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At Summer Game Fest, I had the incredible opportunity to check out something about Monster Hunter Wilds. I wasn't sure what it would be, but I was pumped because I couldn't be more excited for the game. It turned out to be even better than I imagined, though. I got to see a full gameplay demo played out in real time in front of me, and I don't think I have ever been ready to purchase a game so quickly after seeing it in action for the first time.

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In the demo, we started off in one of the hub areas where you can eat meals, talk to others around you, shop, upgrade, etc. In past games, this is where you would also get quests, but Monster Hunter Wilds takes a different approach. The game is significantly more open-ended, with players choosing what to do at any given time. So, after looking around the area for a bit and seeing Gemma the Smithy in-game, we went right into the world without starting a quest. At first, I was a bit surprised, but then it hit me: there was no loading screen.

Monster Hunter Wilds has no loading screens, meaning you can go directly into the world at any given time just by leaving your base of operations. You can set up temporary bases across the world, which is more than twice the size of previous maps. Watching the hunter ride into the world on his mount so seamlessly was incredible. The game is so seamless that the way we start quests is completely different, too. Instead of starting it at the base, you just use the map to find a monster you want to hunt, and once you start attacking it, the quest will automatically begin. This also means that when completing the quest, you aren't forced back to your base and can continue hunting more monsters.

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Before fighting, we got to look at the gorgeous world you will be roaming. There are different phases worldwide, including ones that make Vigorwasps and other items appear more frequently. One thing noted was that the world would feel alive with deep simulations. For example, a bird was feeding its little bird babies in a tree, and we were told that if we wanted, we could sit and watch these bird babies grow into adult birds and fly off on their own. It isn't quick, but it helps make the world feel more lively and meaningful.

The actual fighting has gotten some insane updates, too. The world feels more alive thanks to the dynamic weather conditions that can affect the fighting, the ability to use two different weapons simultaneously, and the wound system. With the wounding system, monsters will naturally be wounded as you are fighting, and if you hit them enough, there will be some bonus damage that is done. This gives you something to focus on to deal extra damage, which is always a treat.

Seeing how you can interact with the world in Monster Hunter Wilds was so cool. It feels like an evolution from Monster Hunter World in all the right ways. You can set up traps, knock boulders down to crush monsters, and get other beasts to fight each other. These fights are epic, and seeing it all happen was as incredible as possible. The player even found a way to trap the monster in a sand sinkhole, which dragged us underground and dealt even more damage. It makes the world feel more alive, and I was all here for it.

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The demo ended shortly after that, but I am hungry for more. What I saw at Summer Game Fest blew my mind and made my expectations and hopes for the game grow way more than I expected. It feels weird to even think about playing Monster Hunter World or Rise after seeing this, and with crossplay support announced, this is going to be a must-buy, even if it isn't completely Steam Deck compatible.

Monster Hunter Wilds can be wishlisted now ahead of its release in 2025.

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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