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Monster Hunter: World Hands On – So far an adventure of epic proportions

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I have played a few Monster Hunter games in the past and while I liked them, I hated the fact that you could not find them on anything else but handheld devices. The Nintendo 3DS was home to a few, the PSP, and then the PS Vita. Sure, Monster Hunter Ultimate was on the Switch, but it still felt like it could have been something even better. Monster Huner: World is the Monster Hunter we have been waiting for and the game has finally come to life on powerful hardware capable of delivering stunning worlds and breathtaking environments. The hunt comes to life like never before and the beta proved that we are in for some of the most exhilarating moments in the series history. Take a look at some hands on gameplay below.

Starting off, the beta does not keep any progress you make in the game other than what missions you complete. Every one of the three missions in the beta will unlock equipment and items for the main game when it releases in January 2018. The beta did, however, allow us to try each weapon type in single player, multiplayer, and in a training area which gave us free reign to test all the weapons and combos for each one. It also came with a wide range of armour sets to equip your character with.

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Heading off on a mission was easy but the only issue we had was creating a private game to play with friends always forced us to send these long Quest IDs to them that they had to type out in their game in order to join our lobby. Sure, it makes this private but what is wrong with a good old invite through a chat party or PSN? I hope the retail game includes this as entering this ID every time into the game will be a chore. Then again, once you are together in a group you are together until you leave.

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While the retail game promises a deeper character customization system, the beta had pre-set faces to choose from for both you and your pet Palico. I cannot wait to create a character and really invest some time into them in the final version of the game. Palicos are also series classics and help you in the game. In Monster Hunter: World, they help you a little more than ever as they now attack monsters, run and heal you and even help you discover new items and tracking marks in the world.

Speaking of worlds, the Monster Hunter: World beta spanned two locations with three quests and the locations we visited were just gorgeous. The lands feel as if they are alive with all sorts of creatures roaming the jungle scapes, and the dinosaurs walking about through the desert. It is almost like the entire ecosystem feels like it belongs together with monsters eating other monsters, and each creature lives in an area that you would expect to find them in so hunting something down is easier too.

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The most important new feature of the game for me has to be the Scoutflies. These green glowing flies detect items around you as well as footprints, mucus, scrapings and even healing items and throwable materials. I would be lost without them as they helped me track down the monster I had to hunt down on the first mission. Once I walked around the stunning area and got lost, I realized that the Scoutflies can scan footprints left behind and once I gathered enough tracks they pointed me directly to the monster.

I remember playing Monster Hunter: Ultimate where this was not a thing so the ability to help improve the hunts will be a favourable one for everyone I hope. The Scoutflies are helpful and they also point you to healing items in the field too in case you don’t come equipped with enough potions.

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A standard Monster Hunter game would be starting out with your gear, equipping enough Whetstone, potions, and other healing and buffing items and heading off for a battle. The same is said for Monster Hunter: World as it looks like it is going to be the same story here too. The beta did provide us with enough of everything but we take it that a little preparation will be needed when it comes to the main game.

Then we have the hunts which are no doubt the most impressive in the series so far. Just the sheer excitement that comes with it is something the handheld versions have failed to deliver. To see this massive lizard jump at you on a huge TV in a world that lives and breathes is truly remarkable. The instant the fight begins is the moment you pull your weapon out and start slicing and dicing. The weapons have not changed much in the game but that is not a problem as they are pretty epic already.

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We tested out a few and loved  the giant cleaver sword the most but there are a wide range of different ones like a mallet, a few bows, lances, and of course the awesome horn that doubles as a weapon and a musical instrument that lets you blow into it to cast healing, buffs and other things on your party members. A general fight with a beast took a while to master in the game and even once we did the fights are long and exciting.

You can knock them down by hitting them on their head and the feedback you see on the game to where you hit the beast makes it feel great. Another awesome moment was when the Borroth started to run away from us and we chased it only to slide down a hill and jump on its back punching it as it tried to throw us off.

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Weapons feel good to use too as each type has a different attack speed, primary and secondary attack and a few combos to even pull off. My favourite was the cleaver’s heavy combo attack which let me swing the sword three times with the last two opening up for an opportunity to charge the attack. It just felt so good pulling it off and it dealt heavy damage to the monster too. It will take a while to master each weapon but Monster Hunter is all about time and patience.

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Sure we did not get to touch on the deep crafting system the series is known for, but the hunts and the worlds that they take place in are good enough to make this a must buy right now as they are exciting and fresh. It is these moments that make Monster Hunter so great and the beta made us more excited than ever to get our hands on the main game when it releases on 26 January 2018.

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