Monster Hunter is the Next Series to Get a Pokémon Go Makeover

Monster Hunters battling a monster in a city

Niantic has been casting its Sauron-like eye over gaming franchises far and wide in its search for the next Pokémon Go-like hit. That search has now ended with the announcement of Monster Hunter Now.

Judging from the teaser trailer, Monster Hunter Now is exactly what you’d expect from a location-based entry in the series.

How Does Monster Hunter Now Work?

You create a character, outfit them with your favourite weapons from the series proper, and then actually wander around the real world in search of monsters to slay.

Find one and you can initiate combat – either alone or with others. This plays out almost exactly like in the mainline games, with you hacking, slashing, diving, and guzzling potions to remain alive long enough to get in the killer blow.

However, combat is designed to last up to a maximum of 75 seconds (thanks Eurogamer!) so you can get some battles in while you’re busy, or on the commute.

Is Monster Hunting All There is to it?

When not battling monsters you can craft equipment out of their corpses, outfit your Palico partner, and visit PokéStops. No, they won’t actually be called PokéStops, we just don’t know what Now’s version of them is.

We particularly love how the paintball item works in Monster Hunter Now. You can use it to mark any monster you encounter in the world, then battle it later in the day when you have more time. This is genius, and incredibly respectful of your time.

Sounds Fun!

If you can pardon a bit of personal opinion, of all of the Pokémon Go spin-offs that have arrived so far, Monster Hunter Now actually makes the most sense.

Quintessentially, it’s a similar gameplay loop to Pokémon Go. Get out there and hunt (and even capture!) monsters. Yes, you don’t make a hat out of Pikachu’s cold, dead corpse in Pokémon, but it’s a similar loop.

Not only that, but I always found the multiplayer in Pokémon Go to be needlessly complicated and off-putting. If Monster Hunter Now is as simple as go to nearby monster and fight alongside whoever else is there, then that’s genius.

Besides that, the level of polish on this one is insanely high. Battles look almost identical to their big screen counterparts, with an impressive sense of scale for the monsters themselves.

How do I Sign Up?

So, suffice to say, I’m pretty excited about this one. If you are too, head on over to the official site to sign up for closed beta, which kicks off a week from today on April 25.

The official launch is in September for everyone else.

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