I post a lot about Monster Hunter here on the bulletin, largely because it’s a fairly unique series and serves as a really interesting study. Look at the community behind Monster Hunter, as well as the development choices made with each game, and you’ll find experiences and trends that defy pretty much everything we expect from games designed in the last 10 years. It’s almost like looking at how an alien would design and enjoy his/her/its games. Fascinating stuff.
Take, for example, the announcement of Monster Hunter Online, via EP Daily. While not the first Monster Hunter game for the PC, Online is noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, it’s using Crytek’s CryENGINE3, seen most recently in Far Cry 3 and Crysis 3. This marks the first time Capcom has licensed the engine for one of its titles. Secondly, it’s being developed in China by Tencent Games. This is the first time a Monster Hunter game has been developed outside of Japan, which is a huge deal if you consider how distinctly Japanese the games look and feel. Finally, the trailer features a solid mix of old, familiar Monster Hunter tropes, alongside some new hinted play mechanics, such as jet ski battles and destructible arena floors. While each game adds a new gimmick to keep things fresh, these proposed changes look to really mess with some of the series’ conventions.
No release date has been announced, and there’s no word on whether or not Monster Hunter Online will be available worldwide. Hopefully, the relative success of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in North America will prompt Capcom to consider other regions for release.