Pokemon Go developer Niantic has announced its next major mobile game: Monster Hunter Now. The collaboration with Capcom will bring Rathalos to your neighborhood via augmented reality in September 2023.
Monster Hunter Now will let players hunt monsters in the real world, with regions around the world assigned specific ecological areas that spawn specific monsters. Fighting monsters will use tap and swipe controls depending on the equipped weapon, and weapons and armor can be forged and upgraded using materials earned from defeated monsters. Notably, each fight against an encountered monster will only last a maximum of 75 seconds, which is a major shift from the usual 10-20 minute battles found throughout the franchise.
Players can also team up against larger monsters, as the game’s multiplayer features will automatically link players together who are pursuing a certain monster on the map. A new “paintball” feature will also allow you to “mark” a monster you encounter in your travels, and then “summon” it at home in order to challenge it with friends and family.
The game utilizes Niantic’s trademark AR technology, which has been featured in games like Pokemon Go and most recently in NBA All-World, in order to let players hunt together in real-world locations. In a briefing with the press earlier this week, Niantic CEO John Henke said that talks between Niantic and Capcom began four years ago, while longtime Monster Hunter producer Ryozo Tsujimoto said he “couldn’t say no” to the idea.
“We hear a lot from Monster Hunter fans that they want to play a Monster Hunter game with AR,” Tsujimoto said. “If we were going to make a game like that, I was pretty sure we were going to have to work with Niantic.”
Monster Hunter Now will fully launch in September for iOS and mobile devices. Interested players can sign up for a closed beta test now at the game’s official website, with the beta scheduled to begin April 25.
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