It's not out until the dead of winter, but today we've got our first look at the PC version of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, the massive expansion to Capcom's 2018 dragon-bothering extravaganza. In the trailer below, Capcom announces a January 9th release date, and showcases a few of the shinier features of the enhanced PC port. Give it a peek.
Ultra-widescreen support is now in, optional high-res textures are available from launch this time, mouse and keyboard controls have been tuned up, frame-rates are uncapped and the game now supports DirectX 12. I'm curious how much of this will translate to better performance in Iceborne, especially considering the extra work needed to render all that delightfully deformable snow. Still, one thing's for sure: the game still looks fantastic, and packed to the gills with beautifully animated elemental super-lizards to beat up.
In the trailer description text, Capcom also mentions that the first bit of free DLC for Iceborne—the horned ape Rajang, returning from earlier in the series—will arrive sometime after launch, suggesting that once again, PC updates will be lagging behind consoles by several months.
As is par for course with the Monster Hunter series, Iceborne doesn't render any of the original game redundant. Instead of just sending you to a new region and forgetting about the rest of the older monsters, it introduces a new difficulty tier—Master Rank hunts—that'll have players squaring off with tougher, more aggressive versions of every monster in the game. Fortunately, players have some new tricks to deal with them, including an upgraded grappling hook that allows them to cling directly to monsters.
Take a look at Tom Senior's breakdown of what to expect in Iceborne here. Pre-orders are open for Iceborne on Steam, where it costs a cool £41.99/$49.99. Correction: Those prices are for the deluxe edition of Iceborne, which includes extra cosmetics. The base price is £34.99/$39.99. Not cheap as far as expansions go, but I can easily see this one devouring another hundred hours of my limited time on Earth.
Update: Capcom has confirmed that in Rajang, new features for the player's room and a set of Resident Evil-themed costumes will arrive in Iceborne's February update. A second update including another monster is due in March, and Capcom plan to narrow the gap between console and PC update releases over the coming months.