Monster Hunter Rise – substantial franchise improvement

Monster Hunter Rise is an action role-playing (RPG) video game developed and released by Capcom in 2021. The game became available for Nintendo Switch worldwide on April 26, but developers are preparing the Windows version that players can expect in early 2022.

Like previous entries, Monster Hunter Rise is set in a Japanese ninja-like environment called Kamura Village. The gameplay allows the player to become a hunter whose task is to destroy or capture massive monsters using various weapons and countering their attacks.

Although it doesn’t follow the tradition of previous titles, Monster Hunter Rise is the sixth entry in the franchise, and it puts the game’s central concept at the forefront. Rise manifests the level and gameplay aspects verticality, which is a node to the medieval Asian aesthetics.

The setting in this entry resembles the one in Monster Hunter Generations, but it allows greater freedom to move. The developers used the same RE Engine that Resident Evil 7 and Devil May Cry 5 use. It is what slowed down the game’s production. Capcom had a challenge to smoothly transfer Rise to Switch using the World’s zoneless way.

The April release arrived with a gift of Amiibo figures that unlock a unique set of in-game weapons. The three Amiibo’s are Palico, Palamute, and the Monster Hunter signature character, Magnamalo. Other than that, Rise includes four quests, 14 types of armor, and online support for both single and multiplayer modes.

The game encountered instant popularity that caused a brief Nintendo eShop servers crash. Overall, Rise received favorable critics, with the Wirebugs tool and World expansion mechanics getting most of the praise. Thus, Capcom published that they shipped five million units worldwide in the first week of April.

It seems that Monster Hunter Rise is already becoming one of the most popular games of 2021. What can you expect from the gameplay, mechanics, and performance?

Here are our insights!

Dynamic and smooth

In Monster Hunter Rise, you will become a hero in a tiny Kamura village, a Japanese hub full of compelling characters, adorable cats, and weapons for monster hunting. The habitants of Kamura were under a siege of monsters, known as The Rampage phenomenon.

They started acting out of normal and attacking the villagers, which requires you to defend Kamura. The story is at the focal point, but contrary to World, it centers around the characters.

Even though the developers’ attempt to make the narrative more profound doesn’t fully deliver, it is entertaining enough to keep you interested in exploring beyond the principal gameplay. The story splits into two parts. One includes the hub, while the other covers the village. Nevertheless, the game feels slightly more smooth first exploring the village.

The quests follow the same principle, and they are split between the two. But in this case, the intention feels more meaningful. The first entries always kept single-player and multiplayer missions separated. That was a way to encourage players to engage in quests independently while also ensuring other participants aren’t missing out on anything.

Monster Hunter Rise has a similar system with a few tweaks. As a result, the village missions are single-player, and they are highly achievable and easy to complete. That also helps newcomers to become comfortable with the game and learn the basics.

Another novelty is the mission tracker that marks which are the key quests and which are optional. Thanks to that, you can speed up the process by not thinking about what requires more time and effort. Hence, the communication between the game and player is much smoother in the Rise than in the previous entries.

But the new features don’t stop at the quest trackers. Now there is also a tool such as a Special Licence Test that lets you improve the Hunter rating, but by one only. However, that is enough to reach more challenging Gathering hub quests.

Other than that, the game puts the Rampage mode at the forefront, which represents two or three packs, where each has the main massive monster. The ultimate goal is to destroy the Apex monsters, but they are highly challenging to overcome.

Typically, you will fail many times before managing to weaken or eliminate them. Because of that, this task starts feeling like a chore after a while. However, that might feel different in multiplayer mode because your defenses won’t go down with that much ease.

Perhaps the most notable novelty in the Rise is the Wirebug because it makes navigating the gameplay much smoother. The use of armor feels improved thanks to the Silkbind maneuver, which allows you to recharge and get back to your feet much faster.

That takes us to switch skills. They allow you to tailor the weapon movesets and expand your game playing styles. Even though this feature doesn’t revolutionize the game, it makes a significant enhancement.

Besides the gameplay, the soundtrack is impressive, and it aligns with the Rise atmosphere. The music delivers in portraying how the monsters might be feeling, which makes you wonder whether you’re doing the right thing.

The visuals are stunning but not top-notch. Thus, the performance isn’t convincing, although the game runs smoothly at 30 frames per second. However, we wish it were 60fps because it would make the overall experience more powerful.

Also, the action tends to look blurry and dark when the combat gets too intense and crowded. The number of new monsters is minor compared to previous entries, making the game feel repetitive.

Progressive, but leaves room for further improvement

Undoubtedly, Monster Hunter Rise is an improvement compared to previous entries. It is dynamic, the combat is thrilling, and the new features streamline the game.

However, there is still a lot of room for future enhancement, especially concerning the visuals, new monsters introduction, and performance.

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