This massive commentated Monster Hunter: World presentation from TGS explains it all

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It’s no secret that I’ve been a fan of the Monster Hunter series since its original PlayStation 2 entry, but I have never been more excited for the series than I am right now. In the 42-minute presentation above from the TGS 2017 stage, the developers take a look at ten minutes of story intro, before diving into hunts against returning dragonoid Rathian, and new threats Kulu-Ya-Ku and Nergigante.

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If you’ve never touched a game in this venerable old series, that’ll be a whole lot of nonsense to you, other than the ‘story intro’ part, but give it a watch anyway. Despite coming from the TGS stage, the commentary is in English, breaking down exactly what you’re seeing. It’s a good crash course in what being a Monster Hunter entails, although on a broader scale than the series has ever covered before.

The first chunk of the presentation is dedicated to the cinematic intro for the game, which leads directly into an action-packed tutorial, as a volcanic event forces a desperate ascent into an utterly chaotic, monster-infested environment.  It’s a world apart from the more sedate opening sections of earlier games in the series for sure, and seems to teach the fundamentals well enough, even if it is under pressure.

With the tutorial over, we switch up to a hunt for the dragon-like Rathian, they begin with a little bit of downtime and show off the new fishing mechanics. After stalking the target for a while, they demonstrate the enhanced stealth mechanics allowing them to disengage from combat by hiding in bushes, and then launch into showing off the rodeo attack system, mounting the monster and stabbing it from on top. It’s mostly familiar stuff, but segues smoothly into hitching a ride on a passing flying critter and landing in a more open plains region, demonstrating the new, more open environments.

There’s a lot of exciting new things to see for returning series fans. It seems that in the desert region, we meet a cousin of the sneakily mimicking Yian-Kut-Ku. The smaller, more velociraptor-like Kula-Ya-Ku seems highly dexterous, although passive at first, casually snacking on an egg and ignoring the hunter. Once engaged it proves that it’s more than just a pretty face by picking up a boulder to use as an improvised shield against incoming attacks. The animation of it fumbling its rocky shield when it takes too many hits is so adorable, I’m probably going to feel bad farming these guys.

The video culminates with them throwing down against an all new creature called a Nergigante. A true Elder Dragon type monster, which means it’s big, has six limbs, and a lot of anger issues to work out. The gimmick of this creature seems to be constantly regenerating chitinous spike armour. If you hope to do any real damage, you need to strip its plating away and get in some good hits before it regrows. It’s also very fast and very aggressive, but smart enough to know when to disengage from the player to regrow plating. It’s a properly monstrous-looking monster and I cannot wait for a chance to fight one myself.

Monster Hunter: World has been confirmed for a PS4 and Xbox One release worldwide on January 26th, 2018, with the PC version hopefully not too far behind.

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