Monster Hunter Wilds May State of Play 2024 trailer analysis: hidden details on the story, combat, and new monsters

Monster Hunter Wilds promotional screenshot
(Image credit: Capcom)

On May 30, 2024, Capcom unveiled a new gameplay trailer for Monster Hunter Wilds during Sony's May State of Play May 2024 event. Unlike the game's debut teaser trailer back in December 2023, this trailer gives us a greater look at Monster Hunter Wilds' gameplay, story, locales, and monsters.

Much like how we analyzed Monster Hunter Wilds' debut trailer, we're going to do a deep dive into this trailer as well to see what new exciting gameplay features the next installment of Capcom's best-selling Monster Hunter franchise has up its sleeve for us.

We will also be analyzing information from the Monster Hunter Wilds website and Sony's State of Play blog.

An expedition into the Forbidden Lands

The trailer opens up to a crew of monster hunters sailing across a desert to explore an uncharted territory called the Forbidden Lands. This group is led by the player character, who will once again be a customizable avatar. However, for the first time in the Monster Hunter series, the player character will be capable of speaking during cutscenes to help players form a deeper personal connection to the story and characters.

The player hunter and their Palico set off for a new adventure. (Image credit: Capcom)

The player character will be accompanied by their Palico, a hunter's trusty Felyne sidekick (who is also created and customized by the player) who provides support during hunts. The Palico will also be speaking dialogue for the first time during hunts and cutscenes as well.

Your other companions during this expedition include Alma, a Guild Handler who will be in charge of assigning your hunting quests, managing your supply items, and providing info during hunts. There's also Gemma, a blacksmith from the Research Commission who will be forging your weapons and armor, and a mysterious young boy named Nata.

What could be Nata's role in the story be? (Image credit: Capcom)

I speculate that this adventure will be more than just a research expedition because Gemma remarks "I hope we find them soon," while looking concerned toward Nata,  and showing a flashback of the boy looking sad during a meeting and wearing a pendant that looks important to him. 

I suspect that a group of hunters went into the Forbidden Lands before we did, but something went wrong and Nata was the only person to come back seemingly alive, so we have to rescue them as part of our mission.

Familiar faces for Monster Hunter 4 fans?

Gemma is ready to keep your gear in shape. (Image credit: Capcom)

Before we move on, I would take a moment and say some of the characters in this trailer may seem familiar to long-time Monster Hunter fans. For instance, fans are speculating on Reddit that Gemma the blacksmith may be a grown-up version of Little Miss Forge, a girl who helped forge equipment back in Monster Hunter 4 on the Nintendo 3DS. 

It could be very possible that Gemma is Little Miss Forge as these two share similar design aesthetics, both are blacksmiths, and that Gemma is wearing the jacket of the Caravaneer, an important story NPC who took in Little Miss Forge into his caravan group during Monster Hunter 4.

Could this man be a returning Monster Hunter character? (Image credit: Capcom)

Another character that fans may recognize is the older-looking gentleman who assigns the player to be the leader of this expedition. His hairstyle and face look remarkably similar to Julius the Ace Commander from Monster Hunter 4, a character that led a group called the Ace Hunters who aided players in stopping Gore Magala's Frenzy Virus and hunting the Rusty Kushala Daora.

If these two characters are the same ones from Monster Hunter 4, then that would be awesome because Monster Hunter 4 arguably has the most memorable cast of characters out of any mainline Monster Hunter, despite not having names back then. 

Here's hoping that the adorably quirky Sophia the Guildmarm from Monster Hunter 4 makes a reappearance too.

The Forbidden Lands and the dark side of nature

Only the toughest of monsters can survive living in a harsh ecosystem such as the Windward Plains. (Image credit: Capcom)

After the trailer sets up the premise, we then get a look at one of the new hunting locales we will be exploring in the Forbidden Lands, called the Windward Plains. These vast plains are home to barren deserts, winding rock formations, patches of grasslands, and more.

This locale is dangerous to trek through, not just because of the rugged terrain and territorial wildlife, but also because this land is frequently engulfed in destructive weather such as sandstorms and thunderstorms.

Certain monsters have adapted to withstand the thunderstorms in the Windward Plains. (Image credit: Capcom)

These harsh weather patterns are not just cosmetic background choices, they will affect the gameplay of Monster Hunters Wilds. As you hunt in these locales, the weather will sometimes dramatically change the environment, which can open environmental traps to damage monsters or even change a monster's behavior during combat.

What terrifying foes must we hunt this time?

If you see a herd of Doshaguma charging towards you, run. (Image credit: Capcom)

Speaking of monsters, it's time we talked about them as they are the stars of the show here. This trailer showcases a wide variety of monsters you can expect to find in the Windward Plains. 

Some monsters are peaceful creatures that don't pose a threat. (Image credit: Capcom)

For Small Monsters, we have Herbivores like the peaceful Ceratonoth which grow lightning rods from their backs to protect their herd from lightning strikes, and the buffalo-like Dalthydon which will charge at invaders with their massive headshells.

We see a Dalthydon getting attacked by an unknown alligator/crocodile (could be a Leviathan-type monster) and a pack of small Bird Wyvern monster-type raptors with black feathers and elongated corvid-like beaks.

We also see tiny unnamed endemic-life birds resting on Ceretonoth.

Don't croak when battling the toad-like Chatacabra. (Image credit: Capcom)

For Large Monsters, we have Doshaguma, a gigantic, ugly, mean-looking Fanged Beast-type monster that travels in packs and pulverizes its prey using its massive body and jaws.

The last monster revealed in this trailer is the Chatacabra, a bulky Amphibian-type monster that looks like a cross between a gorilla and a toad. This brawler attacks players using its rock-hard fists, disgusting tongue, and covering its fists in rocks using its glue-like saliva to form rock gauntlets for extra damage.

We must devise news ways to hunt

Lure different monster species to fight other in savage Turf Wars. (Image credit: Capcom)

One of the bigger gameplay changes for this Monster Hunter game is that monsters will often form herds with their own kind, whether they're small or large monsters. So, you will need to plan your hunts carefully if you wish to survive because trying to take on a group of large monsters like the Doshaguma is pretty much a death wish.

One plan that could be deployed is by luring monsters away from the pack and dealing with them one by one. We see this in the trailer as the player is luring the alpha Doshaguma away from its pack and uses the Slinger to activate an environmental trap to cut off the rest of its allies from reaching their leader.

Another example of dealing with monster herds is by drawing one group of monsters into another so they can begin Turf Wars with each other, as seen in the trailer when the Chatacabra is getting ganged up on by the corvid-esque Bird Wyverns.

Ride on with the new Seikret mount

Mount the Seikret to dash across the Forbidden Lands. (Image credit: Capcom)

Luring monsters into traps and turf wars won't bring victory alone, as you will need to get into the fight yourself to slay your targets. Thankfully, Monster Hunter Wilds will feature plenty of tools, weapons, and allies to help you accomplish your task.

One of these new support features is Seikret, an animal mount that will help the player travel the map and survive in battle. This raptor-like mount can travel across great distances and jagged terrain, and automatically transport you to a selected location on the map. 

In addition, Seikret can pick players off the ground when they've been knocked to the floor to save them from being crushed by an incoming monster attack. While riding Seikret, players will be able to use healing items, gather upgrade materials while moving, sharpen weapons, and use their weapons and slingers to attack monsters. 

Switch weapon-types on the fly with the help of Seikret. (Image credit: Capcom)

The biggest advantage that the Seikret offers is that it can carry a secondary weapon that the player can change their weapon loadout within the middle of combat. This is huge because, in Monster Hunter World and Monster Hunter Rise, you had to run all the way back to your base camp in order to switch weapons, wasting valuable time off the time limit to complete the mission.

With Seikret, you will be able to avoid this issue now, as you will be able to switch weapon types on the fly.

Use the Slinger's new Hook Slinger upgrade to activate environmental traps to ensnare monsters. (Image credit: Capcom)

I would be remiss if I didn't bring up the Slinger, a support tool introduced in Monster Hunter World that will be invaluable to players in this game. This handheld crossbow/grappling hook can be used to gather materials from a distance, activate environmental traps, or fire natural ammo like rocks and seeds to distract monsters.

Focus your strikes with the new Focus Mode

Activate Focus Mode with Great Sword to rip and tear through a monster's hide. (Image credit: Capcom)

The last third of the trailer then showcases some of the weapons players will use in Monster Hunter Wilds. Capcom has confirmed that all fourteen weapon types from Monster Hunter World will return and will feature new actions and mechanics to perform. 

These weapon types include:

  • Great Sword
  • Long Sword
  • Sword & Shield
  • Dual Blades
  • Hammer
  • Hunting Horn
  • Lance
  • Gunlance
  • Switch Axe
  • Charge Blade
  • Insect Glaive
  • Light Bowgun
  • Heavy Bowgun
  • Bow

In addition, every weapon will gain access to a new mechanic called Focus Mode. Focus Mode is a stance that will allow players access to powerful special moves that can be manually aimed to target a monster's specific body parts for extra damage or protect themselves with defensive counterattacks and evasive maneuvers.

For example, in the trailer, using Focus Mode with Great Sword allowed the player character to launch a vicious counterattack on a Doshaguma to knock it over, follow up with a dash attack, and stick their Great Sword into the monster's hide to drag it across and rip it apart. In addition, the player used Focus Mode with a Heavy Bowgun to fire an explosive that knocked a Doshaguma off its feet.

Unleash explosive devastation with Heavy Bow Gun's Focus Mode. (Image credit: Capcom)

Focus Mode has me particularly excited because it sounds like Valor Style from Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, one of my favorite games in the series. This was an insanely fun gameplay style that allowed players to go into a stance that mitigated incoming damage and allowed access to strong attacks that could wipe the floor with almost any monster. 

If Focus Mode is indeed an evolution of Valor Style, then this game could potentially earn a spot among my top five favorite Monster Hunter titles alongside such hits as Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, and Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak.

Summon reinforcements with S.O.S. flares

Hunt together with friends in online co-op. (Image credit: Capcom)

The last scene of the trailer shows the player character using a flare gun to call for the aid of other player hunters, meaning the S.O.S. flare mechanic from Monster Hunter World will be returning. The reinforcement hunters are sporting cool-looking armor sets that I am guessing you will be able to forge using parts from Doshaguma and Chatacabra.

The trailer ends with the main player character using the Focus Mode to parry a Doshaguma and lodge their Great Sword into its mouth to hold it back (which I am going to assume will involve a short quick-time-event mini-game sequence) while their allies beat it down.

The next-generation of Monster Hunter can't come soon enough

Top Recommendations

As a die-hard fan who's been hooked on Capcom's Monster Hunter series since Monster Hunter World, this trailer had me incredibly excited about the future. The new monsters and mechanics on display, the gorgeously vibrant yet deadly locales, and the brutal Focus Mode attacks had me begging for more.

Thankfully, we will be getting more info very soon as the developers of Monster Hunter Wilds have confirmed in a Developer's Message video that there will be a new trailer debuting on June 7, 2024, during Summer Games Fest 2024.

I know I'll definitely be tuning in to watch this new trailer and see what other new tricks this long-awaited next-gen follow-up to one of the best Xbox Games and best PC games of the Monster Hunter series has to offer.

Monster Hunter Wilds is scheduled to be released sometime in 2025 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam.

Monster Hunter Wilds

Monster Hunter Wilds

Journey to the Forbidden Lands to discover unexplored locales, uncover wondrous secrets, and hunt giant monsters looking to tear you to shreds in Monster Hunter Wilds.

Wishlist at: Steam

Alexander Cope

Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!