The announcement of Monster Hunter World was a godsend for Monster Hunter fans; not only will Monster Hunter World bring the series back to PlayStation, but the game will also be the first entry available on Xbox and PC in the West, which means Monster Hunter World will be many gamers’ first experience with the franchise. So, Capcom decided to release a series of short, 30-second videos that summarize each of Monster Hunter’s fourteen weapon types to give players a better idea of what they’re getting into before they start the game
Sword & Shield
The bread and butter of most beginners, the Sword & Shield is the perfect balance of attack power, attack speed, mobility, and defense. This weapon lets players get in close, take a few swings, and either safely dodge or block at a moment’s notice. Also, unlike other weapons, players can use healing items and the new Slinger without sheathing their sword, which lets them get back into the action faster. If the Sword & Shield has any weakness, it’s that the weapon dulls quickly, so players should always carry extra whetstones.
Dual Blades are designed to overwhelm monsters with a flurry of quick slashes. While the weapon lacks the defensive capabilities of the Sword & Shield, it more than makes up for that flaw with the Demon Mode: a special move that temporarily increases the user’s attack speed and strength. Demon Mode can turn any player into a whirling dervish of death and badassitude, but it constantly drains stamina, so players who get too reckless will find themselves quickly turned into their quarry’s snack.
The Great Sword trades speed for sheer power, and it is, blow for blow, the strongest weapon in Monster Hunter. This weapon might look unwieldy, but with proper timing, it can fell even the strongest of monsters. Furthermore, players can charge up Great Sword swings to magnify their attack power, and since the Great Sword is bigger than its wielder, it makes for a handy makeshift shield in a pinch. Finally, to make up for its lack of speed, players can now use the momentum of the Great Sword to swing themselves into the air and then use their momentum to bring the sword crashing down on an unsuspecting monster.
Also known as the Sephiroth cosplay weapon, Long Swords excel at sustaining damage with attacks that flow into even more attacks. Far more mobile and faster than the Great Sword, the Long Sword is an excellent choice for players who want to stay on the move, but that’s partially because the the Long Sword can’t block attacks. Also, players who want to master the Long Sword will need to master the Spirit Blade, a unique ability that rewards extended Long Sword combos with increased attack power.
The Hammer is, in some respects, as powerful as the Great Sword, but for different reasons. While it doesn’t have the range or attack power of the Great Sword, the Hammer is much faster and can easily stun most monsters with repeated blows to the head. But, since the Hammer is a blunt weapon, it can’t cut off monster tails, though that’s a small price to pay for going all Reinhardt on a dragon.
One of Monster Hunter’s weirdest weapons, the Hunting Horn is also one of the game’s few support weapons. While it has a much longer reach than the Hammer, the Hunting Horn isn’t as powerful, even though it can still stun monsters by bludgeoning their skulls. Furthermore, the Hunting Horn can’t cut off monster tails, but what it can do is provide buffs for the player and his or her allies. In other words, the Hunting Horn is the closest gamers will ever get to playing a Bard in Monster Hunter.
When it comes to tanking and defense, the Lance is the weapon of choice. Equipped with a large tower or kite shield, the Lance lets players keep their guard up even when attacking and moving, and the business end of the lance lets them attack at a distance. However, due to the nature of the weapon, the Lance is ill-equipped to take on hordes of smaller monster, but it’s a decent trade-off for being able to take on a charging Diablos without flinching.
Ok, now we’re getting into the good stuff. The Gunlance is a more offense-oriented version of the Lance, and since it’s part gun, the Gunlance can fire short-range shells that keep monsters at bay more effectively than the Lance. Moreover, some of these cartridges can be lodged in a monster to deal extra damage, albeit with a delayed explosion. However, aside from its explosive skill set, the Gunlance is mostly the same as the Lance, so players don’t necessarily have to decide to specialize in one or the other.
This…this is my favorite weapon in Monster Hunter. The Switch Axe starts off as a long-reaching axe and can transform into a powerful and speedy sword that, in the hands of a talented player, rivals the Great Sword for sheer damage output. However, Switch Axe wielders can only use the sword mode if the weapon has energy in its elemental phial, but since this phial refills over time, players shouldn’t worry about conserving it, especially since the phial can be expended all at once for a large, devastating attack.
The antithesis of the Switch Axe, the Charge Blade focuses on defense while the Switch Axe focuses on offense. The Charge Blade starts in sword and shield mode, and much like the Switch Axe, can transform into a more devastating axe mode. However, unlike the Switch Axe, the Charge Blade can transform at any time even if its elemental phials are empty. Furthermore, the elemental effects of phials can be channeled into either the axe mode for a set number of elementally-charged attacks or the shield for a timed defense boost. Of course, this system is harder than it sounds, so maybe beginners might want to avoid the Charge Blade.
The last melee weapon in Monster Hunter World, the Insect Glaive is unique, and that’s saying something given the Hunting Horn. Unlike other weapons, the Insect Glaive provides aerial mobility, which means players can use it to dodge mid-air and attack from almost any angle. Furthermore, the Insect Glaive comes with a symbiotic beetle, the Kinsect, that leeches energy from monsters and uses this energy to give the wielder various boosts. Different monsters provide different boosts, so players will have to experiment and remember which monsters provide which boosts.
The first of three ranged weapons, the Bow comes with numerous kinds of arrows that inflict every type of status ailment in the game. While the Bow lacks the power of melee weapons, it is perfect for keeping monsters weak, helpless, and at a distance. Since players can switch between different arrows, they will be prepared to fight all manner of monsters, much like the superheros Hawkeye and Green Arrow.
The Light Bowgun is the Monster Hunter equivalent of a crossbow, except far cooler. As the name suggests, the Light Bowgun is designed to attack monsters at a distance and favors speed over power. Like the Bow, the Light Bowgun comes with different kinds of ammo that support allies. Out of all the Light Bowgun’s ammo types, the most impressive is the new Wyvernblast, a mine-like cartridge that is shot into the ground and explodes whenever shot. Players shouldn’t get close to these cartridges, but with enough planning and raw materials, they can turn the Wyvernblast cartridges into devastating traps.
If it absitively posolutely needs to be wrecked beyond all recognition, then the Heavy Bowgun is the right tool for the job. This weapon hits like a howitzer, and while it might be slower than the Light Bowgun, the Heavy Bowgun makes up for its lack of speed with different ammo types that focus on sheer damage. From mortars to rapid-fire and even explosive sniper rounds, if it’s meant to tear a hole in the side of even the toughest dragon hide, the Heavy Bowgun can fire it.
And those are all the weapons that will be available in Monster Hunter World. You now should have a better idea of what each weapon can do, and, if I’ve done my job, you might have already decided which one is right for you. Oh, and before I forget, Capcom is running a contest that lets gamers design their own weapon for Monster Hunter World. No, you don’t get to create a new weapon type, but you can submit a design for an existing one. The weapon could be a lance made out of Diablos horns, Dual Blades that look like hatchets, or maybe something crazy like a Theremin Hunting Horn. The contest runs until August 16th, so you better start designing if you want your weapon featured in the game.