Monster Hunter World Is Finally Available, New Launch Trailer Has Us Drooling

It's time, hunters. Cancel your plans for the weekend, and make sure you cough around your boss a [...]

It's time, hunters. Cancel your plans for the weekend, and make sure you cough around your boss a lot today, because you're going to want to call out sick on Monday. Monster Hunter World is finally out and available to download on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Whether you're a years-long Monster Hunter veteran, or a soft, squishy noobie, Monster Hunter World is far and away the best entry in the series to jump into. This is the time-sink you've been waiting for.

"In Monster Hunter: World, follow the journey of the elder dragons as they begin their once a decade migration across the sea to a land known as the New World in an event referred to by inhabitants as the Elder Crossing. As part of the Guild's Research Commission, players must embark on a grand journey to this massive, mysterious land and uncover the secrets behind this phenomenon. As hunters set out on their quests, the Commission's sights are set on Zorah Magdaros, a colossal elder dragon that rises from the earth like a volcano."

Listen, guys: One of my greatest pet peeves is when people feel the need to compare every game in some way to Dark Souls. Not everything is like Dark Souls, and 90% of the games which attract those comparisons don't deserve them. Allow me to be hypocritical just this once, because if you've never played a Monster Hunter game, Dark Souls really is a good starting point for comparison.

I say this because the gameplay is purely skill-based. Once you track down and confront these enormous, terrifying monsters, you're going to have to memorize their attack patterns and pick and choose your attacks carefully; intentionally. Like in a Souls game, you'll be forced to read your enemies' attack patterns to dodge out of the way at the last moment, allowing yourself a moment (but only a moment) to line up a short series of strikes to the monster's soft and squishy spots. Hunters who go in swinging wildly will be made into monster food in no time.

It can be a little daunting, but don't worry, the best part of any Monster Hunter game is hunting with friends. When you team up with other hunters, your prey does receive a pretty significant boost in health, but if you're willing to learn your weapon well and work together with your friends, you'll be taking down these scaly behemoths in no time. Then the real fun begins.

Every beast you take down will yield its body up to you -- it's yours for the carving. Whip out that knife, and start carving away some scales, hide, and horns that you can take back to the smithy. You'll use these parts to craft better armor and weapons, which will in turn empower you to go hunt down the next big baddy. This is the progress loop, and it never, ever gets old.

If that sounds like your idea of a good time, then don't hesitate: Monster Hunter World is going to be your new addiction! Welcome to the jungle, hunters.