Discover more from The Shortcut
Pokémon Go developer announces Monster Hunter AR game
Monster Hunter Now is coming later this year to mobile devices
Pokémon Go developer Niantic is trading ‘mons for monsters in its next augmented-reality phone game based on Capcom’s Monster Hunter series.
Monster Hunter Now looks to follow the wildly successful template of Pokémon Go. Wandering around your neighborhood, you’ll encounter big beasties marked on a real-world map that can be battled and defeated. Rather than capture those monsters in Pokéballs, though, you’ll earn crafting materials for besting them. They can then be turned into more powerful gear, weapons and armor, just like in the mainline Monster Hunter games.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Monster Hunter Now
📱 Pokémon Go developer Niantic has unveiled a new AR phone game
⚔ Monster Hunter Now has you hunt beasties in the real world
😮 It follows the same basic design of Pokémon Go
📅 The beta will go live later this month
Like Pokémon Go, fights are quick, taking little more than a minute, and you’ll be able to team up with friends to take down the biggest monsters. There’ll also be points of interest, equivalent to Pokéstops, that you can spin to pick up extra resources.
So far, it doesn’t look as if Monster Hunter Now will connect to the other Monster Games in any way, besides the franchise license.
While the series hasn’t earned a spot on our pick of the best Nintendo Switch games, we were impressed with the limited-edition Monster Hunter Nintendo Switch Joy-Con color that was released to coincide with Monster Hunter Rise.
This is by no means the first time Niantic has tried to replicate the success of Pokémon Go in other franchises. Pikmin Bloom and NBA All-Stars followed a similar take on gamified augmented reality, and a separate developer, Spokko, even tried doing the same with The Witcher: Monster Slayer (although that only lasted for two years).
Niantic might have more success with Monster Hunter. Not only do the visuals of this new release look like a noticeable step above that of Pokémon Go – expect lots of particle effects and more intricate textures – the Monster Hunter series follows a very similar setup to Pokémon. Given the critical and commercial success of Capcom's beastie battler in recent years, Niantic might be onto a winner.
Monster Hunter Now will go into beta on April 25. You can sign up on the game’s official website. It’s expected to launch on iOS and Android in September.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.