Monster Hunter Rise - Review

Monster Hunter Rise - Review

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: March 26, 2021
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Engine: RE Engine

 

Monster Hunter World from 2018 changed things, with the version for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and later PC, also with a greater focus on online co-op gaming and a more open world, it managed to achieve global success and popularity. Surprisingly, it was incredibly well-received by PC audiences, at the end of last year the computer version managed to sell more than the PlayStation 4, and the daily number of Monster Hunter World players on Steam is still usually higher than many titles for which thought they were more popular on that platform.

Monster Hunter Rise - Review Scr1

With a total of 62 million copies sold in the series, a very popular expansion for Monster Hunter World which is still being played around the world, the question is what’s next for this famous franchise? The new game only for Nintendo Switch, Logically! They don't care, if it's popular in Japan it will work for Japan!

And that roughly sets the tone for the rest of this review. The new Monster Hunter Rise is just that, a relentless Japan that pushes its story no matter what. The very premise that you are a monster hunter, with a huge sword and even bigger opponents will sound great to everyone, but players who come from Souls used to strong/weak kick and roll, will experience a heavier culture shock here. 

Although the basic gameplay is similar, a host of other systems and details related to exodus exist here. Monster Hunter Rise strictly adheres to the tradition from the old sequels in terms of controls and capabilities, and simply requires training in the form of a multi-hour course.

I think I first spent about an hour making my character and his companions, and then spent at least two more hours in the introduction to the game after which many tutorials related to certain zones of the hub village, shops, crafting, collecting items still popped up for hours. barbecue and whatnot. There’s no way you can simply jump into Rise at first, but when you graduate and step back a bit in the game then the thing becomes a real portable pickup-up-and-play, with missions that have a precisely defined time to complete them. 

Monster Hunter Rise - Review Scr2

The biggest novelty in Rise is a slight change in aesthetics compared to the World, as well as the addition of a very useful dog (Palamut) with which you go hunting, in addition to the already standard Palico companions. 

In addition to helping in the fight, dogs can also be used as a mount for faster movement on the map, and there is also the possibility to launch with distant so-called firebugs (practically hook mechanics) to distant locations or enemies, so movement is faster and fluid in relation on previous games. The wirebug also helps with getting back on your feet when the boss launches you, which is great and makes the rhythm of the fight much faster.

Rise borrows from the World, specifically the Iceborn expansion, and the ability to control monsters. When you tame them, you can also ride them and thus create chaos on the map with them, even crossing longer distances and attacking the next monster boss. Many epic scenes can arise like this, like when I rode a T-REX through a volcano to attack a huge dragon with it.

As in every Monster Hunter, preparation before the hunt is half the strategy, in addition to the things you bring with you, you should also eat food that gives buffets, assembles the ideal skewer in the Palico restaurant piece by piece. In Rise, part of the preparation before the hunt is partially transferred to the field, before you head to the boss, you can collect glowing birds on the map (I guess) as they are called in the game Endemic Life, which add temporary boosts to your statistics. 

In that way, flipping through the menus is transferred to exploring the terrain, but even that can be a little boring in a different way when you have to chase colorful hummingbirds or bugs (whatever they are) on the map first before you go to the boss. The maps are otherwise large, similar in structure to those from the World, so there are no separate zones, and the downloads are unrealistically fast for the Switch.

Monster Hunter Rise - Review Scr3

Each of the new monsters is great! The variety is great and the design is on a completely different level. Big boss monsters are always a challenge and you will have to solve them like a jigsaw puzzle, finding ways to remove their defenses and find weak points with 14 completely different types of weapons. When you beat them, you will tear them to pieces, throw the meat on the grill and, from the rest, make yourself a new weapon or material for new pants, all to better prepare for the next challenges.

There are a lot of single-player missions, but also those for co-op, so according to that division, Rise looks more like titles before the World. One of the side entertainment newspapers is Rampage Hunts when you organize the defense of the village from the attack of a large number of monsters. 

This mode can also be played in co-op mode when things get even more fun, one player can handle turrets, another can prepare barricades or superweapons for defense. By going through these Rampage events, you get cards that can be exchanged for unique modifications of weapons and equipment, and you will only see some of the monsters in this mode.

In general, the progress through the game is a bit slower and less diverse compared to the World, but it still takes at least 50 hours to see everything. For now, there is no Elder Dragon except for some in the story, and practically no special endgame still exists. Sure, Rise in the current state seems much leaner than the World but represents a great basis for the further development of this game that will happen. The first major expansion of the content is coming at the end of April, and even the PC version has been announced for next year.

For the end

I can't leave out my surprise with the look and performance of the Monster Hunter Rise on the Switch console. The game looks incredibly good for this system and despite that, it manages to work without major technical problems, all with very fast loading. I don't know how Capcom managed to optimize its RE Engine so well, but with this game, I had the feeling that I had already received an improved version of the Switch console. So, I can only imagine what the PC release will look like when the full potential of this engine is released, the only pity is that there is no version for the PlayStation and Xbox consoles in the announcement.




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