The latest in a visceral series, this breakout hit shoves humans back down the food chain to a land where dinos roam
In 1864, when Jules Verne published Journey to the Centre of the Earth and, almost five decades later Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published The Lost World, there still existed in readers a lingering notion that, just maybe, in some unmapped nook of the planet, the dinosaurs had prevailed. Not just the soaring raptors and skittering lizards, but the lumbering mastodon and megalosaurus too – vanished monsters whose form, animation and complexion we’d no longer have to extrapolate from bony jigsaws, but could observe right there, plodding through foreign grass. No more. Google’s prying satellites have mapped every furlong of the planet, while sonar long extinguished any hope of some subterranean Mesozoic outpost.
The compulsion to rediscover a lost world remains, however. In this, the Crichton period, we have turned to the uncharted plains of test-tube science in the hope of resurrecting real-life dinosaurs. Monster Hunter: World rejects this approach and returns to the romance of the Victorian stories: it sends you off to a forgotten continent, one filled with wild and unclassified megafauna to investigate, spot, capture or kill. It is also, indisputably, the most vivid and profound opportunity we have yet seen to come face-to-claw with our planet’s old monsters.