Monster Hunter Rise Review – A BORING GRINDFEST?
Being released on the Nintendo Switch last year to thunderous acclaim, the PC version of Monster Hunter Rise is hot on our tails—and it looks good. Really good. Even though the original version ran at a mostly solid 30FPS on Switch, the PC port allows for unlocked frame rates and runs super smooth on the highest of settings. It also supports HDR, 4K resolution and 21:9 ultra-wide displays.
Plus, PC players will literally get slapped in the face with multiple screens worth of packed in DLC content. Featuring extra quests, gear and heaps more monster slaying goodness. Even better is that you can pick and choose which UI elements to display on-screen, alongside selecting one of several different button icon types. Meaning that Sony fanboys can opt for those iconic PlayStation symbols, all the while using their favourite Xbox controller. It feels so wrong, yet so right at the same time…
The Tried & Tested Blueprints of Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise – just like other entries in the franchise – is all about taking down ferocious creatures, then picking up that sweet, sweet loot to upgrade or forge new equipment. Rinse and repeat, for 3 million years. Ok, maybe not that long…
All things considered, this simple formula is a big part of what makes the series ultra addictive to play and has kept fans coming back, time and time again. Even though it has a relatively basic gameplay loop, the amount of customisation and general content on hand is tremendous, in amount and quality.
And to be completely honest, the vast number of systems to be learnt early on will genuinely concern a few players. As at the beginning, you’ll be piledrived to death with tutorials. Kitchen sink included. That being said, if you persist through the constant barrage of text screens and foreign terminology, it’ll all start to come together once you’re in the thick of it. So if you can get past these early roadblocks, the gameplay of Monster Hunter Rise will more than make up for this annoyance overall.
Prepare For Battle!
In battle, there are 14 different weapons the player can use that all have their own distinct functionalities, and it is a blast learning how each weapon works. Through trial and error in the training area, you’re bound to find something that clicks. And sooner or later, you’ll be combo-ing enemies into oblivion or targeting specific parts of the body from afar with style.
That’s not to say Monster Hunter Rise is an easy game though. Far from it. In fact, you will get crushed (literally and metaphorically) more often than you think. But just like the bosses in Metroid Dread, it is indescribably satisfying once you finally vanquish a tough monster.
To further supplement this, the encounters with these wild behemoths honestly feels like visiting a wildlife sanctuary or a zoo. The way each monster attacks, telegraphs it’s movements, runs away in danger or hobbles around at the brink of defeat seems almost realistic. It’s legitimately incredible to witness this mixture of new and series-old creatures in their natural habitats – which also look stunning by the way – just wow! David Attenborough would freak right out if he played this game.
Fresh Features in Monster Hunter Rise
On a related note, during an active quest, players can utilise these items called Wirebugs which lets your character propel themselves in any direction (even when knocked back) as well as Matrix wall-run up terrain like a boss. However, you can also use these Wirebugs as skill moves called Silkbinds which – after certain conditions are met – let you jump up and control boss monsters, known as Wyvern Riding. Not only is manipulating these giant beasts hype as all heck, but you can actually attack other enemies and then repeatedly ram your tamed creature into a wall for some severe damage. Wicked cool.
Speaking of tamed creatures, there’s an extra buddy this time around for solo players. These little pups called Palamute Canynes will help defeat monsters and let you zip across the map on their backs, as well as Tokyo Drift around corners for a quick boost, Mario Kart style. They act as great bail-out options too; letting the player conserve stamina and use items whilst moving at a higher speed. They’re also very cute and huggable, and I totally didn’t just spend dozens and dozens of hours playing with these guys…
For Monster Hunter Rise, Capcom has introduced this new tower defence type of quest called The Rampage. The player basically just has to hold off a few waves of enemies and eliminate the head honcho or survive until the timer runs out. It’s a pretty straightforward event, but it serves as a great change of pace from the usual monster-hunting affair. Set up your artillery as strategically as possible, then jump headfirst into the action once a Counter Signal has been sounded for increased damage. The best part about these Rampages is that they don’t overstay their welcome, only being utilised in a handful of key quests. So if you’re not a fan of this particular style of game, it won’t bother you too much throughout your journey.
If there were two aspects that kind of grinded my gears though, they’d have to be the constant scavenging of permabuff stat increases around the map each time you set out on a new hunt, and the main storyline itself. For the single-player key quests, the narrative just felt like a vehicle to progress the game along with little to no real substance. Even though there are plenty of cutscenes throughout the adventure, it all ends up feeling so vapid and window dressy. Almost like something’s missing.
Now look, before you berate me in the comments, I know that the traditional Monster Hunter games aren’t focused on grand tales of epic proportions. But it would be nice to have more of an involved plot and characters rather than simply going
“Oh no, we have to stop the monsters from attacking the city! Please help us!”
That’s just my take on it though. I’d love to hear what you guys think. Maybe something akin to Monster Hunter Stories? I’m sure they could conjure something up. But I digress.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to check out the co-op mode with the early access code I was given, because I actually couldn’t find anyone to play with. So, I don’t really know what the online experience is like. Although, what I do know is that there won’t be any cross-play or cross-save functionality with the Nintendo Switch. At least, not yet according to the official Monster Hunter Twitter. There is native voice chat support for PC players, but you will have to maintain a constant internet connection for single-player since the game runs Denuvo DRM software in the background.
Is Monster Hunter Rise worth playing? Well, let’s be honest, you guys already started downloading the game before you even began reading this review. Rise feels so good to control and has such awesome new additions like the Wyvern Riding and Wirebug abilities, topped off with an epic soundtrack from lead composer Satoshi Hori, which makes the already fantastic Monster Hunter formula even more fun to play. While it can take a while for newcomers to get settled, these early roadblocks will soon be forgotten. There are some little niggles along the way, and the story is as generic as it gets. But overall, Monster Hunter Rise is a brilliant new entry in the long-running series that any action RPG fan can enjoy. Except for vegans. They may have an issue with the ‘slaying monsters’ part.
By Anthony Culinas – Reviewed on PC
Monster Hunter Rise is an awesome new entry for both die-hard fans and beginners. The newly-released PC version packs in all the extra content from the Nintendo Switch release whilst adding in uncapped framerates, 4K resolution, HDR and more, making it the ideal way to play. No matter which platform you choose though, Monster Hunter Rise will devour your social calendar.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Capcom. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.
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