2017 was an amazing year on PC, giving us titles like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Divinity: Original Sin 2, and more. PC titles can come out of nowhere, with early access titles, open betas, closed betas, and all manner of games in some sort of development “launching” years before an official release date. That said, here are some of the titles we know – or in some cases, simply expect – to be hitting in 2018. As anything can happen along the way, expect some hidden gems to come out of nowhere, as games like Undertale have done in past years.

13. GTFO
Release: 2018

GTFO looks like the horrific mutant lovechild of Left 4 Dead and Alien, and we couldn’t be more excited. The sci-fi co-op shooter tasks a four-player team of scavengers with exploring an underground complex for precious artifacts – but you must fight your way through an army of alien monstrosities if you actually want to cash them in. GTFO is the latest project from Payday designer Ulf Andersson, and sports an equal focus on teamwork. An A.I. “Expedition Director” also promises to deliver plenty of replayability via “procedural gameplay scenarios,” which could make GTFO a dream (or nightmare?) come true for co-op fans.


12. Metro Exodus
Release: Fall

The third installment in 4A Games’ post-apocalyptic FPS series, Metro Exodus has Russian protagonist Artyom setting out for greener (and hopefully less radioactive) pastures. This time around players can expect to battle Metro’s horrific monsters in more open sandbox environments, in addition to the linear and claustrophobic tunnels that the series is known for. Metro Exodus also boasts dynamic weather and a day-night cycle, which should make the survival-oriented action all the more immersive. Players can start stocking up on ammo and air filters sometime this fall.

11. Griftlands
Release: 2018

Klei’s impressive run of PC offerings (Don’t Starve, Invisible Inc.) has our interest piqued for this upcoming turn-based sci-fi RPG. While we haven’t seen much of it at all outside of its E3 trailer, the concept and company are enough to have us fiending for a chance to explore the outer galaxies. Pirates, mercenaries, payoffs and what looks like a fairly wondrous world to explore while you gear up and take down all manner of humanoid and alien make up the backdrop for a gritty space adventure.

10. Sunless Skies
Release: 2018

Sunless Seas was an impressive dark romp through Lovecraftian waters. The mysterious, story-soaked roguelike offered new adventures every attempt through its deadly seas. You can check out our review for that game here, and it should give you an indication of why we’re excited for the sequel. Instead of being forced to eat the crew and being assaulted by chthonic sea crabs, we can look forward to all manner of nightmarish realities in the sky on steamships. I’m sure there will be some otherworldly creatures in the celestial skies that will inspire awe, terror, and game resets – all at the same time.

 

9. The Last Night
Release: 2018

The Last Night, a pixelated, futuristic adventure set in a world where computers have taken on most of the world’s labor, made a splash when it premiered during Microsoft’s 2017 E3 reveal. The game looks like a stunning homage to Blade Runner and similar cyberpunk influences. The E3 trailer didn’t reveal much gameplay but suggested hints of gameplay elements from cinematic platformers like Another World and Flashback. We’re always up for another quality cyberpunk game and look forward to seeing if The Last Night lives up to the promise of its sci-fi trappings.

 

8. Wargroove
Release: 2018

We all love Advance Wars, and Chucklefish is giving us the prospect of a modernized take on the classic turn-based war battle of resources and units. Up to four players can play a commander and army to get into the mix, with online gameplay for those that want to dig into the strategy after tackling the campaigns. Map and campaign editors add to the mix and allow players to construct their own amazing creations. You can even play as one of the Starbound races as a faction.

 

7. Hunt: Showdown
Release: 2018

Crytek’s bizarre mix of teamplay hunting, monster slaying, and survival has us extremely curious to see what the final implementation will be like. Take on teams of other hunters as you track down your quarry, or team up as you attempt to take down your monstrous enemy. However, there can only be one winner, so those makeshift alliances fade quickly after the beast is downed and the trophy needs to be delivered. A tense hunt turns into a brutal battle for survival and escape, making this multi-phase hunt-and-survive experience an interesting amalgamation of several core genres.

6. Monster Hunter: World
Release: Fall

While the wait for the PC version takes us to autumn or beyond, hopefully the monster-slaying action translates well. The voracious hardcore audience for Monster Hunter titles could benefit greatly from a little PC power behind the action, with Steam serving as a great place to play with established friends and communities. While some of the ferocity behind the dinosaur thunder stomping and dragon fire-breathing may diminish by the time this hits PC, hopefully the port is worth it. Who knows, maybe we’ll even get something special for PC.

 

5. Dauntless
Release: 2018

Phoenix Lab’s take on beast hunting and slaying with a small squad of adventurers continues to ramp up to release with new weapons, customization options, and behemoths to square off against. The game’s promise of continuous updates for intrepid slayers to take on is an awesome one, with an ever-shifting endgame that serves up new deadly encounters on a regular basis.

 

4. Age of Empires IV
Release: TBA

While the RTS genre may have given up much of its legacy to the MOBA scene, if there’s any franchise that could bring it back to the spotlight, it’s Age of Empires. While we know almost nothing about the game right now, having Relic Entertainment at the helm inspires confidence that we’ll be getting something that channels the classic spirit of the RTS while adding some modern accessibility and improvements.

 

3. Artifact
Release: TBA

Valve’s Dota 2 inspired digital card game may not be Half-Life 3 or Left For Dead 3, but there’s plenty of room in that space for something different. Crafting a team of DOTA characters and gearing them up and pushing lanes promises to shake up a genre loaded with titles like Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone. This is especially cool for players who may not want to embrace the technical last-hitting, split-second gameplay, and sometimes tumultuous teamplay of Dota 2, but still want to load up an anti-mage and push some barracks down.

 

2. World of Warcraft: Battle For Azeroth
Release: TBA

Another WoW expansion? Yes indeed. With artifact weapons being moved out of the spotlight, players can engage on swashbuckling adventures to rip resources off islands, participate in Warcraft III style sieges, and unlock a handful of new allied races as they explore new locations like Zandalar and Kul Tiras. Legion was instrumental in reigniting the WoW spark, and hopefully tapping into the ancient animosity between Horde and Alliance will give us yet another amazing chapter.

 

1. Civilization VI: Rise and Fall
Release: February 8

Civilization’s expansions are always a high note, adding a ton of new options to already robust core games. Rise and Fall promises to shake things up with a smattering of new systems, several new civilizations, emergencies to spur conflict, leadership options to control your ascent to power, and an age mechanic to chart your historic rise – and maybe fall.

We are back on
track this week with another edition of Blog Herding. We’ve got blogs about
people playing games, people watching games, and blogs about zero video games.
Dive in!

Community Blogs
For January 18 – January 24:

A
Look Back at Nier

It’s weird to think about how old Nier is, and be in a time and place where its
kinda-sequel is still pretty popular. Here Phoenix_Apollo, who wrote a review
nearly seven years ago, looks at what Nier was all about. It truly was a bizarre,
wonderful game – and one our blogger remembers better than others.

Are
Triple-A Publishers Obsessed With “Games As Service?”

BethesdaWare isn’t so sure about this whole games-as-service rhetoric. It
makes sense that developers would want to keep making money as games grow in
size and scope … but what is wrong with just providing some real single player?
Our blogger makes some good points.

A
Long Awaited Return

This isn’t a blog about gaming, but instead a tale of what longtime member,
Prince of Snark Euphoric Ennui I, has been up to. He used to be a frequent
writer, and it looks like you will see more of him in the blog section soon.
Give him a warm welcome back!

My
Year in Review (As a Human)

Writergirl2394 writes much like Ennui does, foregoing video games for some real
talk. As someone who knows Duluth and Uptown Minneapolis well, I can say that I
would miss Duluth in your shoes, but it sounds like you are doing well – even
if you are still figuring things out. We all kind of are.

Why
Watching Others Play Video Games is Special to Me – Part 2

GerardoExber takes us through a second round of this topic. In some ways,
Gerardo likes watching people play games to see if it is something he would be
into. It’s also a way for him to see the game through another set of eyes. I
mean, how many people have been thrilled by what others are doing in Breath of
the Wild, for instance? I used to love watching other’s game (usually I had my
own television and game going as well, and we were both playing JRPGs). 

Carving
Gaming Rushmores Episode 2 – The Standout Games Of 2017

Marcus Stewart teams up with Jack Gardner and Kevin Slackie to talk about the best games
of the year, and even manage to pick a definitive top-four favorites.

Community Challenge:

Game-Making
Challenge: Crafting The Perfect Open World

Haley Shipley is in charge of this current challenge (deadline: Feb. 5). It’s
her first time putting this feature together, and she is switching it up a
little bit. “This month, I want you to design a world you can sink days into.
Tell us how large the map is going to be, what sort of environments you can
find, and a bit about the people and places you can find. Work those
imaginations and create the next big open-world franchise!”

Community Playdate:

So, who is up for Monster Hunter: World on PS4? I plan on
playing a lot of this, and want to set up some playdates for the game. Let me
know if you’re interested in the comments!

I hope you enjoy
the blogs! Please contact me via my Game Informer page or on Twitter at @LouisGarcia12 with
any blog news or playdate suggestions. 

Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has hit a player-count milestone. The battle-royale game is now home to more than four million players, according to the company. As a way of saying thanks, Microsoft is giving players who download the game before January 31 a battle-point windfall.

Your account will be 30,000 BP heavier after February 1, provided you bought the Xbox Game Preview release before January 31 at 12 a.m. Pacific and created a character. Points can be used to purchase cosmetic crates, which give your character – you guessed it – cosmetic items.

 

Our Take
I haven’t been especially impressed with the performance of the Xbox One version of the game, which is pretty chunky even on the Xbox One X. Still, I’ll happily take the points, provided they’re not all filled with brown loafers. I think I’m set in the PUBG footwear department.

Capcom is creating a crossover between the Monster Hunter and Street Fighter franchises, allowing fans to obtain Rathalos, Zinogre, and Kirin Monster Hunter armor for Ken, R. Mika, and Ibuki, respectively, in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.

These Monster Hunter-inspired costumes are available in SF V: Arcade Edition in the game’s Extra Battle mode, with each one spread out over four challenges to complete a single costume set.

Here’s how you get them in the mode (text from Capcom):

  • Each costume requires you to complete four challenges that take place over the span of a month – one challenge per week.
  • Each time you attempt one of these challenges, you must spend 2,500 Fight Money. In other words, if you successfully complete each of the weekly challenges in one go, you can get that Extra Battle Costume for 10,000 FM!
  • Once you complete all four challenges, the costume for that month is yours!
  • These challenges are time exclusive, so make sure to log in each week to complete them, especially if you have your eyes on that month’s unique costume.

For exact challenge dates, click the link below.

[Source: Capcom Unity] 

 

Our Take 
Curious what fans of the game and prospective collectors think of having to pay Fight Money on top of completing the challenges themselves.

Players start out with rather crude living quarters in Monster Hunter: World, but as one rises through the ranks of monster slaying and mastery, new options become available. Join us to check out some of the cool pets you can place in your exotic private suite, Palico gadgets, and how to send out your kitten army to gather gear for you all from your cozy home.

Join Dan Tack and Ben Hanson as they hang out, pet a rabbit thing, and check out a lush secluded garden.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Monster Hunter World has finally arrived onto consoles. Given that this is the series’ first time on a non-portable console in ages, there’s going to be many people coming to the series for the first time. Monster Hunter is a complicated game with a lot of features and systems interacting with one another, and it doesn’t hold your hand. Instead, it drowns you in tutorial windows and then lets you fend for yourself like a proper hunter in the wild. While there’s something to be admired about this design, new players may be intimidated.

Hopefully this guide, put together by the G.I. Monster Hunter: World crew, proves useful to you.

Combat & Character Builds

1. The monsters you hunt are complicated beings, and you shouldn’t think of these encounters as hack-and-slash affairs. Each hunt is essentially a boss fight, with every creature having its own patterns, strengths, and weaknesses. It behooves you greatly to learn about each creature you hunt. Tracking footprints and looking at your monster guide will help you, but ultimately the most valuable lessons will come from observing their behavior.

2. Monsters do not have health bars. Instead, you need to pay attention to their behaviors. The longer a fight goes on and the more damage you deal to the beast, they’ll start behaving differently. Look for limping or pauses in combat where the creature takes several breaths. Eventually, most monsters run away, forcing you to chase them. A tell-tale sign that a creature is about to die is that it’ll take a nap to restore life. This is when you go to town on them, hitting as hard as you can.

3. Understand your weapon. This is way more than just movesets, especially if you’re using some of the more advanced choices. Every bowgun for instance, can use a different ammunition loadout – some are designed to be sniping and debuff machines, others can perform like shotguns or artillery support batteries. And they have special sockets too, that can be tweaked for recoil, reload time, and damage at different ranges. That’s just one example – make sure you take a little time to examine all the possibilities and potential behind each weapon before taking it into a serious fight!

4. Hunt in packs. You can use SOS Signals and invite friends to your hunt if you’re struggling with a monster. During campaign missions, you’ll often receive a message saying you can’t send out a flare until you watch that mission’s cutscene. Once the cutscene plays, you’ll get a notice saying you can send out flares and get other hunters to lend a hand.

5. Don’t forget to sharpen your weapons during battle. The duller your blades get, the weaker they become. A good strategy is to wait until your Palico is distracting the monster or the monster is running away to sharpen.

6. Traps are craftable items that can change the course of a battle real fast. Pitfall traps and electric traps both ensnare enemies and put them down for a few seconds. That might not sound like a lot of time, but it’s a big enough window to get in several hits on an enemy’s weak spots. Make sure you use them.

7. If you hit enemies at certain points on their body, like tails or horns, those points will break off. Not only does this wound the enemy, but it often prevents them from using one of their regular attacks with that body part. It also turns that body part into an extra crafting material, so be sure to pick it up.

8. Palicos don’t do much damage but they are useful as a distraction, especially if you’re trying to solo a new monster. Often a good strategy is to wait until the monster in question is fixated on your palico and then dive in to attack them once or twice before running away.

9. Don’t fret too much if you lose a battle. You get three attempts on every hunt.

10. Your slinger doesn’t do much damage but it can be useful for getting a monster’s attention or interrupting its attack animation.

Resources & Crafting

11. Always be crafting. The best place to craft is in front of your item box, so you can combine items both in your item box and your pouch. Speaking of your pouch….

12. Always think about what you need to be carrying. You’ll be looting environments of their berries, seeds, and other goodies a fair amount. If you’re a melee class, there’s no reason for you to be carrying ingredients for blowgun ammo, so dump that as soon as possible for stuff you can use in the field.

13. Equipment is essentially the only way to level your character, so check in at the workshop a lot and upgrade weapons when you can. Don’t feel the need to craft every piece of armor you see. If one armor doesn’t strike your fancy, you can easily use those materials to craft something for your Palico.

14. The Resource Control center (directly in front of the main gate in the trade yard in Astera) is useful for both turning in quests and receiving them. These quests are often hunt/kill/capture a certain monster, but they also have rewards attached to them beyond the monster’s hide (usually rare bones or materials). Be sure to check in at the center often to obtain new quests.

15. When you’re mining, foraging through a bone pile, or carving off chunks from a defeated monster, you don’t have to press the circle (or A) button each time. You don’t even need to tap it. Hold the button down, and your hunter will continue to mine/forage/carve until the node is depleted.

16. Get in the bone zone. It seems like a classic Catch 22: You can’t beat monsters without protecting yourself with armor, and you can’t craft armor without the parts you get from defeating monsters. Right? Not really. If you’re looking for a solid, versatile armor set that will take you from the early to mid-game hunts, the bone armor is a good bet. You can forage most of the pieces from bone piles, which are scattered throughout the world. It provides nice resistances against fire and dragons, which are two things that you’re going to run into a fair bit. Feel free to mix and match with other pieces, if you want, but bone armor is a great starting point.

17. Don’t miss out on town upgrades and the associated quests. It can be easy to skip over optional content especially if they task you to kill dangerous creatures that you don’t even need parts from, but it’s worth the effort. A fully-functional harvest bin to churn out consumables for you is well worth the effort. Other town upgrades are handled automatically as you progress, but still are worth your attention. Don’t miss the melder to create rare items and gems, the ship captain for rare item packages from the mainland, and your Palico crew to collect materials from hunts that you’ve already conquered. Why go back and farm lower tier monsters when your cats will take care of it for you?

18. The Botanical Research center becomes accessible after a few hours into the storyline. This lets you grow agricultural resources, like honey and herbs, which can be used to craft useful potions. Be sure to stop by every now and then to cultivate ingredients you need.

19. The town of Astera offers a lot to do, and it’s easy to overlook one important task. The Meowscular Chef is the cook in charge of the cantina, and he’s rooted to his post. As such, he can’t wander the world in search of important ingredients. That’s where you come in. Check your map regularly for a yellow exclamation point near the cantina icon. He has a string of tasks for you, particularly in the early hours of the game. These can pile up if you’re not paying attention, and they’re all worth completing. You’ll have to find the ingredients for him, but the results are well worth it in the form of better meals with higher-quality buffs.

20. The Elder Melder is great for combining items you don’t need to create valuable items (like ancient potions, which are extremely useful with endgame monsters). This shop becomes available about halfway through the game. Use it frequently. Just make sure you’re not giving up any valuable materials by accident.

21. Another resource you get access to later in the game, The Argosy, is a cargo ship that brings in shipments of items every few quests or so. You can customize the randomized items you receive into categories (like materials or consumables). These items are a crapshoot and cost a fair amount of research points, but it can be a useful resource if you have a surplus of points.

22. You can farm resources from certain areas by fast traveling back to a camp, which makes the whole area reload. This is particularly useful for farming both honey and bone piles.

23.  Set bonuses are important, and you can mix and match them to create potent and focused builds. Be aware of how many pieces are required to trigger a set bonus as it varies from set to set. Even though it may be more stylish to rock a full set from one monster, it may be to your advantage to combine several.

24. Speaking of sets, are you dying for more pieces of a monster like those hard to find tails, gems, and other rare bits? Investigations are the key. Rather than going through the same optional mission from your list every time, examining tracks and slaying monsters will unlock investigation opportunities in town. These offer more interesting takes on classic hunts – taking on more than one monster, doing something within a time limit, restricting the number of knock downs the player can endure, restricting the number of hunters that can participate, and more. However, the rewards are far superior than a vanilla mission, and often come with additional rare drop incentives. For some of the more threatening monster investigations that you discover in the endgame, these include valuable and rare decorations that can be used to enhance your powers even more. Don’t hit up the quest list and farm the “story” or optional mission every time – delve into investigations for a lot more efficient farming.

Exploration

25. Your scout flies are your best friend, even more so than your furry palico. They’ll highlight nearby resources, footprints, and will lead you to markers you place on your map.

26. You get research points for tracking footprints, finding valuable materials, and cutting parts off monsters. These points are a secondary currency that can be used to buy valuable items back at Astera, so track footprints whenever you see them, even if you don’t need them.

27. Look for footprints, which lead to creatures you might be hunting. Once you find a creature, you can open up your map and stick them with a pin. This means if they run away from battle (as they are wont to do) you can track them wherever they go on the map.

28. Once you find a resource on the map, like a certain plant, that resource will be etched on your map forever. Return to these places to farm this particular resource.

29. Look for environmental hazards, such as quicksand and vine traps, that you can use to your advantage during battles against bigger monsters before engaging them.

30. Every area you explore has unique resources, usually in the form of bones. Missing some coral bones you need for a cool suit of armor? You’ll find them in the Coral Highlands, for example. Be sure to explore every locale if you’re missing certain crafting materials to figure out where they grow or can be mined. It’s the only way you’ll be able to craft higher-end armor.

31. There are secret, mini-questlines hidden in each locale. Completing these small quests gives you access to helpful resources, like a temporary extra Palico. These questlines are extremely helpful, bordering on necessary, if you’re trying to solo the game.

32. Most missions are timed. Try not to let the timer get to you. For most story missions, you’re given more than enough time to find the beastie you need and slay them. Just pay attention to the prints you’re tracking and the monster’s attack patterns.

33. Don’t forget to fast travel to camps! There’s no penalty to this and it can be useful. For example, if the monster is far away from you, but you know they’re near a camp, it’s worthwhile just to zip over to the camp to save time.

34. Explore! Some of the most important unlocks like Palico tribes, gadgets, and other helpful boons can be done during expedition mode. This will also give you the chance to catch some critters to put into your house, learn the benefits of fishing, and more.

Endgame


35. After you get to high rank and beyond, sets often come in several different varieties for each monster. Selecting one option gives you a few skills on a single piece of armor. The other option will give you one skill and a decoration slot so you can augment the armor as you please with your own gem to enhance the skill of your choice. While the first option is often better as you are assembling a collection of valuable decorations, later on you may wish to swap one or more pieces to the alternate set to create a customized build that really shines.

36. While many of the end game encounters can be dealt with via a war of careful attrition – even most of the Elder Dragons – you won’t be able to escape combat for the final campaign encounter. Therefore it is essential to make sure you have all your consumables ready to go before going into that final battle, as you will not be able to change areas and find respite. If you get knocked down, you will have a chance to go back to your tent to resupply, but you can’t break out of combat once you’re engaged.

37. Elder Dragons present a more significant challenge than other monsters in the game, but offer great rewards, including the best armor and weapons currently available. They often have “one hitter” abilities that are telegraphed and punish a player severely for getting tagged. Don’t get tagged, and study the monster behaviors to find openings. There are often other fight mechanics involved that present challenges not found outside of these battles, like horrible afflictions or point-blank-area-of-effect explosions. If at first you don’t succeed, ensure your armor is fully upgraded, that you’re using appropriate consumables, and that you have the environment mapped out to your advantage. Many areas, including the “final boss” area, include areas where you can get some serious air time – perfect for escaping and jumping down onto the big bads. If you’re not using weapons or tools that help you pull off aerial plays, you should still be looking for opportunities – even a slight incline or dip in the terrain could allow you to perform a slide-jump.

For more on Monster Hunter: World, be sure to read our advice for how to solo the game.

They say home is where the heart is, and the big, splintery heart of Monster Hunter: World is Astera, a half-dock, half-boat town filled with all sorts of resources that will help you become the best Hunter you can be. Here’s how to get the most of the town.

General Pointers

  • Many of the town’s resources won’t be available to you at the beginning of the game. Instead, they’ll gradually unlock over the course of the story mode. For the ones you have at the start, both the workshop and canteen are probably the places you want to visit the most, as armor-crafting and stats boosting meals are essential to the art of the hunt.
  •  Many of the vendors and resources will have optional quests for you to do. Do these. They’re often pretty simple and unlock useful items, like mantles that make you immune to freezing or increased efficiency for each resource.
  • There are two forms of currency in World: money and research points (RP). You earn money by completing questions and selling items. As for RP, you can get them by hunting and tracking monsters. Out of the two, RP are the harder to get if you’re not constantly scavenging materials and tracking monsters. Be sure to build up your RP throughout the game, as some vendors only sell their goods for RP.
  •  You have a private quarters where you can manage items and your Palico. You also have a housekeeper. Be sure to check in with the housekeeper from time to time. You might find a neat surprise waiting for you.

Provisions Stockpile Store

  • Located in the tradeyard, directly in front of the gate, the provisions stockpile is useful early on as you’re learning the ropes, but it ceases to be once you’ve got the hang of crafting. Still, if you’re low on supplies and need some basic health items, this is the place to go.

The Workshop

  • Located on the second floor and east, the workshop is where you go for all your armor/weapon crafting needs. In other words: this will probably be the place on Astera you end up visiting the most.
  • There is a vendor in the workshop, but you shouldn’t be buying weapons that much. Instead, talk to her when you see an exclamation point over her head. It means she has a quest for you with a nice reward.
  • The second fleet master sees to all your crafting needs, and you’re going to have a lot of needs in this department over the course of the game. You can both forge and upgrade your equipment here. It’s a really good idea to check back here constantly to upgrade your weapons.
  • The upgrade system for weapons and armor work differently. While armor has a simplistic currency you earn for completing investigations (we’ll get there later), weapons have entire family trees. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems.  You’ll be able to see the materials you need to upgrade your weapons to whatever you want them to be (assuming you’ve run into the materials in the wild). You can also put your desired weapon on a “wishlist” so that the game keeps tabs on the materials you’re acquiring out in the world and will send you a helpful notification when you’ve got all the materials needed.
  • Later on in the game, you also get access to Decorations, which are essentially stat boosters you slot into weapons and equipment that gives you buffs. These cannot be crafted but instead are rewarded for higher-end quests. Acquire as many decorations as possible. They’re essential allies in later fights.
  • If you see a piece of armor but don’t know if you want to commit the resources to it because you’re afraid it looks goofy on your character, you can preview the item on your character’s body before you forge it.
  • The workshop is also where you forge your adorable Palico’s armor and weapons. Be sure to boost your Palico alongside your own character as much as possible, especially if you’re soloing the game.

The Canteen

  • The canteen is technically accessible from both Astera and your various campsites in the world, with no punishment for using it out in the wild instead of the one in the town. However, you’ll miss out on some cool animations.
  • The canteen serves you food that gives you various boosts. It’s usually best to get those that give you boosts to both health, stamina, and another stat like stamina or attack. Meals last a short amount of time and their effects fade immediately if you faint during an encounter with a beast.
  • There’s a cooldown in effect once you eat, forcing you to space out your meals, so you can’t stack their effects together.
  • Talk to the Meowscular Chef whenever he has an exclamation point hovering over his head. Doing quests for him will give him access to more ingredients and dishes, which in turn means more boosts and buffs available to you.

The Resource Center

  • One of the most important locations in town is the resource center, where you get most of your sidequests assigned to you. Here, you mange Bounties, Investigations, and Deliveries.
  • Bounties are usually a “collect/hunt/complete” kind of quest, with you often having to kill smaller monsters or completing a certain number of quests in an area. You’re often rewarded armor spheres and RP for your efforts.
  • Investigations are mini-quests that have you hunting bigger game. You’re rewarded money and bonus loot materials outside of whatever you carve from your targets.
  • Finally, Deliveries are resource-gathering missions that often reward you with bigger in-game items, like more camping locations on the map or devices that help with traversal. Be sure to do every single one of these. It will make your hunter’s life easier in the long run.

The Elder Melder

  • You get access to the Elder Melder later in the story. He turns out to be one of the most valuable resources at your disposal. Essentially an alchemist, the melder lets you turn items you don’t need (like all the bones you’ve been carrying around) into powerful and rare consumables, like Ancient Potions (which restore health and stamina and max them out). It takes a lot melding to get those items, but at least there’s something you can do with all the junk you’re carrying.
  • A word of caution: while you might be tempted to break down some rare materials you haven’t used yet, maybe don’t. Keep any material that you’re uncertain about around until you know what it does. If it upgrades a weapon or armor you don’t care about it, feel free to recycle it.

Botanical Research Center

  • The Botanical Research Center lets you grow plants and crops you find out in the wild (like herbs and honey) at home. The plants grow between quests, usually two at a time.
  • Always be growing crops. It’ll save you from having to make trips out into the world to hunt down herbs and mushrooms during the game.
  • If you want to increase the cultivation rate for your crops, you can use some fertilizer (and RP) to do so.
  • Initially, the research center can only grow a few basic crops. Doing quests for the Center’s keeper will expand the variety of items you can cultivate and the amount of crops you can at once, so be sure to do those optional missions.

The Argosy

  • The Argosy is a ship that comes into dock between quests with shipments of randomized items, both consumables and craft materials.
  • The Argosy usually departs after three quests and then returns with another shipment. Each shipment is three tiers. All of them cost a lot of RP, so be cautious about what you’re buying. If you really don’t need a crafting material, it’s probably best you skip the shipment given the steep cost.
  • Rarely should you ever buy a shipment for its consumables, since you can usually make whatever consumables you need either through crafting or melding.
  • You can customize the cargo types you get with the Argosy. I switched the ship to make sure it only brought in crafting materials once it became clear I could craft anything consumable it brought in. I recommend doing the same for yourself unless you abhor crafting.

For more On Astera, be sure to check out our video feature on the town here.

Monster Hunter: World is a game that excels when it comes to delivering frantic, pulse-pounding moments, where your back is against the wall and you’re running low on supplies as a giant beast looms over you. It’s also a game with an immense amount of levity and bouncy humor. We spent countless hours delving into  Monster Hunter: World’s zany world, tracking beasts and getting lost in gorgeous (and sometimes disgusting) environments.

Here are our favorite moments from our time with the game.

Javy Gwaltney (Associate Editor)
Even in the fanged, venomous world of Monster Hunter, the so-called Radobaan is a particularly dangerous beast. Imagine, if you will, a giant ball the size of a three-story apartment and as hard as a military grade bunker. Okay, now make that ball capable of moving as fast as a Lamborghini ripping down an abandoned interstate, its driver unafraid of the law or collateral consequence. Oh, and why not stick giant, deadly spikes all over said ball? Y’know, just for good measure? Why settle for efficient when you can have overkill?

My first reaction to the Radobaan is one of horror. This far into the game I’ve killed dragons, yes. I’ve slain T-Rexes and strange ostriches that carried boulders to bash my head in. But the Radobaan is the first creature I’ve seen that defies some easy categorization, some animal I know that i can compare it to. It’s a beast of cosmic horror that inhabits a kingdom made of bones and dead flesh. And I have to kill it. All by myself.

Cool. Cool cool cool.

The creature moves first, tearing across the ground and slamming into me with full force, whittling my health down to half a bar. My fluffly Palico, named after my real-life kitten, screams in terror. I recover, quickly planting a health booster and  then jumping into the fray. My twin blades ting off the steel, spiked hide, dealing paltry damage. He slaps me with his tail, taking down my life by a substantial chunk once more.

OK. Let’s be smart about this, yeah? Stop slashing, start thinking.

I circle the monster as my Palico distracts him. I watch his movements, carefully devoting five minutes to learning his patterns as best as I can. The Radobaan is strong and slow, but he’s not dumb. He has a whole suite of attacks for getting you out from underneath him. It’s when I see these movements, I realize my mistakes: I’ve been hammering at his feet and mouth, assuming that would be his weak spots. But it’s actually his belly.

I rush him once more, stabbing up and using a whirlwind attack so that I get in, deal damage, and get out before he does a stomping or charge attack. It’s a long affair but it works. Soon the slits of spike armor connected to his belly start to come undone. Thorns disappear from around his legs, revealing blue flesh. Then his mouth.

The Radobaan starts taking heavy breaths. His chest heaves. He’s getting weaker. I take advantage of the performance lull and slash away at his tail. And soon enough, he shrieks. I see a flash of pink meat as the spiked rope goes flying across the arena. He retreats, spinning away in pain and terror.

I open the map and watch him sneak way to a sleeping spot. I take a brief moment to sharpen my blade, restore my health and stamina, and then the Palico and I track him across hills and pits until we find him sleeping in his hideaway.

I step to his face and lay a small square of green leaves in front of him, and then a healing booster to help soak up whatever damage he does to me upon stirring. I wait for a second and then slam the blades into his face. The Radobaan, no longer a monster, no longer a walking cosmic mystery, but instead a pitiful creature awaiting the final blow, howls in anger as it rises. It stomps forward to push me out of the way, but a quick zuhrippp followed by vines erupting from the patch of grass negates his attack, strapping him in place.

I’ve got three, four seconds tops, so I go to town, slicing away at his face like some deranged ballet-butcher, spinning without end. And then, at last, with dramatic flair, the Radobaan announces his death with a roar before falling over to his side, the once great creature a dead husk. His corpse ready to be scavenged and turned into armor for my little feline buddy, who gives a quick celebratory meow at our victory.

For my part I let the silence stand for a moment before I get to cutting, before we head to back the town of Astera to celebrate with meals and armor making. I stare at the still, massive body before me.

So this is what it’s like to kill the unknown.


Jeff Cork (Senior Editor)
One of the best things about Monster Hunter: World is how nearly every large hunt I’ve gone on has been memorable. Some of the standout moments have included finally defeating the elder dragon Nergigante with Dan Tack after trying (and failing) to solo it over several days. He’s harder in the full game than in the beta, OK? Then there was a hilarious fight with Javy against Diabolis, where the dragon seemed more like a hapless goof who couldn’t do anything right. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as my first encounter with the beast, though it was certainly something I won’t soon forget. That’s not my favorite moment, though.

I was on an expedition in the Wildspire Waste the other day, in the middle of a fight against a Rathian. Out of nowhere, a Rathalos swooped in and started tussling with the other dragon. At that point, I hung back and watched as the two beasts clawed and wrestled.

My family just got another dog, and the past few days have featured a lot of rambunctious playing as the pair figures out who’s in charge (it’s not us). It was uncanny to see how well Capcom’s art and animation team captured the physicality of animals in a scrap – from circling around and sizing the other up, to the feints and full-contact charges.

They eventually went their separate ways. I took down the Rathian in a deluge of water after smashing a dam. The Rathalos’ defeat wasn’t nearly as dramatic; he eventually gave up after being pelted with about 1,000 bullets. As satisfying as their defeats may have been, I have to say it couldn’t compare with the sight of watching them battle.

Imran Khan (West Coast News Editor)
I was really banging my head against a story quest with a new monster whose aggressiveness and speed seemed to run counter to the best weapon I had to fight them. After the third or fourth try, I was almost ready to give up and call for help. I managed to fight the monster enough to at least send it to a different area. I realized I had run out of healing items in the process and decided to teleport to a nearby camp to refill. I wasn’t going to take any chances this time.

Upon fast traveling to the camp, I heard a lot of noise just outside. This particular camp required crawling out of a hole and I emerged on the other side seeing the monster I was hunting and an ice wyvern fighting each other in a knock-down, drag-out fight. I quickly dove back in my hole and watched the two fight it out on the map. Once the target monster drove off the ice wyvern, a third monster came by and did a little extra damage before running off on their own.

The target monster was so damaged from these fights that she went to her sleeping spot with me following behind, setting up a trap under her while she slept and ending the fight painlessly with Tranq Bombs. I took a nap in the camp tent while the game solved the problem for me.


For more on Monster Hunter: World, check out our tips guide.

EA and DICE have announced further updates to Star Wars: Battlefront II to take place over the coming weeks and months.

The most important bit of news is that the studio is working on a revamped progression system for the game. The existing system was the basis for the game’s fairly rough critical reception and, while a pre-launch update removed the ability to pay for crystals to speed progression along, a lot of players resented the grind that paywall was circumventing.

In the blog post, DICE does not give any details about what the new progression system will look like, promising further details in March.

The game will also be receiving a new mode, titled Jetpack Cargo, coming a little bit sooner in February. From EA’s description, “Two teams of eight players equipped with jet packs compete in Jetpack Cargo, a frantic, fast-paced way to play. This mode will only be available for a limited time, so don’t miss it.”

Finally, with the first season of Battlefront over, the new season is set to begin, with details to come in the near future.

Star Wars: Battlefront II was released in November 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Despite a myriad of controversies surrounding the title, it was one of the best selling games of December, the month Star Wars: The Last Jedi released.

[Source: Battlefront Blog]

 

Our Take
There’s a surprising lack of detail in the announcement, which makes me wonder if they were waiting for numbers to come in before announcing it.

Bioware’s ambitious multiplayer co-op shooter Anthem is now set for 2019, according to a report from Kotaku.

The changed date comes in the midst of a deep dive report on the new game from the venerated studio. The article talks about the immense pressure the developers are under to properly deliver the game, which is apparently Bioware’s most ambitious project in the studio’s history.

The game started in pre-production when Mass Effect director Casey Hudson was heading the title before leaving in 2014, returning last year to lead the studio as a whole. 

You can find Anthem’s gameplay reveal below. Anthem was announced at Microsoft’s E3 2017 press conference with a presumed release date of spring 2018. It is scheduled for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

[Source: Kotaku]

 

Our Take
Hopefully the pressure on the studio is not too great, but it is good that they are taking as much time as they need. The studio does not need a reputation for rushed games to outlive their reputation for great ones.