Monster Hunter World is Capcom’s best selling video game ever. From the developers of Devil May Cry, Street Fighter, Resident Evil and more, this may be somewhat of a surprise, but after 120 hours with Monster Hunter World over the last 18 months I can see why.
September 6th marks the release for Worlds new expansion, Iceborne. Packed full with new story, monsters to hunt and more, Iceborne pulled me straight back in for another 60 hours.
Iceborne starts off nicely introducing you to your new hunting ground Hoarfrost Reach. Here you will find an array of new and returning monsters. New monsters like Beotodus make use of the deep snow to ambush you. Other like Barioth use ice to slow you down and drain your stamina. Also new to Iceborne are some rather unique takes on Worlds monsters. Be this just status changes or whole new looks. My personal favourite is the new poisonous Viper Tobi-Kadachi. This rapid monster throws out venom barbs to catch you not paying attention. This is where Monster Hunter shines though. If you are prepared for the hunt you will max out poison resistant and make the fight much simpler. This can be done for nearly every monster and really gives the advantage in battle back to the player.
For anyone who has played World knows, you have low level quests and high level. The higher the level the harder the hunt will be. Iceborne takes this one step further with Master Rank assignments. Master rank resembled the G rank from the 3DS line of Monster Hunter games, and if you are not on your A game, you will fail. I found myself failing hunts at the beginning by running out of time. All normal hunts have a 50 minute time limit, and this goes rather fast when you are not prepared. I faced the mighty Barioth 4 times before I finally captured this mighty creature.
Making sure you have the correct build for you desired weapon, status ailments to help put in more damage and some traps really makes a difference. I cut my time from 45 minutes to 15/20 with some simple improvements and learning the attack patterns. After failing several times, I was starting to wear thin on Iceborne, but I stuck with it and changed a few things and I am so glad I did. I sank 23 hours in over the space of a 3 day weekend because I got hooked. Iceborne can and more than likely will be tough for casual players who haven’t been on a hunt for a while. I found that out the hard way. But fear not hunters, using your SOS flair you can get help from up to 3 more hunters. Unfortunately I could only find one other person during my 60 hours of play, but it definitely helps out.
During my original playthrough of World, I didn’t repeat many hunts until post game. In Iceborne however it’s a necessity. Your armour and weapon will become weak pretty fast. I found myself capturing 7 Nargacuga just for the armour set and around 15 Rathions for my dual blades. One of my favourite parts about Monster Hunter is the grind for weapons/armour. Every piece requires specific materials you get from its colorating monster. Some require you to chop its tail off, other to break its horn or wing. Each item requires you to tackle the fight in a new and exciting way. I captured the Rathion 12 times before I got a single Wing Talon, but when I did the feeling was awesome. It’s this feeling that keeps you grinding away for that specific item you need to complete your build.
Much like MMOs and Shared World Shooters, Iceborne thrives from it’s incredible community. This community will absolutely love Iceborne, I have no doubt about it. Iceborne brought me back to Monster Hunter from my long absence away, and I am back for the foreseeable future too. There are still so many armour sets I want to create, so many more challenges I want to overcome, and many more hunts for me to enjoy.
For Monster Hunter World fans, or long time veterans of their series, Iceborne is right up there with the best Monster Hunter has to offer. Expect to be busy for another 120 hours or more come September 6th.