Well the weekend has once again come and gone, and like any gamer I spent it playing a metric fuck tonne of video games. Both Crash Team Racing and Bloodstained: Ritual of The Night came out at the same time, two games I have been eagerly anticipating. But in the end I ended up spending a huge chunk of my time playing the beta for the Monster Hunter World expansion “Iceborne”.
I did play the core game when it first came out, and while I did get pretty far into it, in the end I decided it wasn’t for me. Not that it was bad; I just couldn’t get to grips with the mechanics or the controls to really excel at it. But if anything is likely to get me to try something again it is the promise of free gameplay. So I dove back in to the world of Monster Hunter with the hope of getting a few fun hours out of it, or at least an article and I’m happy to report I got both.(“Kill it with fire!”)
The beta offered two areas for players to explore and indulge in a harmless bit of animal genocide. The first was the “Ancient Forest”, which I skipped because it was the starting area in the first game and it was asking me to hunt the same starter monster, and I’m buggered if I was going to hunt that pain in the arse again! The second was “Hoarfrost Reach”, which if I understand correctly is going to be where the bulk of the new expansion takes place.
One of my, and indeed many others, main complaints from the core game was the lack of variety when it came to scenery and landscape, so I’m glad to see that the Devs at Capcom listened to fans and have shaken things up with Hoarfrost Reach’s design. The frigid forests and frozen lakes are a welcome departure from the many deserts and forests we were forced to explore ad nauseam. They also offer a whole host of new wildlife, each with unique behaviours and wonderful designs that only make you feel slightly evil for murdering them repeatedly.
While the hunting and combat is much the same, track the monster, locate the monster, introduce it to the finer points of stabbing, Capcom have added another layer to the exploration side of things. Given the frosty nature of the new world the player gets to explore, they must take steps to ensure they stay warm, such as drinking a hot drink. If they don’t, they receive stamina penalties; I like this mechanic as it adds a survival element without taking it to the extreme like a lot of games.(“I know you hunting killer monsters but there’s always time for coco!”)
There are one or two quality of life improvements, for example the “Slinger” can now be used while the main weapon is drawn, this is to accommodate a new feature, “The Clutch Claw”. As the name suggests it allows the player to clutch onto a monster from a distance, zip in close and deal damage to the location targeted. This was a huge benefit to me because when I played the core game I always found myself getting mowed down by the monsters before I could get in close enough to do any real damage. This mechanic will really even the playing field for those players who prefer heavy armaments, giving them a way to take on quicker enemies.
All in all I enjoyed my time with Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, I can’t say that enough has been changed for someone like me to come back, but if the rest of the expansion shows the same amount of promise as the beta I’m sure the fans of the core game will be impressed.
Well, that’s just my opinion, do you disagree? Let us know in the comments below, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel and if you’re feeling generous feel free to donate to our Patreon, thanks for reading.