If you’re already a fan and want to know as clearly as possible if Iceborne merits its price tag, then let me put it this way: before this expansion, I had 200 hours in the world; I’ve racked up almost 200 more since I started it. And yeah, your buck has a lot of bang to it. Yet if you are involved in Monster Hunter Cheats beyond a time sink then Iceborne complicates World in ways that are both extremely fascinating and deeply frustrating.
MONSTER HUNTER WORLD ICEBORNE Trainer 2020
Iceborne is a combination of new creatures, areas, mechanics and a whole new endgame, all aimed at veterans. Iceborne has almost nothing to say for those who have dipped their toes in World or have not made it to the end. Capcom did so for their loyal audience and succeeded in providing to their credit not just something that would fulfill the demand for new content, but also have a new framework for the hunts of the game that goes beyond just providing ‘more.’
But, there’s a lot more, with the latest Hoarfrost Reach area introducing a whole biome to extend the joy of Monster Hunter’s Hack heart: trapping his species and seeing how his monsters deal with them. Whether they collapse ice shelves or break trees for battering rams, there is a sense of connection that sells a beautiful, tactile environment between their creatures and their surroundings. And the better Capcom gets at this, the more convincingly their beasts are animated and looked, the greater the friction between what the game claims it is and what it really is to watch.
I’ve always been uncomfortable playing those games where I’m asked to go out, invade these species ‘habitats and destroy them to make the next set of armors and weapons. With Universe sometimes the pain was serious, beating monsters until they were limped and then being forced to lop off their tails to hear whines and squeals. In those games, you don’t just destroy the monsters — you make them suffer. I’ve always been upset that they have built such a rich ecosystem and the only thing they can ask me to do in it is to destroy it.
MONSTER HUNTER WORLD ICEBORNE Trainer 2020
Iceborne does dabble with a new sidequest in some alternatives asking you to go out and film the world’s cats tribes with a phone. I got to see what Monster Hunter Crack could be like for an hour or two if it was more of a Pokémon Grab, and the result was shocking. Information I had never seen before, now that I was taking my time to study, kept revealing themselves. It’s a small thing but a taste into what a kids game could be like, making it all the more obvious what a cruel Monster Hunter Cheats game is. I’ve never stopped having a blast with the game, but Iceborne makes it much harder to overlook it, with cutscene after cutscene featuring our group into hunters tackling their existence. Through tackling, I mean pretending to be part of the environment and that they’re somehow saving life through destroying those monsters. It’s an insane notion (our hunters aren’t even from this continent!) and yet the characters speak about it shows that Capcom is at least mindful of the dissonance in its plot. And instead of simply discussing this or completely avoiding this dimension of its world-building, Iceborne sits on an uncomfortable middle ground, drawing attention to its characters ‘moral weakness with a nonsensical lie. When these games keep asking me to think about their world then they have to spend more time entertaining the idea that the bad guys are their hunters.
This goes against too much of the game’s elegance and warmth too, which Iceborne excels at. Seliana’s comfortable new center is a winter getaway full of delights, new mini-games and even saunas. The new chef, the Grammeowster, is such a character of pure joy that the first time I saw her cooking I squealed audibly. All this is put to use in a critical redesign of the social space of games, with the Seliana Gathering Hub providing players with an area where they can spend time together between hunts — letting you craft and access all the vendors side by side. It drives Monster Hunter Hack into an experience that’s much more readily shared, making the game feel like a nightly occurrence. All of you can leap into the same hunts or do your own thing, but all of you come back to the same room to hang out, mumble with gestures, show off new weapons or splash into the water. No, there are hot pools now, to be real.
PERFORMANCE Monster Hunter World is a far more robust PC game than it was at the start and because Iceborne is an extension of the same design, it performs as you would imagine. When you turn it up, an extra graphical option for snow will tax your GPU RAM a little more, but that is about it. A few performance updates made it easier to reach 60fps at 1080p for most mid-range PCs and changes to mouse and keyboard controls have since made MHW feel right at home on Mac, but at higher settings and resolutions it’s still a hog. It runs 60-90 fps depending on the action with a GTX 2080 and an i9-9900 K with the High Resolution Texture Pack mounted, and everything turned up. To see MWH at its very best, you’ll need a top tier PC, but it still looks and performs much better on mid-range PCs than the console models.
The art that goes into all of these spaces ‘specifics is ridiculous and so important to counteract the painful moments in which you violently kill a beast battling for its life. But as the game keeps drawing attention to them, the juxtaposition between those elements becomes harder to reconcile.
Yet, despite my misgivings, it has to be said that there is nothing like Monster Hunter Crack in war, and Iceborne is the challenge that I have been waiting for since I mastered Universe. The latest battles sound built in a player’s planning and techniques to pick at the weak points. If it’s not the cold chewing at your stamina, it’s monsters that spill explosive goo everywhere or wash you off the ground by raising water waves. The ingenuity on show is preserved right through to the final battle, finding ways to confuse even the most seasoned of hunters and challenge them. Considering the complex design of the game, that’s no easy feat, and doubly so as Iceborne piles up on new mechanics. The grappling claw that helps you to grab on monsters and attempt to guide them through obstacles opens up a whole new skillset to learn and one that also changes everything about the base game.
Iceborne isn’t a full-blown sequel, but still has revolutionary touches that revitalize a game that’s still thriving. Like its game world regions, Monster Hunter feels alive, overflowing with items to try and, finally, conquer at the seams. Importantly, everything feels meaningful and incorporated in ways that complement what’s already there, rather than just gimmicks to massively broaden the scale of the game. Iceborne is Monster Hunter at its best, when it comes to the monster hunting itself.
Advertisement (Image Credit: Capcom) If there is one disappointment in addition to the iffy plot, that is that the game still has gendered armor sets and insists on making half of the women’s costumes a combination of boob armor and bikinis. If the entire look of the game were unrealistic costumes then maybe it might be easier to sit back, but when the dudes are wearing intricate yet realistic armor, it is sad to see the women trapped with mini skirts, their buttocks smashing through any crawl space into the frame. Worse, women’s armor’s other half is fine, fashionable material. But why the fumbles? It is an objectiveing look from which I would have thought the show would have evolved out of.
Regardless of my criticisms there’s no denying how compelling Monster Hunter remains and how much Iceborne excels in enhancing the simple experience. The endgame is a refreshing new style for the series that makes its hunts feel more organic, rather than the trawls around the quest board that most of the time the game uses. A new area keeps you out of the forest, keeps the monsters coming and responds to those you are hunting, changing as you are playing. This also seems like the culmination of all World was able to add to the show without giving anything away. Couple that on the multiplayer side with the polish and I keep on losing hours to this title.
There’s so much exciting new stuff here, so much to see and do, it feels like the hunters are served before a search on one of those ridiculous platters. Part of the feast is of course a multitude of cutscenes the create a convoluted plot without which the game might have gone. One day maybe Capcom can find a way to communicate with its themes more carefully. I’ll always appreciate the platter they’re selling before then, but at times it can’t help but leave me feeling a little sad.