Monster Hunter: World is a game that excels when it comes to delivering frantic, pulse-pounding moments, where your back is against the wall and you’re running low on supplies as a giant beast looms over you. It’s also a game with an immense amount of levity and bouncy humor. We spent countless hours delving into Monster Hunter: World’s zany world, tracking beasts and getting lost in gorgeous (and sometimes disgusting) environments.
Here are our favorite moments from our time with the game. Some minor spoilers for monster encounters below but no story details.
Javy Gwaltney (Associate Editor)
Even in the fanged, venomous world of Monster Hunter, the so-called Radobaan is a particularly dangerous beast. Imagine, if you will, a giant ball the size of a three-story apartment and as hard as a military grade bunker. Okay, now make that ball capable of moving as fast as a Lamborghini ripping down an abandoned interstate, its driver unafraid of the law or collateral consequence. Oh, and why not stick giant, deadly spikes all over said ball? Y’know, just for good measure? Why settle for efficient when you can have overkill?
My first reaction to the Radobaan is one of horror. This far into the game I’ve killed dragons, yes. I’ve slain T-Rexes and strange ostriches that carried boulders to bash my head in. But the Radobaan is the first creature I’ve seen that defies some easy categorization, some animal I know that i can compare it to. It’s a beast of cosmic horror that inhabits a kingdom made of bones and dead flesh. And I have to kill it. All by myself.
Cool. Cool cool cool.
The creature moves first, tearing across the ground and slamming into me with full force, whittling my health down to half a bar. My fluffly Palico, named after my real-life kitten, screams in terror. I recover, quickly planting a health booster and then jumping into the fray. My twin blades ting off the steel, spiked hide, dealing paltry damage. He slaps me with his tail, taking down my life by a substantial chunk once more.
OK. Let’s be smart about this, yeah? Stop slashing, start thinking.
I circle the monster as my Palico distracts him. I watch his movements, carefully devoting five minutes to learning his patterns as best as I can. The Radobaan is strong and slow, but he’s not dumb. He has a whole suite of attacks for getting you out from underneath him. It’s when I see these movements, I realize my mistakes: I’ve been hammering at his feet and mouth, assuming that would be his weak spots. But it’s actually his belly.
I rush him once more, stabbing up and using a whirlwind attack so that I get in, deal damage, and get out before he does a stomping or charge attack. It’s a long affair but it works. Soon the slits of spike armor connected to his belly start to come undone. Thorns disappear from around his legs, revealing blue flesh. Then his mouth.
The Radobaan starts taking heavy breaths. His chest heaves. He’s getting weaker. I take advantage of the performance lull and slash away at his tail. And soon enough, he shrieks. I see a flash of pink meat as the spiked rope goes flying across the arena. He retreats, spinning away in pain and terror.
I open the map and watch him sneak way to a sleeping spot. I take a brief moment to sharpen my blade, restore my health and stamina, and then the Palico and I track him across hills and pits until we find him sleeping in his hideaway.
I step to his face and lay a small square of green leaves in front of him, and then a healing booster to help soak up whatever damage he does to me upon stirring. I wait for a second and then slam the blades into his face. The Radobaan, no longer a monster, no longer a walking cosmic mystery, but instead a pitiful creature awaiting the final blow, howls in anger as it rises. It stomps forward to push me out of the way, but a quick zuhrippp followed by vines erupting from the patch of grass negates his attack, strapping him in place.
I’ve got three, four seconds tops, so I go to town, slicing away at his face like some deranged ballet-butcher, spinning without end. And then, at last, with dramatic flair, the Radobaan announces his death with a roar before falling over to his side, the once great creature a dead husk. His corpse ready to be scavenged and turned into armor for my little feline buddy, who gives a quick celebratory meow at our victory.
For my part I let the silence stand for a moment before I get to cutting, before we head to back the town of Astera to celebrate with meals and armor making. I stare at the still, massive body before me.
So this is what it’s like to kill the unknown.
Jeff Cork (Senior Editor)
One of the best things about Monster Hunter: World is how nearly every large hunt I’ve gone on has been memorable. Some of the standout moments have included finally defeating the elder dragon Nergigante with Dan Tack after trying (and failing) to solo it over several days. He’s harder in the full game than in the beta, OK? Then there was a hilarious fight with Javy against Diabolis, where the dragon seemed more like a hapless goof who couldn’t do anything right. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as my first encounter with the beast, though it was certainly something I won’t soon forget. That’s not my favorite moment, though.
I was on an expedition in the Wildspire Waste the other day, in the middle of a fight against a Rathian. Out of nowhere, a Rathalos swooped in and started tussling with the other dragon. At that point, I hung back and watched as the two beasts clawed and wrestled.
My family just got another dog, and the past few days have featured a lot of rambunctious playing as the pair figures out who’s in charge (it’s not us). It was uncanny to see how well Capcom’s art and animation team captured the physicality of animals in a scrap – from circling around and sizing the other up, to the feints and full-contact charges.
They eventually went their separate ways. I took down the Rathian in a deluge of water after smashing a dam. The Rathalos’ defeat wasn’t nearly as dramatic; he eventually gave up after being pelted with about 1,000 bullets. As satisfying as their defeats may have been, I have to say it couldn’t compare with the sight of watching them battle.
Imran Khan (West Coast News Editor)
I was really banging my head against a story quest with a new monster whose aggressiveness and speed seemed to run counter to the best weapon I had to fight them. After the third or fourth try, I was almost ready to give up and call for help. I managed to fight the monster enough to at least send it to a different area. I realized I had run out of healing items in the process and decided to teleport to a nearby camp to refill. I wasn’t going to take any chances this time.
Upon fast traveling to the camp, I heard a lot of noise just outside. This particular camp required crawling out of a hole and I emerged on the other side seeing the monster I was hunting and an ice wyvern fighting each other in a knock-down, drag-out fight. I quickly dove back in my hole and watched the two fight it out on the map. Once the target monster drove off the ice wyvern, a third monster came by and did a little extra damage before running off on their own.
The target monster was so damaged from these fights that she went to her sleeping spot with me following behind, setting up a trap under her while she slept and ending the fight painlessly with Tranq Bombs. I took a nap in the camp tent while the game solved the problem for me.
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