneuvers. 

Later into the fight, the player hunter sent out an SOS signal with a flare gun to bring NPCs along (or other players during online multiplayer). This is also where players could see some of the other builds available through the other players as Capcom representatives mentioned 14 weapon types in total. 

Once the storm was over and the fight went from the fields to desert to cave and back to the grassy field, that area underwent a condition known as ‘Plentiful’ which means more resources were available in the area. Of course, once the monster was slain, it could be carved up for its resources as in older titles.

From the presentation, it looks as if Monster Hunter Wilds enhances every aspect that made Monster Hunter World and Monster Hunter Rise such huge sellers. The visuals are fantastic, the hunting aspects even more refined and the online multiplayer looks to be more seamless than ever. We’re excited to see even more from the upcoming game as its 2025 release date steadily draws near.  

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Ural Garrett

Ural Garrett is an Inglewood, CA-based journalist and content curator. His byline has been featured in outlets including CNN, MTVNews, Complex, TechRadar, BET, The Hollywood Reporter and more.