As we should all be aware by now that Capcom’s Monster Hunter series is pretty good. It’s particularly loved in Japan and now that love is extending to an online version of the game. This is where things get interesting; it’s being developed by Chinese media conglomerate Tencent using CryEngine 3.
It looks impressive to say the least, especially considering how limited the general scope of Monster Hunter is. Monster Hunter Online puts you in a massively open world now complete with vehicles and multiple towns. MHO will include all new monsters, weapons and items in addition to reprising many from previous titles. Tencent is also set on making good use of the CryEngine as they explain the title will have real time lighting producing realistic shadows. Monster Hunter Online will also have in game day/night cycles in addition to real time weather. Monsters in the game can be scarred in addition to being dismembered. This is done to allow the player to feel more accomplishment when slaying a beast or on a long hunt. Furthermore, gameplay and controls are being redesigned to allow for easier playability with a mouse and keyboard which hints towards a PC only release.
Check out the Monster Hunter Online trailer which shows a bit of gameplay video…
If you’re concerned about Tencent as a game developer, it looks like they’ve got some experience under their belt. Besides a few self published titles via it’s QQ Games brand, they also invested the studio that made League Of Legends and own a good chunk of Epic Games. On the other hand, purists of the series may not like the changes being made to the Monster Hunter franchise. Then again, it may not even matter because more often than not, games like these don’t make it stateside.
Monster Hunter OL is set for beta testing in China starting June 2013. The official date is said to be announced some time in May 2013. No word yet regarding Monster Hunter Online getting a US release date.