Fourteen weapons, each with four different play styles, provided many different means to hunt down the Great Maccao in the PAX East demo of Monster Hunter Generations.
Each weapon worked in different ways, providing many different ways to approach a hunt. The Great Sword offered devastating charged hits and a block function, but could be unwieldy in combat. The Long Sword was a quick weapon, and each successful strike on a monster would add to its might. Sword and Shield let players use items even with a weapon drawn and also offers good mobility. Dual Blades let the player slash quickly, and also offered a Demon Mode that increased power.
Hammer was a high damage, close quarters weapon that could stun monsters, the Charge Blade uses a sword and shield that build up power until they unleash Axe Mode, the Switch Axe can change between its axe mode and a sword mode that uses phials that add elemental effects, and the Gunlance fires shells.
The Lance works at long range, letting the player block with a giant shield as well as move and counter while blocking. The Hunting Horn lets players strengthen themselves and other hunters. The Insect Glaive lets players control Kinsects that suck extracts from monsters to increase the player’s power and also allows a little jump. The Light Bowgun attacks from a distance, letting players shoot enemies for damage or fire on other hunters to boost their stats, and the Heavy Bowgun offers superior power and a Crouching Fire Attack.
The Bow is a mobile weapon that uses coatings and various shot types, and includes a new Power Shot. The Prowler provides handy, agile feline support, and makes it so acorns keep you from fainting.
Each weapon drew from four different modes to further allow the player to customize their play style. Guild style was the most traditional and familiar one for Monster Hunter veterans. The Striker gives the player access to three Hunter Arts as opposed to the usual one, the Adept had access to guards that allowed player to counter perfectly blocked monster attacks, and the Aerial style lets the player do a jump that can mount a monster, toppling them for free hits if it succeeds.
For the demo, the Dual Blades were chosen as well as Aerial style. Great Maccao, the chosen hunt, was somewhere out in the distant fields. A pair of companions followed on the journey, assisting the player character with buffs when Maccao, a dinosaur that could spring forward using its powerful tail, hunted the player down instead.
Maccao used high mobility to dart around the screen, pausing only to hop on its tail, telegraphing its rushing attack. This moment allowed for use of the Aerial style’s signature move. This involved a short roll, followed by a leap, then ending with another roll. Should this leap make contact with a monster, it will send the character hurtling into the air. If the player lands several solid hits on the way down, it will start up a short minigame.
Maccao attempted to throw the character off, and to stay on, the player has to hold R while tapping a button. An animal skull symbol shows up on the screen, sliding across a bar as this occurs. If the player hits the button too many times when the skull is red, they will be thrown off, but if they hit it enough times when it isn’t, they will eventually down the monster.
Given the benefits of downing a monster for free hits, it is challenging to get the aim down just right to land this attack. The rolling jump can be difficult to aim, and if the monster doesn’t stand still, the jump attack can be a challenge to land. Even so, as a means to dodge an attack while potentially launching a high-damage counter, it provides an exciting too.
The character was also equipped with a Hunter Art. These were powerful abilities that charged up as the player damaged their prey, and could be used when their power bar was full. This particular ability, Wind Blade, would let the character use a handful of spinning strikes that needed to be aimed at the monster. These useful arts can be leveled up with quests when the full game launches, and are typically bound to weapons/characters.
Maccao would begin to drool and behave differently as he was further damaged, fleeing or looking for food as the fifteen minute hunt began to wind down. He eventually stopped to go to sleep, but did so in an open field. It did not go well for him.
Once downed, another new aspect of Monster Hunter Generations was made clear. When it came time to carve up the carcass, the A button just needed to be held rather than moving around various gathering spots, making getting parts much simpler.
A few other changes have been made to help players get into groups for more complex hunts much easier. The group-making online has been tweaked to make it easier to get into more specific groups, letting players find players for their exact task more easily.
Capcom has also promised a few collaboration items involving Fire Emblem and Okami will be worked into the game.
Players will be able to engage in hunts against The Fated Four in Monster Hunter Generations this Summer.