Monster Hunter is a favourite franchise of mine, and over the years, I’ve played most of the games it has to offer – the most recent of which being Monster Hunter Rise.
While the game was not released this year, the upcoming G-rank expansion Sunbreak has led me to replay the game in preparation.
While it isn’t the best Monster Hunter game I’ve ever played, it is an experience I would recommend to veterans and newcomers alike.
Like all Monster Hunter games, Rise doesn’t have a particularly unique or deep plotline – it boils down to you, a Hunter, having to contend with a legendary monster that’s a threat to your home, the area and/or the world.
In many ways, the plot merely serves as a means to drive the primary gameplay loop, which is hunting monsters to craft new gear that’ll allow you to hunt even stronger monsters and craft even stronger gear and so on and so on.
But there’s nothing wrong with that, as the vast majority of players, myself included, regard the plot as a bonus. The main reason we play Monster Hunter games is simple: hunting monsters.
But Rise’s setting is at the very least amusing and does enable the game’s two unique gameplay mechanics.
Rise takes place centred around Kamura Village, a charming settlement that suffers from frequent rampages – events where hordes of monsters descend upon the village due to the interference of an unknown monster.
The game is then a mix of hunting the monsters stirred up by the rampages, combating the rampages themselves, and investigating their cause.
Aside from the regular hunts where you’re given 50 minutes to pursue and battle monsters in one of several biome maps, which are the standard for all Monster Hunter games, Rise’s rampages provide some of the most different gameplay in the game.
These play out as a mix of tower defence and the siege missions that have been in previous games in more limited capacities, where you’ll have to fight several waves of monsters using your regular tools and deployable hard-point defences and traps.
While this gameplay mode wasn’t my favourite part of the game – I only did them when I needed specific resources or the main story required – it was still fun and a refreshing alternative to the regular hunts.
The other gameplay mechanic, Rise, introduces the Wire Bugs, which are the natural evolution of the hook-claw in Monster Hunter World.
In World, you had the equivalent of a grappling hook mounted on your arm to traverse areas and hook onto monsters, and in Rise, this is taken to the extreme with the Wire Bugs.
Using Wire Bugs, your Hunter can pull off special attacks, rapidly traverse areas and perform impressive feats of aerial mobility and aggression.
Wire Bugs also allow for the new Wyvern Riding mechanic where, for a brief period, you can take control of a monster and use it to attack your target or, if it is your target, smash it into the scenery.
It’s an impressively enjoyable mechanic and makes the arrival of an unexpected monster on a hunt far more entertaining (and sometimes helpful).
Length and difficulty
Monster Rise hasn’t yet gotten its G-Rank expansion, so its roster of Monsters is more conservative than its predecessors. However, there is still more than enough content to sink over 100 hours in if you enjoy the core gameplay loop.
As for the game’s difficulty, Rise is by far the easiest of the Monster Hunter games so far. The sheer mobility you have, the streamlining of the game’s mechanics and the tools you have access to mean that hunts aren’t as challenging as previous titles.
For veterans, that may be a turn-off, but again the game doesn’t have its G-Rank missions yet, which could offer an extreme challenge, as is usually the case, so if you’re looking for a challenge, you’d be better served waiting for Sunbreak to release.
However, if you’re a new player looking to dip your toes into Monster Hunter, then Rise is an excellent option that will provide you with an accessible introduction to the franchise and plenty of content to enjoy.
And if you enjoy it, there are many other Monster Hunter titles you can then try that will offer varying degrees of difficulty and features.
Monster Hunter Rise is an excellent option for fans and newcomers alike, and if you’ve been considering trying it out, now’s the time since Sunbreak will be releasing soon.
Rise is available on PC and Switch, and its G-Rank DLC Sunbreak will release on 30 June this year.
Below you can watch the trailer for the base game.