Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (PC) Review

What killed the dinosaurs? THE ICE AGE!

Monster hunter World was my game of the year when it released. I dropped over 100 hours into it on PS4 then another 60 hours on the PC version. When they showed off Iceborne for the first time, I was all in. The only thing, I had already switched over to the PC version of the game. That meant I was going to have to wait to get my hands on the expansion. Let me just say, it was well worth the wait.

The story in Iceborne takes place after the events of the main game of World. Legiana are migrating in droves to a new part of the continent known as the Hoarfrost Reach. The hunters are sent there to investigate this phenomenon and see what is making them go clear across the sea to a frozen tundra of a land.

MSRP: $39.99
Price I’d pay: $39.99

Along with new story beats and quests, Iceborne adds so much more to the game. Of course, the first thing that needs to be mentioned is new monsters to hunt. Many of the beginning monsters come in the form of ice-themed monsters, but later on in the story, players will begin seeing variants of existing monsters like the Viper Tobi-Kadachi or the Fulgur Anjanath. Not only are these monsters different in look and element types, but also act and move completely differently. With the new variant monsters in place along with the all new ones, some of which make a return from previous games in the series, it adds up to 27 large monsters to take on, carve, and make all new gear out of.

Speaking of gear, with the all new Master Rank that was added, all previous High Rank gear that players may have had and possibly had maxed out will immediately become obsolete the moment they obtain some Master Rank materials. Sure, that stung a little, but as soon as I got my hands on a new set that was already more powerful, I was material hunting addicted once again. The additional gear introduced here may have the same kind of skills, but many offer set bonuses that were a bit sparse for the main game of World. The variety of potential builds in Iceborne will keep hunters busy for a nice long while.

Not only are new monsters added to Iceborne, but new abilities as well. Each weapon has at least one new move or aspect to it to add some flavor to the move set. On top of that, all weapons can now use and fire their slinger with their weapon still drawn. There’s a big reason for this, and quite possibly, the best thing to come out of this expansion – the Clutch Claw. A new addition to the slinger, the Clutch Claw can be used to grab hold of a monster and zip-line to the body. While this isn’t an actual mount, players cling to the monster and can move around its body. During this time, they have a few options at their disposal. They can attack the area they landed on or moved to in order to tenderize that part of the body. When a body part is tenderized, all damage done to it is increased as if that part was a weak spot. This is useful for monsters where their actual weak spots are hard to hit or move too much during a fight. The second option when using the Clutch Claw is to move to the monster’s head and fire their slinger ammo into its face. Doing this will launch the monster forward. If it runs into a wall, object, or another monster, it is knocked down just like it would be if a player had mounted it and took it down. This can only be done when the monster is not enraged. The Clutch Claw is a welcomed addition to the game that adds so much to a hunter’s repertoire.

The Hoarfrost Reach is a massive new area to take on with tons of places to explore like on the frozen tundra, the caverns below the surface, and a snowy forest region of the map. It is absolutely massive. Along with a new area comes a godsend or a new village hub. Seliana is the new base of operations where everything that a hunter needs is within a few steps. No more having to ride a loading elevator to get to certain vendors.

The story of Iceborne itself can last players at least 15 hours, probably more if they’re keeping up their upgrading with extra hunts. Then, after the credits roll on the expansion, the new Guiding Lands are introduced as the end game content. The Guiding Lands are a special area that houses all the different areas from Monster Hunter World. So there are sections that are from the Ancient Forest then all of a sudden, players can find themselves in a desert area much like the Wildspire Wastes. It’s all connected. Players can go on expeditions to the Guiding Lands and take on monsters in different areas. This is where players will get end game materials that they can use to upgrade their best of the best equipment. New things are added during this time at certain Master Rank increases, so don’t think there’s nothing much to do once hunters have beaten the story.

Now, while I can gush about this expansion for days, I do have to mention a few issues that still get to me, most of which stem from the original game. First, the fact that still I have to wait while doing the story missions until I see a cut scene before I can invite my friends to my hunt is still there and still annoying. I was hoping they would remove that in Iceborne, no such luck. Secondly, while the armor looks pretty great, the upgraded weapons in Iceborne are very lackluster. I’m a Hunting Horn main, and well over half of the end game horns have some very uninspiring looks to them. Most revolve around the same look while having a different color slapped on them. That was a real bummer. When I have a rarity 11 or 12 Hunting Horn on my back, I want it to look and sound awesome.

Even with these minor issues, I can’t lie and say I didn’t have an absolute blast with Iceborne. I had taken a long break from Monster Hunter altogether and when I booted up Iceborne for this review, I fell back in love with the game. This is how you do an expansion. For me, Iceborne will go down in gaming history as one of those great expansions like The Shivering Isles, Undead Nightmare, and Blood and Wine. If you are remotely a Monster Hunter fan, this is a must have. If you have been interested in Monster Hunter but have yet to try it, do yourself a favor and pick up Monster Hunter World and this expansion. It’s the most accessible Monster Hunter to date and a fantastic entry into the series.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Tons of monsters to hunt
  • Even more gear to craft
  • Great end game content
  • Clutch Claw is fantastic
  • New areas are a great addition
  • Still have to wait for cut scenes to end before inviting friends,
  • Some end game weapons are very uninspired
Written by
Drew is the Community Manager here at ZTGD and his accent simply woos the ladies. His rage is only surpassed by the great one himself and no one should stand between him and his Twizzlers.