The last update for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne was only released in December, and the next title from the traditional series is already in the starting blocks. With Monster Hunter Rise, developer Capcom is moving in a completely new direction for western fans. The game world is heavily inspired by Japanese culture and locations. The Japan-exclusive Monster Hunter Portable 3rd for the Playstation Portable went in a similar direction. But not only the setting has been changed, the gameplay has also been adapted to the new environment.
The silk tie that we have at our disposal makes us feel almost like a ninja! Even before the demo went online, we were able to play it extensively and here we reveal our impressions from single and multiplayer.
Faster, more agile, higher!
Monster Hunter Rise offers some innovations, but the most striking are the silk tie and the mobility it has gained. It works like a grappling hook that shows its usefulness outside of combat, but especially during our hunts. In combat, it gives us two new attacks for each of the 14 types of weapons and, on top of that, the opportunity to regain our balance before we land completely on the ground after a hit. The attacks were all sensibly implemented in the moveset of the respective weapons, but these attacks have more to offer than you might first suspect.
Source: PC Games
If we hit with enough rope attacks, we get the opportunity to saddle monsters and ride them. Once we find ourselves in the wild rodeo, we can attack other enemies with the beasts, or let them crash into a wall or against other monsters. If we have done enough damage to the opponent on his back, we can tie him to the floor with a finisher and give him even more hits. Anyone who has played a recent Monster Hunter will notice that this riding feature is very similar to the mechanics that allow us to pounce on a monster in order to injure it and knock it over as well.
Aside from the destruction that the rope tie can cause, it also offers plenty of opportunities to move. At any time, we can jump forward, catapult ourselves a good distance forward or purposefully hop in any direction. If we land on a wall, we automatically walk up it.
So far we only traveled the ground in Monster Hunter, but in Rise it is now possible to use our new tool to go up walls or mountains. This not only speeds up our search for the monsters, but also gives us a previously unknown feeling of freedom. Our palamut, which we can ride, also contributes to this. He is a kind of wolf and enables us to pursue our opponents even faster.
Source: PC Games
The mountains also make sense in the context of the gameplay, because another new tool, the Flollier, allows us to collect special beetles that like to flutter around on peaks. These give us different buffs, for example more strength or endurance. So even while chasing after a fleeing boss, you have a small task to do that strengthens you for the coming argument.
Also noticeable: our characters can now speak for the first time, not just in the typical Monster Hunter gibberish, but in full sentences! So far, only the NPCs have had their say, never ourselves. You can choose between English, Japanese and the classic Monster Hunter language. If the chatter annoys us in general, we can turn it off completely in the options or reduce the frequency so that we don't have to let chops babble on our cheek during a fight.
Because Monster Hunter Rise (buy now ) is an exclusive title for Nintendo Switch, the graphics naturally do not achieve the quality of Monster Hunter World. So the character models are more reminiscent of those Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. However, the animations and weapon movesets were taken from World, making the gameplay just as fresh, if not even better than before thanks to the silk tie. Some comfort changes have also been carried over from the adventure for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, including the pie menu to select items more quickly, picking up items while we are moving, and a function to more easily find the way to monsters. Unfortunately, the monster search is not done with a scout beetle, but with a clumsy red arrow, which limits the immersion a little.
Source: PC Games
Despite the modernized gameplay, the series goes back to its roots in some aspects. The user interface looks like we are used to from older parts. In addition, in contrast to Monster Hunter World, blood flows again when we hit opponents. The cards are another step back in time. The map that can be played in the demo is nowhere near as branched out as the one explored in World. Whether that is something bad or good is in the eye of the beholder, because some fans even found the cards from the direct predecessor too branched out. Instead, this time the developers are relying primarily on a vertical structure of the levels and, as then, on open, flat areas to compete against dragons & Co.
Monster Hunter is of course the most fun in multiplayer mode. This works flawlessly, at least in local mode, and without noticeable FPS drops. Since there were no dramatic problems with the online modes in the series past, it can be assumed that this mode will also run without major problems. We haven't been able to try out the online version yet.
Monster Hunter Rise will be available exclusively on Nintendo Switch on March 26th. Rumor has it that the title could also be made for the PC or other consoles are implemented, but so far there is no official statement on any ports.
Ninjas and hunters – I hope there are pirates in the next part!
I ventured into the monster hunter cosmos for the first time many years ago and immediately fell for the sometimes cumbersome, often tricky, but always deeply satisfying monster slaughter. I haven't skipped any of the games since then, and having spent way too much time with Monster Hunter World, I've been eagerly awaiting the Switch adventure since the announcement of Rise. At first, despite all the anticipation, I was skeptical whether the new elements, above all the silk tie, would fit well into the familiar game principle. Now that I was able to lend a hand myself, I am reassured and surprised how elegantly the adventure succeeds in combining old qualities, the innovations from Monster Hunter World and very own ideas. I'm in good spirits that Switch owners will get a full-fledged serial representative despite the weaker technology compared to World, and I already know that my game hours counter will quickly rise into the three-digit range after the reease.
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