Monster Hunter World is easily among my top five games of all time, I love it. From the massive weapons to its incredible monsters it just hits so many levels that many other games just can’t. DLC can be very hit or miss with me, from pointless things that should already be in the game, to groundbreaking new stories and directions for a game that change my opinion, I was excited to see what Iceborne would bring to the table. My excitement was not for nothing, Iceborne is a breath of fresh air into a game that was already thriving, reintroducing old monsters and introducing us to some new ones along the way, it has everything for new and old hunters to enjoy. Whilst Iceborne doesn’t bring many gameplay changes to the game, it does bring some nerfs and buff, level four jewels and more importantly, it brings the ‘Clutch Claw’.
The Clutch Claw is a new piece of equipment for hunters to use against monsters to tip the battle to their advantage. The clutch claw allows a hunter to grapple to a monster to either weaken or force a monster into a wall to inflict damage and knock the monster down for a short while. It’s strange because the clutch claw is a new piece of equipment, but very quickly becomes a necessary part of your hunting style, its easy to use and very effective, meaning that the majority of hunters can use it at least weaken the monster. It doesn’t come without its risk though, if a monster attacks, jumps or roars whilst you are attached to it, you will fall, take damage and be open to another attack. So be wise when using it!
The weapon of choice for me throughout the main portion of the story was the Great Sword, the huge numbers that you can hit were something of magic and it felt natural to use. I have, however, fallen into my bow trap, because of how much I enjoy the weapon and how hard it can hit in Iceborne!
The story of Iceborne is quite similar to World, for an unknown reason monsters are migrating to a new world, along with variants and new monsters appearing. It is your job as a hunter, to kill and ask questions later. In typical Monster Hunter fashion when a new monster appears to be a threat, just kill them… no questions, but we can argue the politics of Monster Hunter in another post. Told again through almost the eyes of The Handler, who at this point is arguably everyone’s least favourite character, but is vital in giving Monster Hunter World an easier to follow story. The Handler has an emotional connection to the hunts this time as we find out her grandfather may have been connected, I won’t talk too much about this in case it contains any spoilers, but it’s… okay. I mean, there is some effort to put a more emotionally charged story into the game, but it falls flat because you are playing a silent protagonist, its harder to have you emotionally invested, you personally don’t have any stakes in her story. Even though both paths end at the same point, you don’t personally have many stakes in her battle other than your both there together. If perhaps the link to Velkhana was through us, we would feel it more, but maybe that’s me reading into it too much. There is an attempt to make the story have a more emotional charge, but it, unfortunately, doesn’t work.
The new monsters, besides the new varients, are okay too. Unfortunately, Banbaro and Beotodus both turn into monsters you forget about quickly, you fight them so early in the story and their amour is quickly outmatched, they fall out of existence very quickly. I will be having a post exclusively reviewing each monster, so keep your eyes out for that, as I want this post to be as spoiler-free as I can make it. The Velkhana fight is incredible, I love it! And it serves to be a great flagship, the fight between you (The Hunter) and Velkhana has so many twists and turns that you feel almost like its a grudge match when you finally get to kill it. We also have an additional elder dragon in the form on Namielle, a water elemental dragon, who constantly floods you with bursts of water trying to make it harder to get closer to you. Namielle is an interesting fight, but I am yet to fight it enough to have a full opinion on it.
One point I have not even mentioned about Monster Hunter is how good the music is, I will leave you with the Velkhana battle music as a taster!
Overall, if you have Monster Hunter World and enjoy it, get Iceborne. There’s no denying it, I honestly believe it is one of the best DLC that I’ve played and it is 100% worth the hype.
You can play Iceborne on only on Xbox and Playstation, I feel bad for all my PC readers out there… you will get your fight soon!
Tanks for reading,