If you’ve been playing Monster Hunter World and throwing yourself into the thrill of hunting its many giant monsters, then you’ll already know how massive it’s environments and simulated ecosystems can be. But that world has gotten even bigger and more populated with the release of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. This new version of Monster Hunter World brings new areas to explore, new abilities to utilize, and more monsters to hunt with your friends into the game. But while the new content is set in an ice-filled environment of Hoarfrost Reach, you’ll be anything but chill as you discover what new challenges and dangers lurk in this new world.
Iceborne gives players new abilities that can aid them on almost any hunt. Every weapon class gets a few new moves to their playstyle, but it’s the addition of the Clutch Claw to a hunter’s Slinger that will be the most significant. The Clutch Claw lets you grab onto a wyvern from a short distance and jump onto their hide, where you can attack or even pull the monster into a direction.
This is a great tool to use against any type of monsters, whether its quick or slow moving, and can help you gain a lot of momentum during combat. The Clutch Claw also lets you reach new areas by grappling up to certain areas while exploring. It’s the most versatile and interesting addition to Monster Hunter World since it allows you to approach situations much differently than before. Anybody playing a weapon classy that requires slow and steady approaches, or even keep-away tactics, now has more ways to help their teammates out.
Complementing the Clutch Claw are the Raider Rides, which lets players ride atop of a monster and track their targets. This not only helps getting around the area a lot faster, but also makes finding and tracking monsters much easier than before. You’re still able to find monster by looking for clues, but Raider Rides can do so much more efficiently.
Different kinds of monsters can be used as Raider Rides, which can be unlocked as you complete more quests within Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. Though they don’t really help out much when in combat you still have the Palico at your side, which also gets a few new gadgets to assist you within Iceborne’s content. Like before, you’ll want to use these gadgets in smart ways to help distract your targets or heal up when you have the moment to do so.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne also gets a new hub area called Seliana within the new icy environment. Here you can do all of the same things you could in any other area, but everything is snow-themed and looks a bit different. The canteen, tent, and other spots you frequent all have new animations and characters that you can interact with, despite essentially doing the same stuff you need them to do.
However, it’s here where you’ll engage new quests that increase a new ranking for your character, called Master Rank. Every Master Rank quest completed increases your standing and opens up newer, more challenging quests that take place in all areas, not just within Hoarfrost Reach. Your normal Hunter Rank gets an increase to its cap, but you’ll be more concerned with increasing your Master Rank status from this point onward.
But what about the new monsters? The new creatures you can hunt are super challenging and will make you work hard for victory. Master Rank quests are not for the faint of heart or the unprepared, so you’ll definitely need to plan ahead before engaging with them. Many of these new monsters will utilize the snowy terrain around them to attack you, and will probably break open more than a few spots within the area as you fight.
Whether swimming around in the snow or knocking down trees to rush at you, these monsters are incredibly fierce. But are they well worth taking on the challenge for their rewards? Absolutely for players who have been busy with Monster Hunter World since release. Everyone else on the other hand will have their work cut out for them.
That’s the biggest aspect about Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, it’s heavily geared towards those who have been enjoying the game for a while. You can’t engage with any of the new content from Iceborne until you’ve completed the main story quests beforehand, which amounts to being around Hunter Rank 15. Anybody expecting to pick up the game and just dive into any of the new or old quests will be disappointed, especially if you have friends who are way ahead of you ready to see the new content. That doesn’t mean everything about Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is locked out for new players. The Clutch Claw and new abilities for weapon classes are universal for everyone, but Raider Rides and the new quests you’ll have to earn. It’s a lot to deal with if you’re brand new to the game, but if you can gather some friends willing to help you hunt your way to the top, then you’ll definitely have a lot of fun doing so.
These impressions are based on a digital review code for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne on the PlayStation 4, provided by Capcom.