The storied series makes its return in Monster Hunter Rise, arriving exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. The follow-up to 2018’s critically acclaimed Monster Hunter: World, Rise builds upon many of the improvements to the series while also making the game more accessible to new players. This newest entry in the series strikes a near perfect balance between modern additions and the classic gameplay the series is unknown for. From new traversal mechanics, to a satisfying monster hunting loop and addictive multiplayer this Monster Hunter truly rises to the occasion. Let’s gear up and take a ride on the wild side to discover what makes Monster Hunter Rise a must play for Nintendo Switch owners.
Monster Hunter: Rise Details
An epic adventure awaits
The story in Rise centres around the village of Kamura, where you become a newly minted Hunter, tasked with protecting the region. Things quickly escalate as you are warned about an impending calamity, a mysterious event that sends hordes of monsters into a frenzied attack. It’s up to you to track and defeat monsters that threaten the surrounding area and upgrade your armour and abilities. As you prepare for a possible reoccurrence of the rampage, you must reenforce and resupply Kamura for the imminent onslaught. The storyline is a little light, but does offer plenty of action and a little mystery along with the always satisfying monster hunting loop.
Join the hunt
As always, at the centre of Monster Hunter Rise’s core is a very satisfying “monster hunting loop” with a big focus on hack-n-slash action. If you are a fan of the series, the loop has gone mostly unchanged; you battle and defeat monsters using their materials to craft better armaments. As you upgrade your weapons and armour through these battles foes also become more difficult and the showdowns are progressively more challenging. The game also makes many welcome additions to the formula making this the most fun I’ve had with a Monster Hunter game. Here are some of the biggest improvements to the gameplay:
Reach new frontiers with the Wirebug
The Wirebug, is a new tool that completely changes the game when it comes to traversal and combat. It is essentially a zip line that allows you to climb cliff faces in a flash, adding new levels of verticality to the game. Not only can you move through the environment at a rapid pace, using wire dashing to zip around areas. The Wirebug adds a new level of mobility to travel, and it also adds new layers to combat. Each of Rise’s 14 weapons has a Silkbind attack that increases both defensive and offensive abilities. For example, these upgrades add to the power of your weapon strike or add to your defensive mobility letting you dodge more efficiently.
A Monster Hunter’s best friend
The other new addition to the Monster Hunter formula is the introduction of Palamutes. These giant dog-like creatures can assist you in combat and can be ridden to help you get around the map. When it comes to combat you can customize their weapons and they’ll help take down fearsome creatures. When it comes to getting around, they add many efficiencies to gameplay, the first is they do not deplete your stamina and you can sharpen weapons while riding. The Palamutes are great companions that really help streamline the gameplay experience for the better.
Monstrously fun rodeo
The Wirebug also adds Wyvern Riding to your repertoire allowing you to mount massive foes and use them to do your bidding. This lets you “puppet” monsters into attacks, dodges and even charged attacks known as Mounted Punishers. This adds a new dimension to the combat that really breaks up the action in a refreshing way. The Wirebug has added so many quality-of-life improvements that makes more tedious aspects of the game a lot of fun for veterans and newcomers alike.
The sights and sounds of Monster Hunting
This version of Monster Hunter was built from the ground up to squeeze all the power it could out of the Nintendo Switch hardware. This is the first-time developer Capcom has employed the RE Engine on the Switch for a 3D open world experience. The results are quite stunning, hopefully offering a glimpse of what can be done with future titles on the platform.
Although it doesn’t hit the same graphical highs Monster Hunter World does, it’s still a stunningly beautiful experience. Capcom was able to lock the game at 30 FPS keeping the frantic action silky smooth, even with online play. The trade-off comes in the form of dialing down textures, background shadows and draw distance but it’s nothing that hampers the visuals in a meaningful way. This, in combination with seamless area transitions that don’t require loading create an experience that is incredibly immersive.
The audio is punchy and very satisfying during battle sequences with the clang and otherworldly sounds of creatures. Whether frantically battling or exploring the village of Kamura the music and ambient sounds are a treat for the ears.
Bring friends to the hunt
A cornerstone of the modern Monster Hunter experience has been a strong, seamless multiplayer element. Monster Hunter Rise continues this tradition offering up a technically sound and easy to access online mode. Having players join your realm and aide in your hunt is simple as making your main quest joinable before launching the mission. The entire process is very simple and user-friendly.
Players can join your quest in real-time as you are hunting players will populate until all joinable slots are full. The only downside is a lack of easily accessible voice chat, which has been replaced by signing to your teammates to direct them. It’s not perfect but you can usually get your point across especially when most of your directives are killing a monster.
The best Monster Hunter yet
Simply stated Monster Hunter Rise is the best in the series so far, offering up many new additions that accentuate the best parts of the franchise. The Wirebug mechanic alone presents so many new traversal and combat options offering more fun and excitement to the gameplay formula. The graphics and online play are also superb, it’s clear that a lot of thought went into how to best optimize the experience for the Nintendo Switch. I highly recommend playing Monster Hunter Rise it’s one of the best action-RPGs to date.
+ Some of the best graphics on the Nintendo Switch
+ Plenty of quests and content
+ Expanded fluidity to gameplay
+ Excellent online play integration
– Lack of new monsters
– Endgame is light on new challenges
OVERALL ASSESSEMENT OF MONSTER HUNTER RISE
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.25/5
Overall Rating: 4.25/5 (87%)