On Sept. 17, 2020, Capcom announced two new titles for the Monster Hunter franchise: Monster Hunter Rise, the next main entry in the Monster Hunter series, and Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, the long-awaited sequel to the JRPG spinoff title, Monster Hunter Stories.
The first game was an underrated gem on the 3DS and mobile devices and Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is looking to improve the groundwork laid out by its predecessor. If all goes well, it may end up being one of the best RPGs on PC.
At the time of this writing, we haven’t seen a lot of in-depth gameplay footage beyond cutscenes. To compensate, we will discuss what we know about both games to help newcomers understand why they should get excited about this title. Here’s everything you need to know about Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin.
What is Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin?
In contrast to the mainline Monster Hunter games, which are action games with serviceable plots and soft RPG mechanics — Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of a Ruin and its predecessor are fully-fledged, turn-based JRPGs with a heavy focus on storytelling.
The story of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin has you assume the role of a Monster Rider (whose appearance and gender are customizable). Monster Riders are a secret tribe of warriors that befriend monsters instead of constantly hunting them like the traditional Monster Hunters. They accomplish this by using special devices called Kinship Stones that allow Riders to tame a monster so they can become friendly monsters referred to as Monsties.
One day, a young Wyverian girl (Monster Hunter’s equivalent of elves) named Ena approaches you with a warning that the flying wyverns, Rathalos, are mysteriously disappearing. Your grandfather, Red, tried to help her solve this mystery a long time ago but he disappeared. Ena asks you to continue your grandfather’s quest and help her save the Rathalos. Perhaps you may find out your grandfather’s fate along the way.
We don’t know right now if Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruins exists in the same continuity as the first game. However, there is some evidence it may because one of the supporting characters from the first game, a Palico named Navirou, has shown up in the second trailer. Will the protagonist from Monster Hunter Stories 1 make an appearance as well? We’ll have to wait and see.
What is the gameplay like?
The turn-based combat system of Monster Hunter Stories is reminiscent of Pokémon. You take turns attacking the monster, using element attacks its weak to to wear them down with status effects. What separates Monster Hunters Stories from Pokémon is that you fight directly alongside your Monstie, aiding them with buffs and healing items. You can even ride your Monstie to perform over-the-top super moves that deal massive damage called Kinship Attacks.
However, there are two major drawbacks of being a Rider — You are incredibly squishy and have a smaller selection of weapons compared to a Hunter. The main games have 14 weapons to choose from, whereas in Monster Hunter Stories 1, you get four — Sword & Shield, Greatsword, Hammer, and Hunting Horn. Your role is mainly recruiting Monsties to expand your party and supporting them in battle.
Acquiring Monsties for your party works differently from Pokémon as well. Instead of catching monsters in battle, you have to go into mini-dungeons called Monster Dens, find an egg, bring it back to town, and use the Kinship Stone to hatch and have the baby imprint onto you.
One feature from the first game that I really want to come back is the Genes system. Using the Rite of Channelling mechanic, you can take traits from one Monstie and transfer it onto another. For example, you can take the genes of a Rathalos that allow it to breathe fire and give it to a water-based monster like Mizutsune to expand its move-set. You can even take traits of a monster’s resistance and transfer them to another monster to cover its weaknesses.
What monsters will we be fighting and recruiting?
I’m personally hoping Bazelgeuse from Monster Hunter World: Iceborne makes it in so we can ride it into battle while playing Flight of the Valkyries in the background.
There hasn’t been any sign of original monsters as of yet. Without going into spoilers, Monster Hunter Stories 1 only had one original monster. The roster consisted of monsters from the mainline series and DLC guest Monsties from other franchises like Epona from The Legend of Zelda and Kurenai Goukami from Puzzle X Dragons.
Will this game have multiplayer features?
In the first Monster Hunter Stories, you could battle other players online with your Monsties, but there hasn’t been word yet if the PVP mode will return in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. I hope the PVP does return because you get special rewards for fighting players online, like acquiring an egg that contains the fan-favorite monster, Glavenus.
Are there any preorder bonuses?
Will amiibo content make it to the PC version?
We have no confirmation at this time if the content from the Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruins amiibos will be included in the PC version. We also don’t know what the content within the amiibos even are. My best guess is that they will include cosmetic outfits just like the Monster Hunter Rise amiibos did.
Is there a limited or special edition?
What are the PC specs?
We presently do not know the PC specs for Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin at this time. I wouldn’t expect it to be higher than Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, considering Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is a port of a Nintendo Switch game.
Will there be mod support?
Mod support is neither confirmed nor denied at the time of writing. If Monster Hunter World: Iceborne can get mod support, then I firmly believe Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin will as well.
Will there be DLC?
The first game had a fair amount of DLC like the aforementioned Epona Monstie, Link’s Garb from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, and sidequests where you can fight harder versions of monsters for stat-boosting items and powerful gear. I would expect Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin would get the same level of DLC support after the game launches. I’m especially hopeful for more crossover DLC Monsties. If there was ever a time for a crossover between Monster Hunter and Pokemon, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is the perfect opportunity.
One cool advantage Monster Hunter Stories 2 has over the mainline games is that the PC version will launch simultaneously with the Nintendo Switch version, meaning that both versions will most likely get their content updates at the same time. This is a nice change from the PC version of Monster Hunter World, which was released months after the console version and spent just as much time catching up on the content updates.
What will the price be at launch?
Preorders are unavailable at the moment. I would estimate the retail price tag to be somewhere between $40-$50. When the price has been confirmed, we will update accordingly.
What is the release date?
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin will launch worldwide on the Nintendo Switch and PC through Steam on July 9, 2021.