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Monster Hunter World: Iceborne E3 2019 Hands-on Preview

This week we were able to sit down and play two of the new fights in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. Slated for release on September 9th, 2019, Iceborne will be a massive, premium expansion pack to Monster Hunter World, currently out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Iceborne is going to be offering up a wealth of new content, monsters to fight, items to gather/make, and arms/armor for players to craft. I was able to get a hands-on with two of the new monsters, and try out some of the new techniques that will be available for hunters later this year.

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The first monster, deemed an intermediate threat, is Banbaro.

This new monster appears to be a new type of brute wyvern with two very large horns on its head and covered in fur. The fight itself was fun, showing off new zone element hazards and some of the smaller fauna that will be in the final release.

The Banbaro fight proceeds as you would normally expect a mid-level brute wyvern to play out. Nothing special was really required to take it down other than avoiding some of its harsher and more punishing attacks.

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I normally try going into most games completely blind, as far as new mechanics and such are concerned, so I can fully experience everything without preconceived notions of what I am in for or what to expect/not to expect. But, this was a special occasion.

So while squaring off against Banbaro, it was really impressive to see that Iceborne will incorporate deep, movement impairing snow that will get trampled on, and pushed around by not only the hunter, but all manner of beasties they’ll encounter.

It was in the middle of the fight, after my team had gotten Banbaro stunned and knocked over, I took a quick breather while sharpening my charge blade and I noticed this new detail to the world.

Needless to say, I was very excited that Capcom had finally decided to add such a detail and environmental hazard to the Monster Hunter series.

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Our next fight, which our very own Rory (Hutchings) joined me in, was none other than Tigrex. Tigrex has always been one of the more fan favorite Monster Hunter fights, and fans of the series have been asking for him to be added since almost day one of Monster Hunter World.

With full disclosure, Rory and I have gone many a hunt together in previous MonHun games, especially in 2017’s MH: World. So he and I were fairly confident that we could take on the brutiest of brute wyverns no problem. We were almost right.

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Going in to our fight against Tigrex, the Capcom developer informed us of two new abilities available to us during this fight: Raider Ride and the Clutch Claw.

Players of Monster Hunter World will remember Tailraiders, smaller fauna that the player can befriend during their hunts and who will come to their aid during medium and large hunts.

Raider Ride will allow the player to call out to Tailraiders the player has befriended, and ride them directly to the focus of the hunt. This mode of transport is a lot faster than hoofing it to the monster.

If the player hasn’t found enough tracks for the hunt’s target to appear on the map, and if the Tailraider isn’t given a specific location to go to, it will hunt down tracks for the player to collect to then bring them right to the main fight.

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The Clutch Claw was intriguing, as it allows players to grapple onto larger monsters and push/pull them in a specific direction while also scoring a few hits during the ride. It is not a mount however, so you can, and will, be thrown off if you’re not careful, possibly resulting in some serious damage.

The Tigrex itself put all of our prowess to the test and still came out ahead. On our second fight against it, we came within just a few weapon attacks of defeating it, but our 20 minute timer ran out before we could put the final nail in the coffin.

Fans of previous games will be delighted to know that Tigrex retains a lot of its more devastating attack patterns, and is still as annoying and aggressive as before.

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So while we were unable to actually kill the Tigrex during our hands-on time with the game, we came extremely close. But it was oh so much fun trying to take it down, and the Banbaro fight was a lot of fun as well.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is shaping up to be a must-have expansion for experienced players jones-ing for more Monster Hunter in their life, and for newcomers alike.

As mentioned earlier, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is slated for release on September 9th, 2019. You can read our review of the base game, Monster Hunter World, here. We highly recommended it then and we still highly recommend it now. In fact, we liked MHW so much, we named it our game of the year for 2018!

Caitlin Harper

About

Born in the south but raised in military bases around the world, Caitlin has been gaming since her father first brought home an NES with Super Mario Bros. and Zelda 2. She's also a lover of all things anime, oppai and adventure.