Capcom's really gone all out with this. Monster Hunter: World's latest free update adds a new crossover event to the game, welcoming The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt protagonist Geralt of Rivia to the fray. As soon as you start this quest up, you know something's different. There's more dialogue, like Monster Hunter suddenly has a story worth caring about. Then the man himself appears.
Geralt's thrown out of a portal and proceeds to talk to you and your hunter buddies about the situation. He's been teleported to the world of Monster Hunter and he needs to figure out why. As it happens, the hunters talk of strange goings on in the Ancient Forest -- the game's lush first area -- and guess what? Geralt decides that he's going to go and take a look.
"Oh, sweet, we get to help good old Gerry with his mission," we thought. But that's not quite what happens.
Spoilers for the quest are below -- read at your own risk!
No, you don't get to help Geralt out -- you get to play as Geralt. In Monster Hunter. You investigate footprints, you talk to people, gather information -- you even have dialogue options. As the headline of this article suggests, the whole thing is amazing.
At first we couldn't quite believe what we were playing. Capcom's literally taken whole parts of The Witcher 3 and bolted them onto Monster Hunter. Quest names pop up on screen, just like they do in Wild Hunt. Geralt has specific dialogue for certain actions, like mining and gathering plants. He'll comment on how these strange materials could be useful in his alchemy. It's bizarre in the best way possible.
Do enough investigating and Geralt's fears are realised. A Leshen, a powerful monster from his own world, has travelled to this one, bringing Geralt with it. It's drawing power from the bountiful plant life of the forest, and it needs to be stopped.
And yes, you do fight it. It's an entirely new monster, specially made for this event. It's got all of the abilities and attacks that Witcher 3 players will know, but it's still a tricky encounter. Geralt himself can be equipped with any of World's weapon types, but we decided to stick with his twin swords, which utilise Monster Hunter's sword and shield moveset. Impressively, the animations have been altered to make it seem as though Geralt is using his Witcher signs -- the versatile magic skills that help him fight beasts of all shapes and sizes.
Bring down the Leshen and you're greeted with another cutscene as Geralt says goodbye to his new hunter pals, but even by this point, it still seems surreal. He gifts your hero a runestone, which you can use to cast the fiery Igni sign whenever you like, and then he goes off in search of a portal back to his own world. What a lovely touch.
Again, it may only be one quest, but it's crazy how far Capcom and CD Projekt Red have taken this. For a totally free update, it's seriously impressive, and really punctuates the superb job Capcom has done in providing post-launch support for Monster Hunter: World.
Playing as Geralt in Monster Hunter, man. It's going to take us a while to get over this one.
Have you tried this latest event for yourself? Sharpen your silver blade in the comments section below.