Monster Hunter World: Iceborne – Easy Allies Review

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne – Easy Allies Review

What’s most impressive about Iceborne
is that in many ways, it feels pretty close to a full-fledged sequel
to Monster Hunter: World. There is a lot of hunting to do and plenty of changes
both big and small that make Iceborne substantial, but the praise for the expansion goes well beyond
the fact that there’s an abundance of content. The new base Seliana is smartly put together, the
aggressive monsters are consistently exciting to hunt, and the new area Hoarfrost Reach
has so many fascinating little elements that make it a suitable place
to take down such imposing prey. Nothing in the expansion makes more of an impact
than the monsters themselves. There are new monsters, monsters appearing
for the first time in World, variations of old monsters, and even new behaviors for returning monsters
in Master Rank, the level you’ll be doing quests at in Iceborne. The Master Rank treatment is more noticeable
in some monsters than others. Rathalos, for instance, is a lot more stubborn
in Master Rank, taking to the air far more frequently, making the wyvern harder to pin down
and deadlier overall. The brand new monsters
mostly leave fantastic and lasting impressions, except for Beotodus which feels like it’s just there
at the very beginning to get the ball rolling. Banbaro, on the other hand,
is another early monster that fares much better. The creature is immense. In combat, Banbaro causes considerable chaos,
using gigantic horns to roll boulders around or violently charge forward with a broken tree. For veteran hunters, Banbaro isn’t difficult to take down,
but because of the personality the creature exhibits during a fight,
it’s still entertaining regardless. Velkhana, the new flagship monster, is absolutely worthy of the wonder and awe
the story gives the ice-covered beast. It’s both nimble and capable of large destructive attacks,
manipulating ice in a variety of ways. Sometimes Velkhana shoots sweeping blasts of cold
that cover an enormous range, and other times, giant chunks of ice radiate outward
from wherever Velkhana is standing. These chunks can be broken
and then used as platforms to initiate jumping attacks, which is a clever touch. Velkhana is how you’d want a monster
of such prominence to feel. It requires considerable skill and focus to defeat as well as a willingness to understand
how it behaves in battle. Old monsters that show up for the first time in World
add so much to the game. Tigrex, Barrioth, and Nargacuga are all intensely
aggressive and can make for relentless fights. Glavenus with its absurdly long tail
creates wonderful panic moments when it’s about to do a frightening spin attack
and you desperately have to get out of the way. Brachydios is just so creative, punching the ground
to create explosive puddles of slime, making whatever area it’s terrorizing
a dangerous minefield. Subspecies, such as the Coral Pukei-Pukei
which blasts water instead of poison, aren’t quite as exciting as the other additions,
but have enough to them to make them worthwhile. Iceborne doesn’t just add on
to what already made World great, but takes a careful look at the game
and finds ways of injecting variety and challenge to make it magical all over again. Along with an increasing number of threats
comes new ways to deal with them. Iceborne adds new mechanics for every weapon,
and there’s also the clutch claw which is a new universal tool. With the clutch claw, you grapple to a monster
and either perform an attack or send it hurling in a particular direction. Depending on the weapon being used, a successful
clutch claw attack either causes slinger ammo to drop or softens up the monster, allowing for more damage
when that particular spot is struck. If a player carelessly throws out a clutch claw attack, there’s a good chance the monster
will just interrupt them and throw them off. Similarly, a good clutch claw attack
can grab a fleeing monster, but due to the claw’s limited range, it’s not guaranteed. Like the weapons themselves,
the clutch claw demands precision that varies depending on what you’re fighting. So it’s helpful without becoming a crutch. Hoarfrost Reach is where you fight
a lot of new monsters in the expansion. The intense cold of the area necessitates
either a trip to some hot springs or hot drinks to gulp down
to stave off the freezing temperature for a bit. Depending on where you’re fighting something
within Hoarfrost Reach, the encounter can feel quite different. There might be deep snow or pools of water
that impede movement, or even gusts of wind that shoot up out of the ground
and send you flying into the air. As one would hope,
Hoarfrost Reach does a lot to enhance fights that already have so much going on
thanks to the incredible creatures themselves. Seliana, a new base of operations,
is both charming and very practical. It’s easy to get around with all the major services
so close to one another, which is a notable step up
from the more spread-out Astera, the old base in World. There’s also an abundance of simple comfort
found in Seliana. It’s impossible to hate the Grammeowster Chef, an elderly cat who lovingly cooks hunters food. In the gathering hub, you can play around in the hot
springs and even splash water on your palico if desired. Your room can also be customized, allowing you to change the furniture
to give your residence a different mood. There are seemingly innumerable little touches that although not strictly necessary make Seliana a place you actually want to be because it’s so endearing. It’s the same quality that World already has, and seeing that same sentiment carried through here
is easy to appreciate. For as meticulously constructed as Iceborne can feel,
the problems it does have are puzzling because of how clumsy they are. Once again,
there are quests that require players to view a cut-scene before they can group up with others,
which is immensely annoying when playing with friends and leads to unnecessary steps. Considering the pushback against it already in World, it’s odd that the process hasn’t been smoothed out
in Iceborne. In the story, there are points when you essentially
have to fill bars to move on, amounting to busywork
rather than just getting on with the hunt. World already did this,
and it’s odd that it returns so similarly here. It makes both the narrative and the progression
feel like they’re echoing World’s worst parts when these things pop up. Thankfully, the more set-piece driven quests of Iceborne easily eclipse any of the boring Zorah Magdaros quests
in World and make for genuinely exciting moments. In the most vital ways,
Iceborne nails what it needs to as an expansion. It’s easy to marvel at both how much there is
and the quality of so much of it. There are things this review hasn’t even mentioned, such as the elaborate endgame,
but these elements are probably better to discover on your own. There is no doubt that Iceborne is worth both the money
and time, leaving such an impression that it’s hard
not to be optimistic about the series’ future. Easy Allies Reviews are made possible
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100 thoughts on “Monster Hunter World: Iceborne – Easy Allies Review”

  1. The gathering tracks part, I heard the speedrun route is taking the expedition, taking one track, killing a monster then heading back home, and repeating as necessary, but they also check which expedition has the best reward for filling that pain in the keister bar. Really looking forward to the hunts and yes folks, Capcom's reviewer's guide has guidelines on how much a review can bring up, how far they can go with details, for good reason.

  2. JonJacobJingleHimerSmit

    That's disappointing hear they still didn't fix the cutscene multiplayer issue. They fixed it in the post base game dlc's but brought it back for Iceborne. Unfortunate

  3. Is anyone else apart from Ben writing reviews in this site? I am still waiting for Cadence for Hyrule, Mario Maker, Astral Chain, Man of Medan… anyone knows what happen with the reviews?

  4. Won't watch the review yet as waiting to dive in myself. Needless to say very excited for this. All other games take a backseat to MH!

  5. Capcom should make the story quests single-player like Village quests in older games, and save coop for the non-story quests. The sort-of-coop mechanic of story missions in World just confuses people who are new to MH.

  6. Sadly i cant get it day one, really wanted the deluxe edition with the steelbook and all content, but i'm still playing the original so i'l get it eventually, you can still see a lot of people playing even in the less popular Xbox One version.

  7. Keen 7: YouTube Is Toast

    It's sad that nobody talks about the endgame.
    I mean, if someone was so disappointed by the endgame of MHW that he doesn't wanna have the same experience in Iceborne, he surely would love to know if it's better and in which ways it is better.
    Every review basically talks about the same things and say, how great Iceborne is, but the one thing that could be a worthwhile information should be discovered by the player.

  8. 5:25 is it STILL not common knowledge that all you have to do to semi-remedy this annoyance is for the people NOT in the quest to go to the quest board and click "Join Quest" after the cutscene is over? because people in the hunt keep leaving their quest in progress so they can play with their other friend, who also has to do a cutscene, just stay in the hunt and JOIN their quest after it highlights, its not hard guys, saves a butt tonne of time.

  9. Nice Review, like always. I am assuming the multiplayer did not get an overhaul? Is there a point to join the hub at all like in World or are you constantly on 24/7?

  10. In some ways I wish Ben didn’t write this review. We already know Ben is a mark for monster hunter. It might be valuable to hear someone else’s opinions

  11. i can't believe they STILL have "wait for cutscene" bullshit. Like… guys! it's been how long and how many complaints about it? AND you had 1 cutscene that worked with everyone in it? How do they take such a huge step forward just to retract it?

  12. This is not a DLC
    This is not an Expansion
    For me who is new to Monster Hunter, World is my first one…
    This is an entire NEW GAME

    Thank you very much Capcom

  13. Weird to say this but I'd be more inclined to buy this expansion pack if it didn't have a story. I loved MHW but I don't wanna deal with the quests that have cut scenes that stop gameplay when playing with friends.

  14. The game you should show everyone defending microtransactions, cut content and scummy business practises. MH World really took me back to the old days and I couldn't be more thankful for that.

  15. from the graphics to the performance this game is dog shit on consoles and to this day it confuses me how such a poorly made game can sell so well

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