Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (Xbox One) Review

By Josh Di Falco 14.10.2019

Review for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne on Xbox One

Hunters worldwide rejoice, as Capcom delivers an expansive new locale, and fresh new monsters to carve upon. The first story DLC Iceborne takes place after the events of Monster Hunter World, where the Research Commission has traced the mysterious habits of the Legiana to the frost-filled island of Hoarfrost Reach. This new locale has a winter-theme, with new monsters to slay, new armour and weapon-types to create, a new base of operations to launch hunts from, and a new game mechanic that adds a new element to monster hunts. This is Monster Hunter World: Iceborne.

Iceborne is the long-awaited arrival of the G-rank from previous Monster Hunter titles - except this time it is called 'Master Rank (MR).' Beginning at MR1, the ranking system follows a similar thread to the 'High Rank (HR)' from the base title, and it is directly tied to the main story missions. Speaking of the story missions, the narrative here is still as cheesy as the core story; and it just exists to create a reason to hunt down some of the newer monsters - like there needed to be a reason. Despite this, the story is still filled with cool cut-scenes, while it keeps trying to tie a narrative thread to the act of slaying monsters.

The MR class unlocks even more possibilities for armour and weapon classes. Old monsters can be fought again with the MR hunts to reach the higher tiers; while new monsters are introduced to keep even the most experienced hunters on their toes. All the weapon trees have been increased to allow for newer upgrades that require loot from the newer monsters, allowing for even more powerful creations. There are now Level 4 jewel slots for the more advanced decorations.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne on Xbox One

Most importantly, the MR rank will feature the toughest monster fights thus far. Anyone who has experience with the G-Rank from previous titles will know exactly what to expect here. However, the fights will still be tough; monster's movements need to be studied and a lot of skill needs to be on perfect display to reap the gratification from slaying these beasts.

What were once powerful armours and weapon loadouts at the conclusion of World quickly get shown the door. The opening monster fight of Iceborne is a great introduction to this expansion pack, and soon after the fight is over, it doesn't take long to gain some loot to get better armour. Weapons still take a little bit longer to collect the required loot for their upgrades, whereas it did seem the armour upgrades were quicker due to how little resources they needed. However, this was probably the game's way to get hunters up to speed with the requirements of the newer monsters.

While the majority of Iceborne can only be played after completing the main story first, there are still some additions that hunters can use to aid them on Monster Hunter: World. One of these additions is the new combat mechanic, the Clutch Claw. This claw does add a new level of strategy in combat situations, as it can be used to latch onto a monster for some up-close-and-personal poundings.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne on Xbox One

Using the claw does not always work, as it requires the monster to get temporarily stunned or forced to flinch. However, once the hunter has latched on with the claw, then they can either lay some physical attacks, or they can use all their slinger ammo to land an explosive attack. Using the slinger ammo for the attack to the face of a monster can cause it to ram its head into a wall, causing it to be stunned and left over to some whopping attacks. The claw can be tricky to learn at the beginning and the tutorial could have explained it a little better. It does become a handy new mechanic to use in combat, though, as it allows for hunters to add more creative attacks to their repertoire. The Claw is available right from the start of the expansion, and it can be used by hunters who are yet to reach HR16.

Hoarfrost Reach is the winter locale that is added to the world map, and this vast expanse is filled to the brim with brand new monsters to the series, while some past monsters make their return. Each new monster gets their cool introductions that Capcom has done so well with Monster Hunter: World. However, venturing through the cold also brings with it the darker side to the frozen elements. Hot drinks grow from plants to keep the hunter warm, as the cold impacts the hunter's stamina during battle.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne on Xbox One

Seliana is the name of the new base of operations in this expansion, and the main cast from Astera make their way across to this new encampment, to provide the hunter with their basic needs. Despite the comical effort it took the Research Commission to reach this new location in the expansions opening cut-scene, hunters can safely fast-travel to World's locations at will.

One of the main surprises welcomed into the game is the ability to ride some of the less-threatening monsters. Literally, hunters can approach and jump onto the back of some the locales denizens to use them as a transport of sorts to get across the map. Not only can this be done in Hoarfrost Reach, but this mechanic has been added to the base games maps as well.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Despite it being an expansion pack, Iceborne is pretty much another game built upon the many layers of Monster Hunter: World. It adds new monsters, a new location, and new armour and weapons to customise, but Iceborne also delivers new details that are fleshed into the core title. The Clutch Claw mechanic transforms the way combat works for the base game, as well as the expansion, and the monster fights are as epic as ever. Each monster gets their own platform to shine, and Iceborne does not end with the completion of the campaign. As most Monster Hunter fans should know by now, concluding this expansions campaign is only the beginning.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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