Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

The amazing Monster Hunter: World will get a major addition Iceborne in September, and before the release, Capcom decided to arrange a beta test of the upcoming novelty, without requiring the presence of the original. First, PlayStation Plus subscribers were allowed to join the servers, and from June 28 to June 30, absolutely all PS4 owners will be able to join the hunt. The idea of ​​letting players try out the add-on turned out to be great – thanks to the “beta” you can not only learn about the innovations, but also understand how much we missed the World gameplay during this time.

Cold and fresh

As in the case of the “beta” of the original, there are three hunts with different difficulty levels. Beginners will have to fight the Big Jagras, who has already become our victim so many times in the regular World, and more experienced players are expected to meet Banbaro and Tigrex – completely new monsters for this game. They live in the snow-covered region of Frostreach, where Monster Hunter fans will go for the first time.

This location differs from others in low temperature, and therefore it is not recommended to immediately run out of the camp and track down the target. Preliminarily, it is advisable to drink a hot drink, which each time is kindly placed in the starting chest. Well, if five drinks weren’t enough, you can always find the ingredients to create this drink or even go to some hot spring, if you remember roughly where they are located. Otherwise, your stamina will constantly decrease.

This is not the only feature of the Frost Expanse. During the battle with Tigrex, I managed to notice the destructible environment, when the ice under his paws suddenly began to fall apart. And if you find yourself in a place littered with snow, where after each step you leave deep footprints, it becomes more difficult to move quickly and roll over, which in a duel with an angry monster can lead to death.

Therefore, the battle with Tigrex may be delayed – this large wyvern has remained as nimble as fans of the old Monster Hunters remember it. She runs fast, periodically yells, knocks the character down, throws large ice cubes at him and causes quite a lot of damage. You need to carefully monitor her actions, memorize the luxuriously drawn animations and think about whether to strike now or wait until the next attack.

Monster Hunter: World - Iceborne game review

If desired, the Palico can be turned into a snowboarder.

Banbaro, on the other hand, is much easier to defeat – he does not hit so hard, and the attack that he makes with a cobblestone on his huge horns is very easy to dodge.

There is something to learn

New weapons will not appear in Iceborne, but with the old one, players will have access to fresh tricks, some of which are related to the use of crossbows. Now you can shoot from it at any time, even if your main weapon is in your hands and not in the sheath. Due to this, new combinations of attacks sometimes include pressing L2 at some point, as happens with dual blades and a two-handed sword.

Previously, the so-called “true charged strike combo” could not be performed as often as one would like. With a two-handed sword, I had to swing, hit, then swing again, hit again, swing a third time – and only then make a crushing attack. During this time, the monster managed to escape several times. Now that’s not a problem – in Iceborne you hit, fire a crossbow (if it’s charged, of course) and immediately after that use a true charged strike, skipping a whole stage and saving a few seconds.

However, this cannot be called a new technique, so connoisseurs of two-handed swords, unfortunately, were less fortunate than others. Bastard lovers, for example, received an unusual move called “Special Scabbard” – by pressing R2 and X after an attack, you put the weapon back into its sheath, after which you can perform a normal or spiritual blow while drawing. An interesting combination appeared for the shield with the sword, the strength of which depends on the intervals between pressing. The new abilities of each weapon are reported in the redesigned training area, which now displays combo damage, as well as the ability to ask the housekeeper to replace objects for training.

Monster Hunter: World - Iceborne game review

Banbaro only seems menacing and dangerous.

We sharpen our claws

Now it will be possible to memorize skills not only on barrels and pillars, but also on a large wooden wagon that looks like a monster. We did this not only for convenience, but also so that players could take a look at the capabilities of the grasping claw outside of hunting – another innovation available to the character at any time. By holding L2 and pressing Circle, you shoot out with this claw and grab the monster if it is located relatively close to you.

Before attacking, you select the body part of the monster you want to get close to, which will make it easier to get the parts you need. And in general, the damage from an attack with a claw will be quite large, especially if you use a heavy weapon, and with a light one, you will also get projectiles for crossbows. Another feature of the claw is the ability to shoot a monster with a crossbow at close range, causing it to panic and run in a different direction. Not only will he crash into walls and rocks, but he can also step on your traps or fall onto the lower tier.

Another notable feature of Iceborne is that small monsters can turn into your vehicle. You call them, put a mark on the map and go to the chosen place. You can’t directly control them, but you can adjust the speed of movement – a slow one is useful for collecting plants and other resources along the way, which you can do without getting off the creature, and at a high one you can quickly reach the goal. If there is no mark on the map, the monster will follow the fireflies and lead you to the main monster.

The good news is that Capcom listened to the audience and tinkered with the difficulty levels, adding a couple of long-awaited options. Firstly, there is now a separate difficulty for duos, and not just for singles and squads of four players (troikas, alas, were left out of work – they are considered a full team). Secondly, monsters will now weaken if someone leaves your group. That is, when your comrade’s electricity is cut off, you won’t need to finish off the enraged Ratalos, whose health and strength are designed for a duet – you just defeat him, as you would do it solo. Options will be available in both regular World and Iceborne, no expansion required.

Monster Hunter: World - Iceborne game review

Not only the character is capable of riding monsters, but also his furry helper.

***

This, of course, is not all that awaits us in the supplement – they promise about the same amount of content as it was in the original. Right now, Iceborne seems like a worthy addition that will offer both a pack of new monsters and non-standard features that can even freshen up fights with old monsters. I want to fully explore the new location, see all the monsters, tame all the small creatures and get to know new characters. There’s not much in the beta, but it’s enough to keep you looking forward to September (or winter – the PC version is delayed again), especially if you missed Monster Hunter.

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