Monster Hunter World makes some big changes to the series formula, and some of them sound rad.
Monster Hunter World is an all-new series entry that may as well be called Monster Hunter 5.
Arekkz had a chance to check it out at E3 2017 and chat with Capcom staff, so he's got some details on how Monster Hunter World progresses the franchise.
One of his main takeaways is that the game now has "flow" - it's lost some of the clumsy, stop-and-start awkwardness of Monster Hunter games which made them feel out-of-step with this generation.
Small examples of the new "flow" include the addition of a quick use item menu (in addition to the scrolling text list you're used to), being able to move while using potions, and gathering resources from nodes more immersively.
Another example is how weapons handle now. All 14 weapons return, although it looks like the Styles system of Monster Hunter X does not, and attacks slow into each other. One example is the bow; you can now attack and then perform a small dash before attacking again. Do this three times successfully and the third attack will be a devastating fire arrow.
Fields are now seamless open worlds, too, so after you enter the field after leaving a hub, you won't see a loading screen until you finish up and head home. This means you can't use the old Monster Hunter trick of running through a loading screen border if you get into trouble.
The good news is, the fields in Monster Hunter World are about 2.5 times the size of anything seen before, and much more dynamic. You'll find frogs that emit a paralysing shock field when struck, and plants that leak poison, as well as boulder traps and more. Players can use these interactive objects, and the terrain in general, to their advantage.
To help with this, players can equip mantles in Monster Hunter World. These cloaks include a ghillie suit-style camouflage cape, and one designed to draw attention so you can lure monsters to favourable terrain - or into each other. Each zone features a hierarchy of monsters you can pit against each other.
To track down a specific beast you can gather clues such as footprints and mucous. Each time you find a trace of your quarry, your scout fly - the fairy-type things seen in the Monster Hunter World reveal during Sony's E3 2017 showcase - will get better and better at pointing out your target.
If you find you've got the wrong gear, you can return to base camp to change over rather than having to quit out altogether. Each zone in Monster Hunter World has several base camps and fast travel is possible.
If you're still in trouble, fire off a flare to open your game to your friends and send a signal for help. You can also form parties before venturing out, as always. Offline play will be available for those who don't enjoy multiplayer. For those who do, gestures and in-game voice chat are available.
It sounds like you won't need fan-made spreadsheets to succeed any more, either; damage numbers will give you an idea of whether your attacks and equipment are effective - no health bars, though. Status effects will be visible as visual effects on your character's body, too.
It's not yet clear whether there'll be much of a story, although there are cutscenes and fully-voiced NPCs to provide a tutorial in the demo build.
To clear up some confusion stemming from early reveal materials: no, underwater combat isn't returning, although you can go swimming. Palicoes and Palico armour are coming back, though.
Monster Hunter world releases in early 2018. Capcom said it's targeting a stable 30fps on all consoles, including PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. No word yet on whether PC will be uncapped.