Monster Hunter: World will be the one that gets me

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Looks good, feels good

My history with the Monster Hunter series is painfully, regretfully abrupt. I attempted to get into it years ago, on PlayStation Portable, but bounced off so hard that I can’t even confidently say which installment I tried. That experience kept me off the handheld games for good, and while I came close to springing for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Wii U, well, that just never panned out. These things happen.

My time has come, though. Monster Hunter: World is a much easier sell. I recognized that when the game was announced, and I’m even more sure of it now that I’ve gotten a brief chance to play.

I mean, just look at it! It’s beautiful.

At PAX West, I joined three other players who clearly knew and loved Monster Hunter. I went with dual blades, thinking that would give me more of a chance to get in, get out, and not take any big swings to the face. This video shows what the weapons look like when you know what the hell you’re doing:

The session was short and sweet. We chased down an overgrown lizard with a spiky mane, stabbed it a bunch, I started to feel bad for it but continued anyway, we killed the poor thing, and got to harvesting. As a Monster Hunter newcomer, the nuances were lost on me, but playing on a gamepad felt terrific, and I had a good time. That’s about all I could hope for with a hands-on demo like this.

Talk of a “living ecosystem,” pitting beasts against each other, and a more open-ended feeling all sounded good to me. I’m hesitant to say that I’ll ever pump hundreds of hours into a Monster Hunter title, but World is without a doubt the series’ best bet at winning me over. If you can relate to my near-non-existent history with the series, definitely keep an eye on this as we inch closer to 2018.