Monster Hunter has always been big for Capcom, but in the last couple of years, the series has hit unprecedented heights. Monster Hunter World is Capcom’s highest selling game to date, and it shows no signs of stopping. With the upcoming Iceborne expansion, it’s looking like it’s going to become even bigger for the company. With Iceborne’s launch almost upon us, in this feature, we’ll be taking a look at fifteen things you should know about this massive expansion.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne follows the story of the base game. After spotting a flock of Legiana fleeing from the Ancient Forest and flying across the sea. The Research Commission, sniffing something curious about their behaviour, boards the Third Fleet’s ships and follows in pursuit. What they find is a completely new landmass, which is where the expansion will take place. Speaking of…
Iceborne will be taking players to a completely new location, in the snowy expanses of Hoarfrost Reach. Home to monsters both new and old, new kinds of locations, and a lot of new content, the Hoarfrost Reach is going to be a goldmine as far as new stuff to tackle is concerned. As per the developers, though the map starts out as a single zone, as you progress through the story, you’ll find new areas, and the map will ultimately become a single large, expansive area.
But how big is this map going to be, exactly? Pretty big, actually. Though Capcom haven’t spoken about the exact size of the area, they have confirmed that Hoarfrost Reach is larger than any of the areas in the base game’s map. “We’re just really saying right now that as it expands, by the time you get to the end of Iceborbe it will be the biggest,” Capcom’s Brand Marketing Manager Brett Elston told us in an interview at E3. “So what was in Worldalready, Hoarfrost will be bigger than that.”
The frigid weather and snowy environments of Hoarfrost Reach will present players with some interesting new challenges. The cold weather, for instance, will continuously drain your stamina, which means you’ll have to rely on hot drinks to replenish it. Meanwhile, wading through deep snows will also make sprinting harder- and sprinting through these snows will also require you to expend more stamina.
Hoarfrost Reach will present other hurdles as well, beyond just the snow and its cold weather. There will be new environmental hazards to deal with as well. For instance, you might be standing on the edge of an icy cliff, which could fall off and take you down with it, forcing you to find your way back. There are also avalanches, which, of course, will affect both you and the monsters.
Monster Hunter World was already a big game, but with Iceborne, it’s going to get even bigger. Capcom have confirmed that Iceborne will have as much content all in all as the base game itself did. What this means is that we’re looking at dozens – if not hundreds – of hours of new content.
Though Iceborne is introducing a huge new area with lots of new monsters to hunt, that doesn’t mean we’ll be spending all our time in Hoarfrost Reach. In fact, quite a lot of the expansion will be set in the base game’s locations. According to Capcom, roughly half of the new story content is based in the original continent from the base game.
Iceborne is bringing several new monsters for players to hunt. These include Tigrex (first introduced in Freedom 2), Cortos, Banbaro, Beotodus (all three of whom are brand new monsters created specifically for Iceborne), Nargacuga (first introduced in Freedom Unite), Velkhana (the new Elder Dragon who will be introduced to the series for the first time), and Shrieking Legiana (a new variant of Legiana).
Expansions to Monster Hunter games always bring with them the coveted G-Rank, and Iceborne will be doing so as well- only now, it’s called Master Rank (because, well, it sounds cooler). As always, Master Rank will entail new quests, more challenging monsters, who in turn drop better loot, allowing to you craft better weapons and armour.
Iceborne is also introducing a new mechanic in the form of the Clutch Claw, which will present players with new opportunities during hunts. The Clutch Claw can be used to grapple onto monsters, from where you can do anyting from directing them into enviromental hazards, directing them into traps, and more.
The Clutch Claw is another component to the Slinger, but there’s going to be many other new abilities for players to master and make use of during combat. Each of the fourteen weapons, in fact, will come with new abilities. For example, with the Light Bowgun, you can do a dodge roll that also refills a shot in the magazine, while with the Heavy Bowgun, you can attach a scope to the weapon to snipe monsters from a distance.
Owing to Iceborne’s nature as an expansion to Monster Hunter World, and the fact that it introduces the Master Rank, you can probably expect that this is going to be a pretty challenging experience. As per Capcom, if all you did with World was finish the story and are now jumping straight into Iceborne, you’ll be faced with a very challenging experience. If, however, you’ve been engaging with the game continuously even after finishing the story, the Iceborne content should probably be a bit less difficult.
Capcom’s post-launch support for Monster Hunter World has been really good, even if you don’t count Iceborne. But when Iceborne is out, is that it for the game? Not quite. Though Capcom says this is the only expansion the game will get, they’ve also said that their post-launch support for Iceborne will be the same as it was for the base game, so we can probably expect another year or new events, crossovers, and more.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, as you may have noticed, is looking like a huge expansion- so how costly a purchase is it going to be? Players can purchase Iceborne standalone for $40. However, those who’re looking to get onto the game for the first time will also be able to buy the Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition – which includes the base game and expansion – for $60.
Iceborne is out for the PS4 and Xbox One on September 6, but just as it was with the base game, PC players won’t be getting a simultaneous release, and will have to wait a few more months to get their hands on the expansion. On PC, Iceborne is out in January 2020, though a more specific release date hasn’t yet been confirmed.