Monster Hunter World: Iceborne really isn’t mucking about

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One of the joys of last year’s Monster Hunter World was how it introduced a whole new audience to the charms of Capcom’s long-running series – that delicious loop of combat, conquest and then popping back home to craft a new set of trousers out of whatever giant beast you just felled so you can go back out to the wilds and do it all over again. There’s another part of that loop, though, that’s just as essential to it all – the part where you’re humbled by a new beast that appears at the top of the food chain, and the part where you lick your wounds and make plans about how to exact your revenge and craft some new trousers as proof of your abilities.

Humbled? Actually, maybe that should be humiliated, which would be a more fitting a term for lapsed players like myself getting to grips with the opening hours of the forthcoming Iceborne expansion. You’ll need to have completed the main campaign and reached Hunter Rank 16 to step foot on the new landmass the expansion introduces – called Hoarfrost Reach, it’s out beyond a chilled ocean to the north west of the existing map – and even then you’ll need to have polished off your skills. The first scrap you have, against the all-new beast Beotodus, can get pretty serious.

And so you’ll be turning the air blue well before Hoarfrost Reach’s chill air turns your fingers azure, because Beotodus is an absolute bastard. With an appearance like the chilled-out cousin of Cephadrome, he’s a snow shark – a snow shark! – who speeds along underneath the tundra, his fin tearing through as a tell of his presence. So yeah, Beotodus is mostly concealed, has a hell of a hide and to make things even more entertaining to deal the most damage you’ll have to get him to expose his hindlegs. It’s a little on the tricky side.

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