As expected, the Spring Update for Monster Hunter: World focused on its upcoming expansion, Iceborne; and it was quite a doozy, discussing the many sights revealed during Sony’s State of Play which aired some time before.
The stream didn’t detail everything that fans can expect, but it’s safe to assume that Iceborne will be absolutely filled to the brim with new content if what we’ve seen thus far is anything to go by.
First off, the new zone finally has a name: Hoarfrost Reach, and it’s unlocked as part of the story that’s unlocked following the conclusion of the initial one. As you might expect, this also means it’s arrival will herald the start of Master Rank, a difficulty level one step above High Rank. It’s an area blanketed in snow and frost, so players will require Hot Drinks in order to properly function and not succumb to the cold while in the middle of a hunt.
And speaking of hunts, Hoarfrost Reach has at least three new monsters to take down: Banbaro, Beotodus and Velkhana.
The Banbaro is an elk-like creature that makes use of its massive horns to charge and take down anyone who dares enter its territory. That’s not necessarily something experienced players haven’t encountered before, but it has the ability to throw them for a loop by swinging rocks and trees in its horns and changing the properties of its attacks. Meanwhile, the Beotodus — who has a Turf War with Banbaro — will likely remind experienced players of Third’s Nibelsnarf, since it too is basically a fish that burrows in the terrain to get a drop on inattentive players.
Likely presiding over all of Hoarfrost Reach is the Velkhana, an Elder Dragon who is notable for its ice attacks and a cry that sounds like it’s singing. The stream mentioned it will have far more to antagonize players with, but it seems Hunters are going to have to figure the details themselves the hard way while out in the field.
There won’t just be new monsters coming to the New World in Monster Hunter World Iceborne — at least one old monster will be joining the fray: the Nargacuga.
Hailing from Freedom Unite, Nargacuga is an flying wyvern who has a coat of black fur that basically makes it look like a panther with webbing on its front legs. It will be encountered in the Ancient Forest about halfway through Iceborne’s storyline, making use of the various attacks that has made it so well-known among the fanbase, such as using its tail to smack players who think they’re out of its range. As expected, it will also get some new tricks as befitting of an old world monster who finds itself in a new one.
These monsters seem pretty daunting, but luckily players will have a variety of new actions capable of taking them down.
First off, hunters will be able to use the slinger while they’re weapon is drawn — regardless of what weapon that happens to be (previously this was unique to the SnS). On top of that, the brand-new Clutch Claw will allow hunters to latch on to a monster for an automatic mount, and they’ll even be able to use a special shot to knock them off-balance — and potentially into traps — while they’re there.
In addition, every weapon will get at least one new technique. For now, all know is the Power Shot, allowing Great Sword uers to shoot enhanced shots from their slinger as part of their combo; the Evade Shot and Instant Clutch Claw, which allows Dual Blade users to do exactly what each technique sounds like; and lastly the Evade Reload Mod for Light Bow Guns, allowing Hunters to reload their ammo while dodging.
The stream also made mention of new elements and combos for various weapons, but we’ll have to wait longer to see what they are.
All in all, Iceborne is shaping up to be exactly what hunters were hoping for. There’s no word on just how much harder Master Rank will be compared to High, but if we get a roster of more new, exciting monsters, along with good old ones (Barioth and Seregios, please) and some sub-species, then this expansion will be a success anyway.
As a reminder, Monster Hunter: World Iceborne will arrive on Sept. 6.
Check out the full Spring Update stream below (was that the Tigrex at the end of the trailer?):