Review: Monster Hunter World Iceborne
About a year and a half ago, fans of the Monster Hunter series got what we've been waiting for. A full Monster Hunter game on current gen consoles and a little later on PC as well. Now we can rejoice once more to go hunting in Monster Hunter World Iceborne.
For those who are not yet familiar with Monster Hunter World, this expansion is a good time to start the game. With the Hunter Helper program, experienced players are rewarded when they help starting players.
And that may be necessary. Monster Hunter games are traditionally not the easiest games. That is often the criticism that goes around about the franchise. They are games that are not easy to learn and end up requiring a lot of grinding. And it has been no different here. Players in the base game could face tempered and arch tempered monsters. Those who wanted to make the matching armor sets often had to fight the gigantic monsters several times.
Still, Iceborne is doing something about it.
Iceborne's story picks up where World left off. A lot of monsters seem to emigrate and show strange behavior. That also ensures that a whole lot of new monsters show up. So you will have to do something about that.
Iceborne adds a wide variety of new monsters with of course the flagship monster: Velkhana. Velkhana is a new elder dragon with an ice type element. Capcom has promised to come up with free updates for the expansion. The first of these, the Rajang, has already been announced. The new monsters also include a few subspecies of known monsters. These are beings that have taken on a number of different qualities because they exist in other areas. For example, the Anjanath gets an electric version with the name Fulgur Anjanath. These monsters have a number of new moves and therefore require a whole new strategy.
Where Iceborne really comes into its own is the challenge. Monster Hunter World mostly focused on accessibility for new players. The series was not yet very popular in the west. Iceborne brings back the old challenge. We get a new rank. The master rank. The monsters in these quests hit harder, have more health and are a much bigger challenge.
Along with the new rank quests, we also get the master rank equipment. Armor sets get a new master variant and weapons can be further upgraded.
There are also a number of new mechanics involved. First, we get expansions to the clutch claw that allow players to ram monsters into walls or weaken their limbs. In addition, a lot of new skills come into play. Iceborne has chosen to make elemental damage more important, so it will also inspire players to get started with new builds.
In addition to the new monsters and new mechanics, a lot of endgame content will be added. Players will be able to take on monsters in a variety of ways that make it much easier to acquire rare or unique items. This significantly lowers the grindy content of the game. That doesn't mean you'll be done with the game anytime soon. Iceborne will keep you busy for many hours. The story alone will give you a few days of playing time. The endgame, of course, even more so.
Because elemental damage has been boosted, you will have to spend a lot of time putting together different builds. And that's what Monster Hunter is all about in the end. Those who find the game challenging have in most cases not prepared themselves properly.
You will have to put a lot of time and care into getting ready for the next hunt and figuring out the elemental weakness or blights of the monsters that await you. The research guide will help you with that. When you have found enough traces and collected enough research, you will gain a better understanding of what is effective.
That way, Iceborne challenges new players in a way that might be a bit spicy at the beginning. However, this appeals to longtime fans in a way where World may have been a little too easy for Monster Hunter veterans.
All in all, Iceborne is packed with new content. From new monsters, new maps, new items to of course the new equipment that, together with the master rank quests, give a whole new dynamic to the game.
Iceborne is the perfect opportunity for players new to Iceborne to get in on the game. Note, however, that Iceborne cannot be played separately from the base game. Players will have to buy both the base game and the expansion. Fortunately, these are quite affordable.
Capcom has therefore promised to continue to support Iceborne and Monster Hunter World with free content for at least another year.
In short, Iceborne gives us everything we hoped for but didn't dare to expect from an expansion. From impressive new monsters including some intimidating elder dragons, to new environments and fantastic soundtracks, to the new build capabilities, Iceborne gives veteran fans the challenge they hoped for in master rank while also giving new players an easy way to enlist the help of veterans.
Iceborne fills in all aspects of what fans have been missing in Monster Hunter World and will add much more with the arrival of new content. The core gameplay remains the same, of course. Anyone who has an aversion to the Monster Hunter games will not enjoy this expansion much. However, those who have worked with the base game will only enjoy Iceborne. Now is a great time for newcomers to step in as the community is reviving, grinding has become easier and the Hunter Helper feature is here to help players.
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