One of Capcom’s most high-profile releases for the rest of 2019 is Monster Hunter: World Iceborne. Announced back in 2018, Iceborne is an expansion, taking place after the events of the main game and adding new gear, monsters, locations, and more. Thanks to Capcom, we had the chance to try out some of the expansion’s new content, including two quests against powerful foes. In short, it was an absolute blast.
Before even getting to the first quest, we got an explanation for some of the new content, particularly the inclusion of the Clutch Claw. This item allows you to zip to an enemy and hang off the side, opening the beast up for attacks. While hanging from the monster, you’re able to steer it slightly, giving you a strategic edge and possibly the upper-hand. Or maybe you just want to get a few attacks in with your weapon; you can do that, too. The Clutch Claw will also available to use in the base game, so long as you own the expansion.
Aside from that, Iceborne includes the new Raider Ride feature, in which you can call a skunk-like creature to pick you up and take you directly to the monster. This makes it way more efficient in getting to your destination, but unfortunately, the Raider Ride feature only appears in the Iceborne content and doesn’t carry over to the base game like the Claw Clutch does.
E3 2019 Monster Hunter World Iceborne Preview – New Beasts to Tackle
After getting an explanation of some of the new features, it was time to partake in the first quest against the Banbaro, a horned-creature as shown in the image above. The Iceborne expansion takes place in an area called Hoarfrost Reach, a beautiful place covered in snow. Banbaro can use the environment to its advantage, taking giant tree trunks in its mouth and using them as battering rams. Banbaro also has a number of other moves that will take some time to get used to.
Banbaro is faster than it looks and it can pinpoint and trample you in an instant, taking down a significant chunk of health. If you aren’t careful, you might get caught off guard, which is where team communication will come into play. It’s also a creature with a particularly dangerous rage mode, wherein it does extra damage and hits even harder.
While playing Iceborne, you’ll notice the hot springs that protect you from the cold for a limited time. These springs are found throughout the map and come in handy in dire situations. You’ll want to keep your stamina in check while playing in Hoarfrost Reach. You can also take a short break and watch the Banbaro duke it out against the Beotodus, another creature added with the expansion.
During my playthrough, our team defeated the Banbaro with little difficulty, but this was by design. This easier battle was in place to prepare us for the major fight against the fan-favorite, Tigrex. You might recognize this beast from other Monster Hunter games. It now makes its return in the Iceborne expansion.
This fight, on the other hand, was extremely challenging, to the point where our team ended up failing the mission. Although, we did get close, thanks to the wonderful Capcom representatives guiding us with what to do. Without getting too technical, the Tigrex is fast; almost too fast at times. If you’re a new player, you won’t stand a chance against the Tigrex, as there is just too much to juggle in the heat of battle. However, this fight was adjusted for the purposes of the demo and we only had 20 minutes to complete it, which is arguably not enough time, given the circumstances.
The Tigrex can completely destroy the ground in certain areas, which can dictate the way you approach the battle. You can’t just stay right next to the beast all the time because you run the risk of taking damage from an environmental attack. With more preparation and a better set of teammates, this fight can be doable.
During my discussion with Capcom, it was said that Monster Hunter: World Iceborne was almost considered a sequel at one point, due to the amount of content added. I didn’t get to see all of the content during the demo, but Capcom seemed to be excited about the sheer amount that was added and assured me that there was a lot to do. Apparently there’s an entire game’s-worth of content here, so Monster Hunter fans have a lot to look forward to.
Monster Hunter games are tough to demonstrate because of the complexity. It usually takes a while just for everyone to get ready for a hunt and when you combine that with new players, it can impact what you get out of the short slice of gameplay. That’s what happened to me, but there was still a lot to soak in, from what I played.
It’s also worth mentioning that you must have completed the main story and reached Hunter Rank 16 in the base game to gain access to the Iceborne content. Certain new features are exclusive to Iceborne, like the new monsters and the Raider Ride feature, while other aspects like the Clutch Claw can be found across the base version and expansion, so long as you own both.
That was just a taste of what the upcoming expansion has to offer. There seems to be a ton of new things to do with many little details for Monster Hunter fans to enjoy. Luckily, we don’t have to wait long to play the expansion, as it’s set to release on September 6, 2019.