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SGF 2024: Oh Boy, Monster Hunter Wilds Is Going To Take Over Our Lives

Jason Fanelli Posted:
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Have you ever seen the meme of Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons, where he's sitting on the bus saying "I'm in danger!" to himself? That was our feeling as we left the hands-off presentation for Monster Hunter Wilds at Summer Game Fest 2024. The room had just witnessed a furious hunt, from base camp prep to the final slice, and it showed off some exhilarating maneuvers and a few surprises. If what we watched is an indication of the entire game experience, we need Capcom to announce the release date now; we have to clear our schedules ASAP.

The demo started with a trip around the Windward Plains area map, and there are some incredible views to behold as the driver of the demo runs through. The bright sun shines on the surrounding plateaus as a herd of herbivore monsters graze on the plain below. We can approach and try to take a few out, in the hopes we score a few good item drops for weapon or armor buffs, but ultimately we run into a small village. 

The hunter enters the village looking for a cheesemonger to sell him some cheese, and he finds one with little effort. After the sale, the cheesemonger tells him to put the cheese to "gouda" use – one of the many cheese-related puns in the game, according to the devs running the demo – and then we set out to begin our hunt for a brand-new foe: the Alpha Doshiguma. 

One technical enhancement pointed out by the demo driver, There's zero loading time when traversing through the zones. In fact, we're not actually aware of where the zone boundaries are, simply because of how seamless the movement through the world looks and feels. The work under the hood is doing some heavy lifting, and it shows in every scene.

Before we get to hunting, though, the hunter proceeds to set up a mobile camp, which allows him to cook meals and other maintenance before setting out – however, wandering monsters can damage or even wreck the mobile camp, so it's wise to ensure everything that can be done at camp is done before setting off on the next adventure. 

The Alpha Doshiguma is our target, which is a massive Bear-shaped monster with a rodent's face – almost like if a capybara was given a giant growth potion or something. Our map shows that the pack's den rests in the northeast, so the hunter heads there, smacks a couple of Doshiguma to wake them up, and then hightails it out of there before the massive monsters run amok. The monsters give chase, knocking down trees and taking out the herbivores mentioned earlier, before meeting the hunter in the middle of the field. 

After a few choice hits on the monster we flee again, only this time a second Doshiguma is following us. We run up a hill and into an intense storm in an attempt to get away from our pursuer, when suddenly the ground opens up beneath our feet, and a swirling vortex appears out of nowhere. Balahara, a lizard creature we saw before, created the whirlpool in the sand, and he scored himself a nice dinner by springing that sand trap. Once that's out of the way, it's time to return to the Alpha we've been hunting and claim our bounty. 

Monster Hunter Wilds

The demo driver really shows some expertise here, as he's able to set a few devious traps to keep the animal off-balance before we can move in for the kill. However, it's quickly determined that this mission cannot be done with a single hunter, so the driver joins up with three other Hunters and the four of them slash their way to victory as the demo ends. 

We had a blast watching this demo of Monster Hunter Wilds, as it holds a nice mixture of both old and new ways to take on the massive monsters in this world. Seeing the sand beneath the hunter's feet fall in an instant was harrowing, while the devious traps and lures the hunter has at his disposal are magnificent. Weapons haven't changed much, but the weapons shown off here have some massive power behind them, and we'll only get to learn about more as the game progresses toward the finish line. 

2025 is shaping up to be a banner year for games, and Monster Hunter Wilds will be right up there with the rest when all is said and done. 


Jason Fanelli

Jason Fanelli is a tried-and-true Philadelphian, having lived in Delaware County for his entire life. He’s a veteran of the games industry, covering it for over a decade with bylines on The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, IGN, and more. He currently hosts the Cheesesteaks and Controllers podcast on iHeartRadio for Fox Sports Radio in Philadelphia.