Monster Hunter: World – Iceborne is the next major expansion for Capcom’s beast slaying breakout. That sums up most of what we know for sure about the upcoming DLC. Well, that and the fact that it’s coming in late “autumn 2019.
That feels like an eternity. Monster Hunter: World has added a ton of meaningful content since it launched — new monsters, armor, and modes — but one thing that’s been missing is new zones. And the Iceborne trailer heavily implies we’re leaving the confines of the known New World for frostier climes.
It makes sense. Monster Hunter: World is full of monsters that breathe poison, fire, wind, explosive dust, and other weird junk. Yet there’s only one, Legiana, that actually deals ice damage. It makes a whole subset of armor and most of a subset of weapons strangely obsolete in the otherwise very complete game. Some icy beasties would round out the cast nicely. And, based on the end of the trailer, those targets will come with their own set of spiffy new armor to craft.
Iceborne also implies we’ll dip deeper into the Monster Hunter back catalog. The trailer ends with the very distinctive red, glowing eyes of a Nargacuga shrouded in darkness. Maybe that opacity is just a tease for knowing fans. Maybe the monster wasn’t ready to show in such an early trailer. And, just maybe, it’s some kind of special version of the fan favorite creature that we’ve yet to see. Monster Hunter is no stranger to making variants of its existing animals, after all.
Whatever the case, the game’s YouTube page promises the Iceborne expansion will be “massive.” In the “Special Developer Update” stream where Capcom revealed the DLC, the studio compared it to previous Monster Hunter re-releases — like Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate.
These updated version of past games typically let Capcom add tons of new monsters, quests, and big changes to weapons. Although they were always separate products that required a second purchase (assuming you owned the first game). Iceborne, however, will be an add-on for existing copies of Monster Hunter: World.
The comparison implies heftier price tag and Capcom did confirm that this expansion will cost money. That makes it the game’s first real piece of paid DLC (not including a couple of cosmetics here and there). Although the company didn’t mention any specifics, like a price. It also seems the Iceborne announcement doesn’t signal the end of free Monster Hunter: World updates.
The studio also announced another crossover quest, following in the footsteps of the game’s Final Fantasy XIV collaboration, this time involving Geralt from The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.
Just like with Iceborne, we have precious little info about the update besides a release window: early 2019. The Final Fantasy XIV crossover brought an entirely new kind of monster into the world of… World. And it required some very different kinds of tactics than your typical hunt.
The Witcher doesn’t mention anything about new creatures. Instead, it says that players will “take on the mantle of Geralt of Rivia” and that the quest line will “offer a unique gameplay experience blending RPG mechanics of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with Monster Hunter: World’s game systems.” Maybe that means some more fundamental gameplay changes are coming — at least during that specific quest.
Regardless, it’s heartening that World is getting more content between now and Iceborne. The game is absolutely fantastic. And it only gets better with each new update. It’d be a shame if the surprise hit stagnated for the next year.
We’ll be sure to report on any major new updates between now and the Iceborne expansion next year.