Hands-On: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

We got to experience MH4U online–find out what we thought!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 02/07/2015 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

While the demo of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate that I got my hands on a few weeks back was an excellent entry point for the latest installment in the series, one aspect of the game that I didn’t get to truly spend much time with was multiplayer. That changed this past Thursday when Capcom invited Nintendojo to come get some personal hands-on time with the finished game. Sitting with a couple of Capcom representatives, I was able to dive head first into MH4U‘s new multiplayer mode and get to the core of what makes this game so addicting!

If there was one thing that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate had going against it, it was that the game wasn’t terribly inviting to new players. Monster Hunter titles all take a bit of personal investment to learn the ins and outs of the gameplay, but something about MH3U could be particularly intimidating to the uninitiated. This time around, Capcom has made a concerted effort to make MH4U the most accessible entry yet in the series. Right from the beginning, players are asked if they prefer to enter the game without any advice from the computer, or if they would prefer a guiding hand to ease them into the experience. Choosing yes to the in-game tutorials is the easiest way for anyone new to Monster Hunter to learn the ropes.

I’d certainly played and enjoyed my fair share of MH3U, but to say there was a learning curve would be an understatement. With so many menus and options to sift through, there were times I felt positively overwhelmed with information to learn. That hasn’t been the case with MH4U. The game opens with a very fun and exciting introductory battle, and once it ends players are guided through the basics of buying items, equipping armor and weapons, taking on quests, and more. Thanks to the tutorials, I was never left scratching my head trying to figure out what to do next, but it also didn’t feel like I was being led by the nose, either. With a game as deep and nuanced as MH4U, that is very good thing.

Monster Hunter 4 Screenshot

Sitting with the Capcom reps, I got to go on a few multiplayer missions. Setting up a lobby to join was quick and easy; I found my way to them instantly and we were all lounging together ready to embark. Players have the chance to stock up on supplies or eat a meal to enhance their hunter prior to a quest, and it’s also a nice time to work strategy together and figure out which mission to partake in. Quests have special color designations for the type of criteria that must be fulfilled to succeed; whether it’s killing a beast, capturing it, or other goals, quests will be highlighted in different colors, which makes navigating through to find what the player wants all the easier.

When the quest started, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to offer much help with my level 1 hunter; the ladies who were running the hunt were both much higher ranked than I was. Luckily, though, MH4U isn’t made to be as intimidating to new players as something like Call of Duty. I was able to utilize the supplies I had to keep up, and my teammates were able to come to my rescue with healing items when I needed them. It was a truly collaborative feeling experience, and opened my eyes as to what makes Monster Hunter multiplayer so engaging. Chasing enormous beasts around the map, using the game’s wide array of weapons and fluid combat to slay them, was all a joy.

Playing MH4U with other people is like experiencing an entirely different game. It’s not that single player is in any way deficient, it’s just that adding other people to the mix makes it feel like being on a real adventure. By the end of our play session, I’d seen the game from a different angle and had learned quite a few things that I might not have discovered on my own. With both local and online support, it’s going to be very easy for fans to link up in teams of four and go out hunting. There’s something addicting about taking on different monsters and coming home with an assortment of materials to keep boosting and improving a player’s hunter. MH4U is only days away, but the deeper I delve into it, the more and more impressed I become. Look forward to our full review in the coming days!

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