Following the success of Pokemon GO, Niantic and Capcom are taking over the mobile gaming space once again with Monster Hunter Now. A new GPS-linked Free to Play action adventure game, in the same vein as its creature-collecting predecessor, this game sees you using the real world around you as the setting for your search for new and exciting critters. Only this time instead of knocking them out and imprisoning them in an orb, you battle them, and hopefully vanquish them to make use of their rare resources in various crafting recipes and to upgrade your equipment to fight yet bigger critters on your own or with other players.
Head Out Into the Wilderness For Real in Monster Hunter Now
The Monster Hunter series of games has garnered a large following over the years and Monster Hunter Now is no exception with over a million downloads on Android alone. As for the Monster Hunter lineage, there’s been a plethora of games since its inception in 2004 when the first game landed on the PlayStation 2.
This long history of spin-offs leads us here to Monster Hunter Now. Not the first Monster Hunter game on mobile, that crown goes to Monster Hunter: Dynamic Hunter, which was released in 2011 and was panned by critics and consumers alike, citing issues with the controls being a hindrance to enjoyment.
For this installment, however, Capcom has outsourced the mobile development to Niantic. A mobile app development company specializing in Augmented Reality Games, using the real-world environment combined with the GPS and other technologies found in modern smartphones to add a new layer of reality into the often limited depth of smartphone-based gaming.
Monster Hunter Now hasn’t been immune to criticism online, though, players have been very vocal about their frustrations with certain mechanics and soft monetization walls slowing down their ability to progress without throwing money at a problem, especially around mid to late-game progression. X user Arch iDealist puts it well while responding to a post from the official Monster Hunter Now page.
The combat would be amazing – were it not damaged by monetized healing. Having to wait 1 hour after each failure means that players are discouraged from fighting the most challenging monsters for sake of saving health.— Arch iDealist (@Arch_idealist) October 18, 2023
The positive feedback mainly focuses on a a fun combat system, as input variation and responsiveness are limited by the hardware available to a touchscreen smartphone users were impressed with a lean towards simplified timing-based combat. making it accessible but not unsatisfying.
Constructive, and some less constructive criticism notwithstanding, the game is doing rather well critically. with 4/5 stars out of 179,000 on the Google Play store, and 4.8/5 on the Apple store, though that score comes from only 24,300 users. Both scores are respectable and as the game is free to play it’s accessible for people to find out for themselves whether it’s the game for them.
Time will tell as always whether Monster Hunter Now will have the longevity of its poké-predecessor. The consensus amongst the player base is that the game certainly has potential and tonnes of room to grow and evolve into something fantastic. Monster Hunter Go is available on Android and iOS and is free to play however it does include in-game purchases.