One great thing about long-running franchises is when they reinvent themselves. Older franchises, that have perhaps become a little long in the tooth, finding themselves needing to reignite the passion and excitement of the early days can sometimes reinvent themselves in surprising and excellent new ways. Just look at Resident Evil 7.

Monster Hunter World aims to do just that. Heck, bringing Monster Hunter to Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC is reinvention enough. But it doesn’t stop there.

It starts with the open-world:

“Coming to Playstation 4 for the first time with Monster Hunter, there’s all kinds of things we couldn’t do before. One thing, for example, is that we now have this very open map. Beforehand, in recent titles, you’ve had little segmented areas, you’d have loading transitions.

Now, there’s no loading screens, it’s a totally seamless, transition-free area. That’s what we can do with the power available to us now.”

This openness cascades throughout the rest of the game, at least the parts we saw at Sony’s E3 press conference on Tuesday morning.

In the gameplay demo we followed a Hunter as he stealthily tracked his prey. Once combat begun, it was a huge, epic affair that saw many different approaches being used. The Hunter used the environment to try and damage the monster, luring it to new places to try and gain an advantage. He also jumped on it at one point, which is quite far removed from the Monster Hunter games that have come before.

Developer Capcom is pushing its new found power in every area it can. The world looks incredible. The AI used to drive its inhabitants is advanced – each creature has its own needs and desires that have nothing to do with standing around waiting for a player character to come along and pick a fight with it.

Multiplayer has also been completely revamped from what’s come before:

“For the first time we have drop-in multiplayer. Say you’re out on a quest and you’re getting into trouble with a monster, you can shoot up an SOS flare, get your buddies to join in halfway through the quest and get them to help you take him down.”

Stealth. Environmental combat. An expansive open world. Drop-in multiplayer. This might be a Monster Hunter game, but it’s like none that have come before it.

Monster Hunter World launches in 2018 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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