Hands On

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Beta impressions

This weekend Capcom gave PlayStation 4 Plus subscribers the opportunity to jump into a new region, Hoarfrost Reach. This new wintry region not only offers hunters a chance to take down fierce new Monsters but also gives players of Monster Hunter: World a new adventure within in a new ecosystem.

So, what exactly can you expect from Iceborne? Well, from what I’ve experienced in the beta, hunters should expect to battle off the cold first before you take on any monsters. This wintry region saps the stamina from hunters if Hot drinks are not consumed. Luckily, hunters will have access to hot springs within the hunting grounds. These hot springs will grant players protection from the cold, as well as grant a boost in your recovery of health. Another really cool feature is that hunters can now use their slingers to fire off shots at any time. Yes, this means you don’t have to sheath your weapon before firing off a shot. And if that doesn’t do it for you there’s always the Clutch Claw. A grappling hook that lets you shoot over to the monster and mount it while unleashing a few powerful attacks. Be warned though because this can also result in disaster. In my case, I used the Clutch Claw as the Tigrex started charging toward my direction, which resulted in me being flung into the opposite direction. One of the coolest things about the Clutch Claw is that if you’ve hooked onto the monsters head, you’ll be able to force the monster into a different direction.

Completing each hunt within the beta offers hunters item packs that’ll unlock in the expansion itself Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. Hunters will also receive materials to assist in crafting new weapons and armour.

For hunters looking to get their million dollar photo shots, Capcom has added a feature called View Mode. Basically, a camera mode that’ll allow players to shoot from any direction, however, if a monster shows up and decides to photobomb you, you’ll be knocked from camera view into gameplay again.

So with the features out the way, what monsters were actually featured in the beta. Well, the beta consisted out of three quests.

  • “Great Devourer, Great Jagras” (Ancient Forest, Beginners)
  • “The Big-horned Banbaro” (Hoarfrost Reach, Intermediate)
  • “The Wild Tigrex” (Hoarfrost Reach, Advanced)

The Banbaro is definitely a new one for me. With it being a new addition to the series, its attacks were unpredictable at first and also strangely fun to dodge. It literally grabs any debris in its path and charges at you like a bulldozer. However, even with this new ‘mammoth’, there’s only one king of this jungle and that’s the Tigrex. Brutally violent, fast as a cat and equipped with teeth bigger than a hunter, this beast is truly a force to be reckoned with. My first experience with this beast was back in Monster Hunter Freedom 2 on the PlayStation Portable. I remember it being a nightmare to deal with and facing it once again here in the ‘new world’, my fears and joy have surfaced once again. My first encounter with it in the beta was with a hammer. A mistake I soon regretted. After a quick defeat, I soon changed up to my specialty weapon. The Insect Glaive. With the ability to extract the essence from the monster and go ‘super saiyan’ I was not only able to deal more powerful blows but also mount it a lot faster with the ability to vault into the air. Since this hunts an Advanced level hunt, I highly recommend hunting with a party if it’s your first time facing this beast.

With it being a beta, the hunts were reduced from their usual fifty minute time limits to a twenty-minute time limit. On a side note, during E3, Capcom showed off Monster Hunter World: Iceborne and some of the new features that they’re introducing in the expansion. One of the most intriguing features for me is the dynamic difficulty settings. These settings not only grant a two-player hunting party a third difficulty option but also if a hunter from your party is disconnected or leaves the hunt, the difficulty level will automatically scale down. What makes this feature so rewarding though, is the fact that you won’t need the Iceborne expansion for it to take effect. Yes, indeed, this feature will be applied to the base game as well, Monster Hunter: World.

All in all, the beta was tons of fun and I really enjoyed the Intermediate and Advanced hunts. I love the fact that Capcom doesn’t allow players to run around the base of operations and just throws hunters straight into the hunts itself. Reducing the hunt time also helps exponentially. Yes, you may not finish in the allocated twenty minutes, but its a lot better during beta to show off the games new features and monsters in this time, rather than the games usual fifty minute hunt times.

Remember hunters, you don’t need the base game, Monster Hunter: World, to play the beta. And if you didn’t have a PS Plus subscription to participate in this weekends beta, no worries. Next week will be another beta that’s open to all PlayStation 4 owners. The 28th of June to the 1st of July.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is slated for the 6th of September 2019, on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. With PC being released sometime in the summer (Southern Hemisphere).

Hoarfrost Reach awaits hunters. Its time to bring the heat.

Make sure to check out my hunt against the Tigrex on Youtube.

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