Despite the resounding success of Monster Hunter World, many fans of the popular Japanese series did not stint reproaches against Capcom. The project was presented with claims for the lack of hardcore complexity, the lack of creatures other than wyverns, and the loss of some habitual series of biomes.
After a long string of free content updates, the developers released the large paid extension Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, which was supposed to bring the quantity and quality of content to the gold standard.
First of all, it should be noted that Iceborne is focused on the hardcore veterans of the series. A new location and monsters will open only to those hunters who have fully completed all the main story missions of the original Monster Hunter World.
The vast majority of the added zoo consists of cult predators that have long been familiar to fans in the previous parts of the series.
However, completely new creatures can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and this is perhaps the only thing that can be faulted in the new addition.
Features and Graphics
The extension is a kind of version of Ultimate, which used to be usually released as a separate release at full cost. Iceborne brings about thirty monsters to Monster Hunter World, dozens of new armor and weapons options, and a hundred hours of gameplay. The latter is due to the addition of a new complexity of tasks – Master Rank.
Passing Master Rank tasks opens up for the hunter a whole storehouse of new materials, additional branches for developing weapons and equipment, but most importantly – new challenges because local monsters can easily send even a well-dressed character to rest with just a couple of strokes.
At the same time, you have new pest control tools.
Almost all of the fourteen types of weapons received new movements and combo tricks. As a result, even the Paired Blades or the Spear Cannula, worn down to the holes, will feel rather fresh, not to mention the new tactical opportunities that are opening up.
The slingshot has undergone a major change. In Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, hunters can aim from it without scabbling their main weapons, which dramatically changes the dynamics of battles on the battlefield. In addition to this, some weapons received combo tricks using Slingshots. So, for example, wielding the Hammer, you can make a particularly powerful shot directly during the charge of an enhanced strike.
The changes do not end there. Clutch Claw is a new shooting mechanic that allows you to manually use a cat hook to catch on to the body of a large monster and reach for it. Using this technique allows you to instantly, without ledges and stingrays, to saddle a predator and conduct a series of powerful strikes.
Such opportunities will be most welcome against the backdrop of a new snow-covered location, the very movement of which, waist-deep in snow, can cause difficulties.
Hoarfrost Reach meets all the standards of a familiar snow biome but takes the graphics to a new incredible level of performance. Tall spruce trees, blinding snowstorms, Paliko cats dressed in furs and beautiful frosty effects instantly envelop the player with their atmosphere penetrating to the bones.
The design of monsters also does not lag behind and meets all expectations. There is a huge mammoth Barbaro and the old familiar saber-toothed-wyvern-tiger Barioth and buried in the snow dunes of Beotodus.
The rich animation and high detail of opponents is a true admiration – both against the background of other projects of the genre, and video games in general.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne does not change the series and continues the verified concept of hunting. The extraction of various horn plates and bones in all conceivable and unimaginable variations and quantities is still the basis of the driving force of the game process.
The high complexity of the Master Rank assignments brings even more variables to the hunt, making each new item of equipment more desirable and valuable.
The speed of content development in Iceborne is noticeably lower than in the original World, which is why the scale of the add-on is not always intuitive. New types of monsters appear even after dozens of hours of play, when, it would seem, everything has long been studied. This motivates for new research even those hunters who spent hundreds of hours in the casemates of collecting colorful liveries.
The vastness of minor changes and improvements in the overall quality of life are also impressive. Opportunities are seemingly insignificant at first glances, such as a help system for beginners and making cosmetic weapon key chains give more depth to already familiar actions.
And given the promise of developers to continue releasing free updates with new mechanics and monsters, Iceborne has every chance of becoming even better with time.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is a reference addition to one of the best games of the generation. A hundred hours of content, iconic monsters, great graphics, high complexity, a rethinking of old mechanics that will help even veterans to feel new impressions of the gameplay, as well as attention to small details, once again puts Capcom role-playing into the list of the most exciting releases of this year.