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Mr. X is your friend in the Monster Hunter: World - Resident Evil crossover

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Capcom has a long and rich history of plopping characters into games that they really have no business being in. There's a Chocobo mount in Assassin's Creed: Origins for some reason, and Geralt has done a turn in Monster Hunter: World, and it gets pretty weird sometimes because there's generally no effort made to blend them in. I suppose it's a bit like Agent 47 in a flamingo suit—the incongruity is part of the fun.

That weirdness is going to kick up again in November, when Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield from the Resident Evil series turn up in a Monster Hunter: World Iceborne crossover. And they've brought a friend who is traditionally not a friend.

Capcom announced the crossover today with a trailer that starts off looking relatively straightforward, as these things go. Leon and Claire, in their standard RE garb, find themselves surrounded by zombies, but just as things are about to end horribly, the moon rises—and the zombies go monster hunting. Then they dance. Then Leon and Claire go monster hunting with them. It's a whole thing. 

But it doesn't get really weird until later in the video, when Mr. X shows up. He's not here to horrifically murder anyone, surprisingly: He's got a copy of Raccoon Magazine and what appears to be a giant monster ham, and he's apparently here to help out. Leon even saves him from what looks to be certain death at one point. It's a tender, supportive side of the great, grey-skinned goon that we haven't seen before, and it looks like it could be a lot of fun, as long as you're not hung up on taking any of it too seriously—and don't mind having your perception of the fearsome foe possibly changed forever.

That ship may have already sailed, I guess.

From what we can tell, Mr. X won't be playable but is actually a reskin of the Handler NPC, a Guild Receptionist in Astera who hands out quests to players. That would explain his personality change: The Monster Hunter Wiki says the Handler is "a cheerful and energetic person" who "cares deeply about the safety of others." Like I said, the incongruity is part of the fun.

The bad news is that a specific date for Leon and Claire's (and Mr. X's) arrival in Monster Hunter: World Iceborne hasn't been announced, and that we won't be able to play it immediately anyway, as Iceborne isn't coming to PC until January 2020. Whether we'll get to enjoy their company in the game after that happens remains to be seen: A Capcom rep said that the announcement is only for the console versions of the game, and that information about PC content be released after Iceborne is live on our platform.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.