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We’ve played Monster Hunter: World, and it rules

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Watch 12 minutes of hands-on gameplay

We were excited when Monster Hunter: World got announced during Sony’s press conference at E3 2017. After all, this is the first proper Monster Hunter for consoles since 2013’s Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and that was an upgrade to a non-HD game.

We were even more excited when we got to see Monster Hunter: World in action during a live demo at E3. But hands-off demos can be full of tricks. To fully believe in what Capcom is selling here, we needed hands-on time, and now we’ve got that.

And Monster Hunter: World is good. Very good.

In the video above, you can watch just over 12 minutes from our recent hands-on session with the game. We join a group of hunters from Capcom to take on the Anjanath, a large, fire-breathing dinosaur that really doesn’t like being hunted.

The fight takes us across one of Monster Hunter: World’s new seamless zones, and it shows off some of the game’s exciting new features, including dozens of little quality-of-life upgrades to the sometimes archaic Monster Hunter we’ve all come to know and love.

No more pausing for long stretches to pick up herbs? Yep. The ability to change armor and weapons when you’re in the hunting map? Oh yeah. Heck, you can even drink potions while moving now. And even with all of these tweaks, the classic Monster Hunter formula remains in effect; this doesn’t appear to be a watered down, overly simplified reimagining.

Monster Hunter: World will launch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early 2018, with a Windows PC version to follow at a later date.