Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is a sequel nobody expected. The original Monster Hunter Stories on Nintendo 3DS was beloved by everyone who played it but “everyone” wasn’t many people at all. It launched in the last days of the 3DS’ popularity, in a time when Monster Hunter had yet to reach the mainstream. But with its wide, open world adventures, a cast of loveable characters and an innovative battling system, the game was quick to win RPG fans over.
Thankfully, the spin-off will get a new chance to shine with Wings of Ruin, the upcoming Switch and PC sequel set to release shortly after Monster Hunter: Rise.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming game.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Release Date
Let’s start with the basics. Monster Hunter Stories 2 will launch on July 9 for Nintendo Switch and PC (via Steam).
The launch will be accompanied by the release of three amiibos: Ena, Tsukino and the Razewing Ratha. Each amiibo will unlock a new layered armour set in the game.
Is Monster Hunter Stories 2 connected to Rise?
Monster Hunter Stories 2 is a spin-off from the main franchise, so you don’t need to play Rise to enjoy the game.
It features entirely different storylines, combat and characters.
What is Wings of Ruin‘s story about?
In Wings of Ruin, players take the role of a Monster Rider born in the Mahana village. Unlike other realms in the Monster Hunter universe, here, monsters (“monsties”) can be tamed to be used in battle.
The game takes place as a great disturbance causes the Rathalos monsties to disappear, leading your Rider on a journey to far-off lands as they uncover what’s really going on. Along the way, they’ll contend with their history and family legacy, walking in the footsteps of their grandfather, who once tamed the mighty guardian Ratha.
On your path, you’ll travel through beautiful regions, befriend wandering travellers and defeat tough enemies.
You don’t need to play the original, but you should
Monster Hunter Stories 2 doesn’t share a linear story with Monster Hunter Stories, although they do share similar gameplay elements and a visual style. Sadly, the original game didn’t get the audience it deserved. But Wings of Ruins gives the franchise a new chance to shine.
If you want to know more about the franchise, Monster Hunter Stories is still worth playing because it’s a great and cutesy adventure but you can just as easily jump into Wings of Ruin and pick up everything you need along the way.
Combat will likely be encounter and turn-based
Given Monster Hunter Stories 2 is a direct sequel to Monster Hunter Stories, it’s fair to assume it’ll be heavily inspired by the combat and gameplay of the original title.
This means you’ll encounter monsters in real-time as you travel through each locale. Rather than being random encounters, the monsters in Stories will usually rush at you, giving you a good chance to run away if you’re in their path.
If you engage them in battle, you’ll set off a rock-paper-scissors style combat mini-game where players need to identify the weaknesses of monsters in turn-based combat and unleash the most devastating attacks for each monster type.
It’s likely Wings of Ruin will build on this turn-based system, rather than adopting the more ‘mainstream’ combat style of games like Monster Hunter World. It’s great news for JRPG fans but if you’re not a big turn-based combat fan, you might be better of sticking with Rise.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 will have multiplayer
In a new trailer for the game, Capcom confirmed Monster Hunter Stories 2 will offer a hearty multiplayer mode where players can hunt down and defeat monsters together.
We haven’t seen a solid glimpse of combat just yet, but the final moments in the trailer showed off fast-paced attacks with two players working in tandem to take down a towering boss. It’s just a snippet of multiplayer gameplay, but it’s an exciting one.
It’s a dangerous world out there, and it’s great to know your friends will be there to help you out along the way.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is set to launch this July.
Stay tuned to Kotaku Australia for more Monster Hunter coverage and everything you need to know about the upcoming year in gaming.