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Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Brings New Weapons, Mechanics and Monsters in 2015

Rejoice fellow hunters! Capcom will be bringing Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate stateside in early 2015.  During a Treehouse session earlier this evening, some of the developers showed off some new weapons, mechanics, and gameplay elements featured in the next addition to Capcom’s hit franchise.

Starting out, the demo team opened the showing with a hunt against a new monster, the Tetsucabra.  Said monster bears a resemblance to a large frog with giant tusks that can pull large boulders out of the ground and hurl them at players. During the battle against the cave dwelling amphibian, we also got to see a new weapon in action, the bug glaive. The pole arm looks to feature some quick and fluid combos similar to the great sword but also allows hunters to vault and around monsters. The weapon also seems to feature the ability to launch an insect at monsters, which will then siphon some form of essence depending on the body part it latches on to.
The fight against the Tetsucabra also showcased a new feature which allows hunters to occasionally leap onto the back on a monster and continually strike it while struggling against being knocked off. If another player hits a monster while their comrade is in this state, they will be instantly knocked off and the monster in question will resume attacking.  For the first time in the series, it also seems like players will be able to jump from walls and even in some combos to influence attacks in new ways.

While battling the monster, the team also talked about what goes into the process of designing the creatures featured in Monster Hunter. Members of the team regularly visit zoos and observe animals in natural habitats to note their behavior and movements. They also take pictures and study up on various aspects of animal biology to better craft monsters that mimic some of their real life inspirations. Apparently, some of the staff are also responsible for creating the sounds some monsters make, even going so far as to really get into their performances by taking their shirts off as they roar into a mic.
Gore Magala
With the Tetsucabra down, the demo team showcased another new monster, the game’s flagship foe, the Gore Magala.  This new creature is said to play a pivotal role in the game’s single player campaign and is a key portion of one of the game’s overarching mysteries. The Gore Magala also makes use of a new ailment type known simply as virus.  Once afflicted, players will steadily build up the ailment and if it reaches its maximum incubation, players will no longer be able to naturally recover lost health and receives full damage from attacks. However, if a hunter is able to dish out enough damage on a monster while the virus incubates, it will instead grant a temporary stat boost and a short immunity to contracting the virus status.

While we weren’t able to see the conclusion of the Gore Magala fight, what we’ve gotten see of the game thus far looks very promising.  Having recently drunk the Monster Hunter Kool-Aid myself, I’m really looking forward to some new environments, weapons, and monsters to hunt.  While I’d like to see a version of the game also make it to the WiiU, I’m ready to sink some quality time into MH4U on my 3DSXL early next year.