Iceborne isn’t just DLC, it’s a whole new game in its own right. Capcom has truly accomplished something special with Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, which is a massive expansion to an already amazing game. Taking place right after Monster Hunter World, ‘The Fifth’ is tasked with exploring an uncharted area known as the Hoarfrost Reach which serves as the largest region in the game to date.
With new and returning monsters to take on, as well as a plethora of new weapons and armor sets, the game truly delivers in its all-new Master Rank Quest. This is a challenging but exciting addition to the game that offers a new experience, which will even test Monster Hunter veterans. Here is our Monster Hunter Iceborne review.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Review | New World New Me
I was immediately blown away by Iceborne’s frozen world, filled with icy caverns, snowy hills, and interactive environments. There’s plenty of items to gather, tracks to find, and monsters to hunt, of course. Iceborne’s added monsters is where the expansion truly shines. New monsters, variations of old monsters, and returning monsters from previous games come into the fold, making for a nostalgic experience for long time players.
Returning fan favorites such as Tigrex and Brachidios are aggressive powerhouses that should be feared. Brand new monsters like Banbaro can hurl objects by carrying them on its antlers, and Valkhana, the games new elder dragon, makes for some exciting battles.
Iceborne’s new variations on old monsters such as the Coral Pukei Pukei or the Viper Tobi Kadachi aren’t as exciting as the new monsters, but they are more aggressive. With a few new moves that haven’t been seen before, you’re definitely in for a few surprises.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Review | New Ways to Hunt
The game features a variety of new mechanics which old players can sink their teeth into, making the combat feel better than ever. The Clutch Claw adds a whole new layer to combat in Iceborne, allowing players to grapple onto monsters to deal damage.
Attacking a monster with the Clutch Claw can be used to soften up a monster and create a potential weak point or fire the slinger ammo while grappled to send the monster flying into a wall. Capcom has made sure to balance this by giving players a short-range and depleting their stamina gauge.
Players who carelessly grapple monsters can easily be knocked off if not careful. Additionally, grappling a monster too often will cause them to become enraged for some aggressive attacks. The Clutch Claw however is not the only change to the combat. All of the weapons in Iceborne have been changed with a variety of new combos to fool around with.
Some weapons have received more attention than others, but unused weapons like the Switch Axe are now more entertaining and applicable to wield. Capcom has also made a lot of tweaks to stats and elemental effects, which balance the game out. Inventory management has even been tweaked to allow players to disable unwanted inventory items from the Item Bar. This makes the Item Bar more customizable for players, and allows them to no longer be forced to scroll past your Capture Net when trying to get to a much needed Potion. All in all, the combat feels finer tuned and I never once felt bored with any weapon I picked up.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Review | A Perfect Home for a Hunter
Iceborne’s new base of operations is Seliana and it is far more organized than World’s Astera, making towering long flights of stairs a thing of the past. Seliana enhances the hub world to focus on easy traversal, which means everything you need is now at a more grounded level and closer together.
There’s also a new Chef, a Steamworks minigame for earning items, and an all-new gathering hub which players can interact with. There’s even a new room which players can customize with decorations, furniture, and take a bath.
Matchmaking does function the same as World, so once again players will be required to view story cutscenes before playing with other people. The game wants to make sure it is your Hunter that appears in the cutscene instead of a random character. While not a huge issue, it just seems like an unnecessary step before playing online, something I had hoped would have been changed.
Now that the game features Master Rank Quest, new players who are a low/high rank may have a tough time getting players to join their quest, unless they have friends to play with. But don’t let that stop you, this is still the perfect time as any to jump into the game. The new Master Rank armor pieces at the Smithy are motivation enough to get players grinding for some fresh new gear.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Review | Final Thoughts
Even with a few flaws, this is still one of the best and most complete games I have ever played. With a massive number of places to explore, weapons to create, and missions to tackle, there will always be plenty to do.
Additionally, there is no pay to win method, which is always a plus. With a captivating story, fun hectic online co-op, and almost doubling the original games content, this is a must own whether you are a new or veteran player.
Andrew Smith is the founder of Guide Fall and From Gamers Magazine. He is a lover of all things gaming and physical media. You can find him playing anything from random indies to AAA releases!