Monster Hunter World Iceborne DLC is the best kind of DLC

DLC rarely offers a comparable value proposition like the full game it is supplementing. For example, paying $5 for a new fighting game character doesn’t equal around 10% of a total game’s value. However, sometimes DLC can be a great value, such as New Super Luigi U featuring an entire game’s worth of content at only $19.99. This is exactly how Capcom is handling Monster Hunter World Iceborne, a $39.99 expansion for the action role-playing game that will offer tons of new monsters, abilities, and the biggest level yet. It looks fantastic and it’s how major releases should be supported in the future.

In many ways, Iceborne will serve as a sequel of sorts to Monster Hunter World. Not only does the brand new story take place after the events of the original, but it also features a brand-new Master Rank quests. Similar to G Rank in other Monster Hunter games, this will provide plenty of endgame challenges for expert players.

This expansion is particularly great because it is coming just over a year after the original game released; a year full of constant updates. And these constant updates were made with the key players from the main game. This allowed others to prove their worth with Iceborne.

As with any Monster Hunter game, a lot of excitement for Iceborne comes from the new creatures it will introduce. However, what’s especially thrilling here is that World features an entire ecosystem to explore rather than just hunting baddies located inside a map. Capcom has already shown off several creatures unique to the new Hoarfrost Reach area. These include new birds such as the Stonebills that thrive in the cold environment and a bug that barrels through the snow called the Rime Beetle. Each locale in the game looks like its own living and breathing world and the attention to detail hasn’t seemed to drop for this expansion.

Monsters new and old will shine in Monster Hunter World Iceborne

Monster Hunter World Iceborne

Of course, it’s the bigger creatures that are most exciting to hunt and it looks like Iceborne will offer up some interesting challenges. These include a new brute wyvern called Banbaro, which has long horns and charges toward the player. One really interesting aspect is that its attacks change depending on where you battle it on the map. In wooded areas it will pick up trees with its horns, while it may toss boulders in a rockier spot. These are incredibly inventive ways to alter how each battle plays out and it demonstrates how unique Hoarfrost Reach’s topography is.

Another cool addition is Beotodus, which is a monster that camouflages itself by burying under the snow. This gives it the element of surprise in its attacks and it’s up to the player to get it out of the snow in order to defeat it. One of the most enjoyable aspects of World was using the ecosystem to your full advantage and that will be the case here, as players can have the aforementioned Banbaro attack Beotodus if they get the two creatures close in proximity. Using these natural rivalries is key to overcoming the odds in battle, and provide many of the action RPG’s greatest encounters.

But older monsters will also get a new lease on life too. The returning Nargacuga and the new elder dragon Velkhana round out the known monsters. The former was first introduced in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for the PlayStation Portable and will return with all of its fearsome attacks plus a few new tricks up its proverbial sleeve. Meanwhile, the latest dragon will have ice attacks and other skills to defeat the player, although Capcom is keeping relatively tight lipped about all it can do.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne also improves the base game

Monster Hunter World Spring Update Reveal

Alongside the aforementioned Master Rank, Iceborne will also be adding in several new moves that players can do with each weapon type. This includes multiple slinger improvements as their projectile can now be used with a weapon drawn. This makes it much more versatile and it can even be used with a “clutch claw” in order to grapple onto larger foes. Once on them, they can use the new flinch shot ability to hit the monster in the head repeatedly and force them to barrel forward into traps or walls. This looks like it will make the core gameplay more versatile and looks to be a fantastic addition.

Similar to how Destiny 2 handled its major expansions, Monster Hunter World Iceborne will also be available physically as a pack-in with the main game. This is a great way to jump into one of 2018’s greatest technical achievements and is a great value since you essentially get World for just $20. Those that want to go digital have two separate options as they can get the base expansion or a deluxe version that includes plenty of outfits and added bonuses for $10 more. This layer of choice is great for consumers as it allows for the DLC to cater to everyone ranging from newcomers to the most hardcore of fans.

But those hardcore fans are usually taken advantage of, which is what makes Iceborne look so refreshing. One of 2018’s best games will be getting even better over a year past release with a meaty content drop and that’s the ideal situation for some types of post-release content. And Monster Hunter World‘s ability to release small free DLC was smart because it helps keep players on the hook until its big expansion.

Getting a huge expansion like Iceborne is a much better alternative than getting extra weapon classes sold separately or individual monsters or missions for $5 a pop, which is what most other games do as they’re also hocking skin packs and cosmetics. It’s not only a more cohesive package that will tell a separate story, but it’s a far less costly alternative for the player that wants to own everything as well.

This isn’t just Capcom supporting Monster Hunter World with more content, as the company spent the past year adding in new quests and crossover content with Horizon Zero DawnThe Witcher 3, and more. Iceborne is a meaty follow-up that looks to be worth every penny and is exactly what downloadable content should be as it builds on top of the main game to provide a unique experience that is worth sinking your teeth into. With more developers looking to monetize through digital currencies and loot boxes, this is exactly the type of content that developers should be making.