With Monster Hunter World: Iceborne barely a month away, the new monster reveals are picking up steam. The latest include a handful of icy variants of monsters from the base game, including the Viper Tobi-Kadachi, Nightshade Paolumu, and Coral Pukei Pukei.
Capcom recently invited USgamer over to its office to take on these new beasties, as well as previously revealed creatures like the Banbaro and Barioth. My main takeaway? It sure is Monster Hunter... albeit with some key changes. You can find a supercut of my adventures below.
The addition that stood out to me most in my time with Iceborne was definitely the Clutch Claw, a new accessory that lets you grapple on to staggered monsters and wreak havoc. If you successfully make it on to their back, you can run them into a wall, knock them down, or simply stab them for a bunch of damage. Debates already abound over whether or not the Clutch Claw is overpowered, and while I can't offer any definitive insight on that front, it sure felt powerful. It is pretty tough to pull off though, as it requires precise timing that potentially leaves you open to a devastating counterattack, so you won't exactly be able to spam it.
The monsters themselves are all pretty fun. The Viper Tobi-Kadachi reminds me of the Odogaron from the base game, mixing incredible speed with the ability to fly. It's somewhat similar to the base game version, down to its propensity for getting owned by Anjanath, but trades static electricity for poison. The Barioth pounces around the stage and strikes with powerful swipes of its tail, while the moose-like Banbaro pushes around giant ice boulders that can be pretty tough to avoid.
As a Longsword user, I was taken by a new technique that allowed me to build short-term damage. After landing a blow, pressing R2+X would result in my character partly sheathing their sword, with a quick press of the Triangle button causing them to draw it again in a lightning fast attack. A successful attack would temporarily push my Spirit Gauge into the red, thus bolstering my combos. Between that and the Clutch Claw, I'm really enjoying the new tactical options that Iceborne has on offer.
What can I say? It feels great to be back. I loved Monster Hunter: World when it came out last year, naming it one of my top games of 2018. It was a perfect console translation for the series, significantly bumping up the quality of the presentation while smoothing out the rougher edges of its design. Iceborne is an expansion pack that adds a multitude of new monsters, new weapon techniques, and a brand new environment to explore.
Capcom has already released a large amount of info about Iceborne, and more monster reveals are sure to follow. It'll be out September 6 on Xbox One and PS4, with the PC version to follow in January 2020. You can find our interview with the Iceborne devs here.