Take a hike through Monster Hunter: World’s gorgeous, alien Coral Highlands

Monster Hunter World

Normally ‘coral’ and ‘highlands’ are mutually exclusive terms, but the lands of Monster Hunter: World have recently undergone a tectonic makeover, lifting sea-beds high up into the sky and forests down into the swampy mire. The Coral Highlands are one of the new biomes being introduced to the series by World, and they’re a sight to behold. Strange, pastel-shaded, vertically arranged and populated by some new and interesting monsters. Come take a peek with me as I rifle through the latest chunk of official gameplay footage released for the upcoming dragon-bothering simulator.

Having started out with the original Monster Hunter way back in the early days of the PS2, the Coral Highlands are a revelation. A complex vertical space where flying creatures truly rule, and there aren’t too many flat plateaus to fight easily on, a world away from the arena-spaces of earlier games. It’s a playground built explicitly with the new movement tricks of the game (elevator zip-lines, gliders and grappling hooks) in mind, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not only is it visually striking and alien, but the very means by which you navigate it are fresh and new for the series. Plus, it’s nice to see this kind of environment liberated from the clunky swimming controls of Monster Hunter 3.

The environment is populated by an interesting range of critters that look like they should be swimming around underwater, but have adapted seamlessly to their new life as flying, cliff-dwelling beasties. One creature that does look particularly at home above water, though, is the Paolumu, one of the more striking creatures being introduced in World. Part wyvern, part bat, part flying squirrel, all fuzzy. It flaps around and nibbles casually on the coral normally, but if challenged it’ll whip you with its huge thwumpy tail, and try to blow you off cliff edges with blasts of compressed air held in its wobbly inflatable neck-balloon organ.

The video ends with the fluffy (and already quite battered) Paolumu being interrupted rudely by a Legiana, an especially graceful-looking wyvern with almost luminous scales and fins that would look at home just as well in the deep sea as flitting through the sky. This being Monster Hunter, it’s not just all good looks, and the Legiana puts the oversized mammal its place: on the ground, allowing the opportunistic player a chance to get in a few cheap shots before the monsters resume their high-powered brawl.

With the PC version having slipped all the way back to autumn of this year, the wait for our version of the game has become almost unbearable and each new gameplay video reminds me that I have been neglecting my PS4 somewhat.


  1. Niko says:

    I am very much looking forward to this, since Monster Hunter is one of my absolute favorite game series. Hopefully this one will have all the cats.

  2. fish99 says:

    Not sure I want to get hyped about this game yet, that’s only gonna lead to me getting it on PS4.

    • Seafoam says:

      I actually bought a ps4 because I couldn’t handle the hype. I had wanted one for some time but news of the pc release caused me to finally act on it.
      I have played all the console exclusive games I wanted to play and I’m quite happy with it.

      • fish99 says:

        I mean I already have a PS4, I even have access to a PS4 Pro if I want to play it at 60fps, but I’d still always rather have games on PC. The games are cheaper, the multiplayer is free, the graphics are generally that bit better. There’s also longevity – I can still play PC games from 10, 15, 20 years ago without the hassle of digging out some old console and hoping it still works and connects to a modern TV.

  3. FFabian says:

    Just a little question about this new Monster Hunter game. Is this one of the games with japanese origin were you fight with hugely oversized weapons? Somehow I can’t stand it and it breaks the suspension of disbelief for me.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      Would you rather fight a dragonsaurus the size of two houses with a regular sized sword? Because that doesn’t seem like it’d work.

      • dsmeathers says:

        Would you rather fight a dragonsaurus the size of two houses or two houses the size of a dragonsaurus?

    • LuNatic says:

      Unfortunately, yeah. I find it offputting too. Not sure if it’ll be a deal beaker or not, haven’t made my mind up yet.

      In the absence of a Dragons Dogma 2, I might just have to get it anyway.

  4. Freud says:

    Japanese grinding doesn’t bother me. I even have somewhat of a soft spot for it. I will most likely enjoy this game.

  5. Blowfeld81 says:

    When us PC players want to hike through for the first time, it will already been paved, the trees cut down and half a dozen starbucks coffee houses built on it by the PS4 community.

  6. Nevard says:

    Given its nature with random rare drops and item ugpgrade trees, Monster Hunter is frankly one of the last games I would want to play before anyone else had plotted out where to get that ultra elusive item you need.

  7. racccoon says:

    Its a shame devs always treat PC as a last resort only to find out when they do release it on the PC they wish they’d released it all sooner.
    Devs, Stop scratching consoles first, they suck!
    Release games equally, it is 2 0 1 8!

  8. GemFire81 says:

    I’m surprised that there are not more people talking about the amount of content. I mean yeah this looks super nice, but the thing that makes MH great is the huge amount of monster and gear. I’m betting that the change over to these graphics and all the new gimmicks they have added has completely shredded the amount of content that would normally come with a monster hunter title. Even the early monster hunter games probably had 20 or so Large Monsters… how many does MHW plan to have at launch?

    • GemFire81 says:

      EDIT: I had looked up MHW about a month and a half ago and tried to find a list , but could not find anything. I just looked again and found a “leaked” list that shows 35 Large Monsters. If this is what the “BASE” game will have then I am happy.

  9. Captain Narol says:

    Beautiful and very original Biome, quite impressive !!

    I’m not much into action games, but I might give this one a try just for the pleasure of exploration and the amazing vistas…

  10. Premium User Badge

    Kiwilolo says:

    I wish there was a game just like this, but that didn’t want you to kill all the pretty animals. I just can’t enjoy that!