Monster Hunter 4 will include a new "infection" mechanic that blocks the ability to regenerate health but can help players pack more powerful punches, developer Capcom announced today alongside details of how the ability will work.
The infection, the kyouryuu or "dinosaur' virus, is transmitted from monsters to humans. When a human is infected, a gauge appears under the character's name and fills slowly as time passes.
If a character takes damage from another infected monster, the gague will increase. Once it's full, the character will lose the ability to regenerate health. However, if the infected player manages to critically damage an infected monster before the virus gauge fills, the infection can be beaten and the player's critical hit rate will increase.
Capcom says that not all creatures will be infected, but some can become infected during quests. How the infection begins is still unannounced.
Monster Hunter 4 is coming to 3DS in Japan in March, with no word yet on a worldwide release.