It’s been a lovely night for Monster Hunter World fans, as PlayStation’s State of Play stream not only gave us a short taste of what we can expect to see in the Iceborne Expansion, it blessed us with a release date of the 9th of September, so it’s only a short four months away (unless you’re a PC player – you’ll be waiting till “winter”).
Capcom then immediately followed it up with a Spring update stream that allowed them to shed even more light on Iceborne, calling in Yuya Tokuda, Director for Monster Hunter World’s ongoing updates, and Daisuke Ichihara, Director for Iceborne for the details.
Iceborne’s snowy setting will give Monster Hunter fans all the feels, evoking memories of the classic Snowy Mountains locale from Monster Hunter 2. The main new locale for is called Hoarfrost Reach, and as fans would expect you’re going to have to pack those Hot Drinks, or eat a Hot Pepper, to stay warm. Amongst the tall trees and snow-laden ground the area also features a hot spring which’ll have the same effect as peppers or hot drinks, and since it’s packed with cute monkeys you can imagine that it’s going to be a deeply popular place for some players.
Besides the new locale there’s a bunch of new or returning monsters including Freedom Unites’ Nargacuga, and the new flagship monster Velkhana, a brand new elder dragon. You’ll be running from an array of ice attacks once you face off against Velkhana, though they’re apparently going to be ice attacks with a twist, whatever that might mean.
The first monster the trailer shows is Banbaro, a Brute Wyvern that looks like a giant mutated elk. He appears early on in the expansion so his attacks are seemingly fairly straightforward, though if you’re caught by his charge his horns will scoop you up. Besides him the trailer showed us the ridged Beotodus who’s the very first large monster you’ll fight in Iceborne. It’s capable of burying itself in the snow and burrowing towards you, begging similarities to the deeply annoying Cephadrome from the very first Monster Hunter.
There are some new hunter abilities coming along with the expansion too. First up is the ability to use the slinger whether you’ve got your weapon drawn or not, allowing you to fire a variety of items mid-encounter without sheathing your weapons. The slinger also boasts a new ability that they’ve called the Clutch Claw which allows hunters to grab and grapple onto monsters from a distance. Along with leaping onto a monster’s back you can use it to grab onto a monster’s head, from where you can force a monster to move in a particular direction, such as towards a trap or other hunters. The Clutch Claw promises to be awesome and it’s a natural progression from hunters current ability to grapple back onto a monster if they’re thrown off them.
It’s not just hunters who are getting some love, as amongst the final shots from the trailer it look as though your Palico has also gained a new gadget that’s going to allow them to resurrect you, potentially saving you from a mid-battle faint and keeping you right in the heart of the action which could be very cool, especially when you’ve just been caught out by a single crucial mistake.
Iceborne is looking like it’s going to bring some serious changes and exciting content when it launches on console in September and I for one can’t wait!