One of the biggest surprises at Sony's E3 presentations this year was Monster Hunter World for the PlayStation 4 (and Xbox One). Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise is one of the company's most popular, and therefore appeared across plenty of consoles, but this will be the first Monster Hunter game on this generation of consoles. The thing is though, the trailer for the game showcased a very different Monster Hunter experience than what Monster Hunter fans are accustomed to, and that's split the Monster community on those who welcome the changes present in Monster Hunter World, and those who prefer a traditional Monster Hunter experience.
The Monster Hunter games, despite their popularity within gaming circles, are surprisingly complex. The way Monster Hunter games play, favoring complex systems that juggle item management, hunting and gathering, and time limits, are frankly a bit obtuse and as such the series has cultivated a very dedicated fanbase. The Monster Hunter games are very hard to jump into without a guide, but the trailer for Monster Hunter World demonstrated a very different experience, one that appears to appeal to more mainstream gaming tastes.
The core difference between the two Monster Hunter camps is how Monster Hunter World, at first glance, softens some of the more complex edges that have made the Monster Hunter series so popular among the hardcore set. This divided the opinion of Monster Hunter fans across the internet range from those believing that these changes ruined the PS4 and Xbox One entry, and those who feel that Monster Hunter is overdue for a change.
MHW seems so off. It's trying to hard to be both a MH game but also tries to appeal to westerns. It most likely will be fun but who knows— Jonathan (@jxcorr) June 13, 2017
It's not hard to see why long time fans of the Monster Hunter series would rally against Monster Hunter World. As mentioned previously, the Monster Hunter series has a surprisingly steep learning curve, and anything that could potentially lower that curve could rub fans who've spent years mastering Monster Hunter's systems, the wrong way. At the same time, there are those who see the benefits of redoing certain longstanding Monster Hunter quirks.
I really hope Monster Hunter Worlds experiments with being a modern action game while Monster Hunter Switch is the more traditional MH game.— Trashy but Flashy (@Major_Ripclaw) June 13, 2017
For what it's worth, the press release for Monster Hunter World does paint a vastly different game than what fans are used to. Monster Hunter World is designed for four player co-op with a seamless system that could do away with the area-to-area map that the Monster Hunter games are known for. The game keeps the skill based progression system and crafting mechanics, but adds a flexible, drop-in, online multiplayer and a greater emphasis on a continuous environment.
As a Monster Hunter novice myself, I've only just dipped my toes in Monster Hunter's traditional systems. I think they're valuable for the core experience, but it does remain to be seen what the full Monster Hunter World experience will look like when we get a more in-depth look at the title at E3.