Monster Hunter Wilds Interview: How Capcom is evolving its greatest franchise


In 2018, the immediate success of Monster Hunter World catapulted the Monster Hunter game and series into the global spotlight. Rich maps, deep combat, and memorable monsters helped it become one of Capcom’s most successful projects ever. Today, millions of players are eagerly waiting for the sequel from 2025, Wild monster hunters.

New footage from State of Play and Summer Game Fest gave players a lot to explore, from recent monsters and abilities to challenging, vigorous weather. However, a recent hands-on demo at Summer Game Fest allowed me to see live gameplay and, most importantly, how the game’s recent features impact the experience.

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In just 30 minutes of demo gameplay, I saw a few things that fascinated me about Wilds. The recent map is much more detailed, especially when it comes to verticality. Some of the maps in the World were quite dense and could overlap or even reverse. Perfect for a monster den, but sometimes confusing for players. This time around, thanks to a map and recent UI elements that tell you which direction the target monster is (and how far away it is), tracking your targets is much easier.

The monster’s target was Doshaguma, recent to Monster Hunter Wilds. In Wilds, players can select a monster on their map and start a mission by engaging it in field combat (Capcom has not confirmed how players can start quests or other types of quests in the game). After the first beat, an eerie piece of music bursts forth, launching the journey with full orchestral power and a gripping, dramatic sense of conflict. As the hunt continues, Balahar’s sand leviathan appears with a deep pit that sucked Doshaguma down. They fight in a classic Turf War battle, with smaller monsters roaming around. Chaotic and intense, and will soon intensify.

Shortly after the battle begins, an impressive wall of dust and sand appears on the horizon. Soon it covers the area in blue-black darkness, lit by random lightning strikes. These weather events change the monsters that can appear on the map, including the mysterious recent Apex creature that shoots lightning straight from its head.

Immediately after the presentation, I was able to talk to the trio behind the game to get more information about what I had just seen: series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto, director Yuya Tokuda, and art director/executive director Kaname Fujioka.

Blog about PlayStation: : The release of Monster Hunter World in 2018 was a huge success. How has its unprecedented success influenced your approach to Monster Hunter Wilds?

Ryozo Tsujimoto: What we did for World, both the base game and the expansion, really made an impact on Monster Hunter Wilds. Our approach to keeping players interested in the world helped us learn what players wanted to see in the future. This doesn’t just mean things we wanted to improve in the game, but also how we communicate information to players and how to make it easier for them to get into the game.

When it comes to making it easier for players to get into the game, Monster Hunter Wilds offers plenty of quality of life improvements. For example, the map seemed much more detailed and useful for navigation. Things like quest and monster tracking, item location, and a great sense of map verticality. Any other recent features that returning players can look forward to?

Yuya Tokuda: Have you noticed how much easier it is now to reach and find monsters on the map? We received feedback that they were sometimes hard to access, especially on maps that are very vertical and contain a lot of different geographic features. And with the introduction of Seikret, it’s easier for players to know where to go and where to find monsters on the field.

In terms of things we’ve improved, one example is that selecting items is now much easier. We really made sure to provide more options for players with different item preferences, as selecting and navigating items was something that could be hard when hunting. But hopefully by giving players more options and customization, we’ve improved the experience for returning players.

The phrase “a living, breathing ecosystem” was used to describe Monster Hunter World. The maps were enormous and full of life, you could entangle monsters in vines, creatures interacted with each other, and so on. How do you expand on this idea and make it seem even bigger and more interactive?

Kaname Fujioka: We focus on designing monster herd behaviors that are truly adapted to each environment and its ecology. That’s why we want to have well-designed, detailed behavior of monsters moving in larger herds. The way the player interacts with them while hunting is our first tiny step towards improving the cordial, lovely environment.

I noticed in the demo that the hunter used both a Greatsword and a Heavy Bow. You can now take two weapons on your expedition. Previously, the player had to decide on a weapon, take it on the expedition, it was your weapon. How did this change come about for the Wilds?

Yuya Tokuda: One of the great things about Wilds is that the environments themselves are much more vigorous and adaptable. The situation changes so often that even the monsters you can hunt can change from moment to moment. It was crucial for us to give players the opportunity to adapt to this and change their own play style. So they can carry different weapons or the same weapon but with different elements in these types of situations. We actually design the game to allow players to adapt to the environment.

Focus and wounds are recent to Wild. Can you talk a little about how they work and how/when a player might want to take advantage of these systems?

Yuya Tokuda: So you don’t have to be in focus mode to deal wounds. Attacking a monster naturally causes damage or wounds. As long as you attack wounds, you will deal more damage to the monster.

Entering focus mode highlights monsters’ wounds, making them much easier to target, and while in focus mode you can perform special attacks that deal more damage to the wounds. However, focus mode isn’t just for targeting wounds.

The cursor that appears on the screen allows you to aim attacks, as well as other moves such as defending and blocking attacks. The real benefit of Focus Mode is in helping players position themselves and distance themselves from monsters, so even players who aren’t as experienced in action games or games like Monster Hunter will be able to perfect their attacks more easily.

The hunt begins when Monster Hunter Wilds arrives on PS5 next year.

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