Monster Hunter Wilds Preview – An Expansive World Awaits

    During Summer Game Fest: Play Days 2024, I had the opportunity to view a hands-off presentation of Capcom’s Monster Hunter Wilds, which is set to release in 2025 across PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. The presentation was around 30 minutes in length, offering a taste of The Forbidden Lands, the new world where Wilds takes place.

    From the outside, Monster Hunter Wilds combines many features found in both Monster Hunter World and Monster Hunter Rise. Rideable mounts return with Seikrets, which you can ride across the map to travel. Environmental destruction and monster habits are also here, which makes for tons of fun. However, loads of new ideas have been implemented beyond these returning features. 

    I noticed immediately how massive the map was this go-around. We were told it’s over 2x as big as the previous biggest map, meaning there’s some serious ground to cover and explore. Monster Hunter Wilds marks the third series entry to offer one continuous map that features zones inside of it. Previous entries had each zone as its own map, with loading in-between zones. Over 20 zones are available to explore across the world, with each offering unique environments and vegetation (or the lack thereof). 

    Additionally, you’ll no longer need to teleport back to camp after completing a quest. A pair of Palicoes will hop around and build up a quick mobile camp in any area. Capcom has opted to allow players to continue directly from the place where the quest was completed, so you can continue exploring the world and slaying beasts with no inconvenience. While this was never a major issue with prior titles, I’m so happy to see the developers implement this feature, as it keeps the immersion and exploration at a high. 

    As you explore the map, one of the biggest new features you’ll run into involves the weather. Certain events will occur as you traverse the map, which can force you to determine whether it’s worth running through a sandstorm and enduring the risks or waiting it out and having a harder time finding certain monsters. The environments will also change over the course of time, offering new challenges. Monsters will migrate depending on the resources available, so you can expect to be surprised each time you play the game.

    Small changes like this really made the world seem more alive than ever. Of course, new changes to monsters and their engagement within each environment are also incredibly apparent. You can now run into massive herds of creatures and run with the pack or encounter a few monsters following the alpha. It’s all up to you and how you choose to explore the world.

    By far, the thing that stood out to me the most over the course of the demo was the incredible animation work throughout. I saw multiple encounters with the Balahara, a new monster that lives under the sand. If you run atop where one is hiding, the entire area can turn into a sand pitfall. Your Seikret and Hunter will both scramble to get out of the area, with impressive animations for plenty of encounters like these.

    There are also the new towns, which are more lively than ever. Simple NPCs seemed to each have unique animations and encounters, with the presentation showcasing the player purchasing some cheese from a store. Later on, we saw this cheese used in a meal over some steak, and this animation was a massive step up from Monster Hunter World.  Small, minute details like these are essential in building an immersive world, and from my initial impressions, it seems like Capcom has excelled in providing this.

    Capcom stated that a total of 14 different weapon classes will be available at launch, with multiple subclasses for each of them. Familiar classes like Dual Blades and Greatsword were spotted. You can instantly teleport back to the mobile camp and switch up weapon classes at your leisure. Make haste, though, as the monsters tend to destroy camps if they see them in the wild.

    This Monster Hunter Wilds preview had the player face a Doshaguma, one of the new creatures found in the game. To find where the Doshagumas live, Capcom opened the map, which is extensive and extremely helpful. You can now search for specific materials, monsters, and all sorts of things directly on the map, allowing you to pin a location and go immediately. This is great if you’re in need of specific items to craft new gear or are looking for a certain monster to fight. 

    Once arrived at the Doshaguma site, we discussed strategy and determined which Doshaguma was the alpha. Then, the fight commenced, and the player had the Doshaguma pack chase him across a large portion of the map to a more open area. There, traps were set, reinforcements were called, and shots were fired while riding the Seikret. At one point, Capcom ran across the map to find a new monster and brought it back to the alpha Doshaguma to deal massive damage.

    The presentation showcased the player placing barrels around a sleeping monster and rolling one toward the others, colliding and blowing up the foe. It’s creativity like this that has me most excited for Monster Hunter Wilds, as I’m already envisioning all the fun ways players will choose to take on each enemy.

    I’m so interested to see what other features will be available in Monster Hunter Wilds, as the possibilities seem endless. The Monster Hunter team has placed creativity as a focus for this release, as you really can take on quests any way you’d like. While this has been a staple for the series in recent years, this game seems to place an emphasis on creativity with the world being so alive. Whether you prefer to lay carefully placed traps, team up with allies and forget the defense, or even wrangle monsters to attack one another, Monster Hunter Wilds seems to let you do it all. 

    Overall, I was blown away by the demo Capcom showcased at Summer Game Fest: Play Days.  Although I’ll certainly need substantial hands-on time before affirming this, Wilds looks like an incredible step up from Monster Hunter World and a potential 2025 Game of the Year contender as of now. I cannot wait to get my hands on it and explore The Forbidden Lands with others.

    Noah Hunter
    Noah Hunter
    Noah is Final Weapon’s Editor-in-Chief. He co-founded the website in June 2019 and has been writing for it ever since. In total, he has over five years of writing experience across many publications, including IGN Entertainment. His favorite series include Xeno and Final Fantasy.

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