Monster Hunter Rise Review
Extra Features: Online Co-op play (1-4)
Back in March of 2021, Monster Hunter Rise was released for Switch and then Switch later the next year. An expansion (Sunbreaker) for both was released in June of 2022. The original Monster Hunter Rise has now been released for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Playstation 4 and Playstation 5. Besides the Sunbreaker expansion that I tried out last year, this release is my second experience with Monster Hunter Rise. From what I see with the Xbox Series X version, the game runs just as smooth as the PC version overall.
Monster Hunter Rise brings in a lot of the new additions from Monster Hunter World along with a few extra features and mechanics. The game gives you an animal (dog-like) companion called a “Palamute” that makes traveling easier and also gives you an extra companion for your immediate party (along with the Palico cat-like companion). Hunters can also traverse the world more easily with a “Wirebug”, which allows you to latch onto obstacles and swing or pull yourself forward. The Wirebug also helps out in riding on bigger monsters (Wyvern Riding).
I still have not tried Monster Hunter World (and its expansion) at this time, so, other than the basics, I can’t compare Rise much to that version. Monster Hunter Rise is extremely addicting once you get the hang of it. The game definitely has a learning curve to it with all the different button combinations and intense menu-ing that you’ll have to keep in mind. This is the type of game where, if you stay away from it for too long, it will be hard to come back to and play well. Thankfully, the game developers realize this and have the tutorials (both text and actual gameplay) accessible at any time. This game has TONS of tutorials in it.
You’ll be loading up on loot while playing through different missions that are taken from certain NPCs in the village that you inhabit. Missions will eventually lead you into battles with big monsters that you can either kill or capture. With the use of Wirebugs, you gain a lot of movement during battles in order to zip away from monster attacks and set up your own attacks. Wirebugs allow you to get on a monster and ride on its back. While controlling a monster, you can attack other monsters or get the monster to run into obstacles in order to damage it. There are also missions where you can fight multiple big enemies at once while defending an area.
Along with a large amount of single player missions, the game has many co-op missions as well. Co-op missions can be played with a group of players (up to four) or you can take them on by yourself. The enemies in the co-op missions are beefed up in HP, defense, and difficulty so they are quite the challenge by yourself.
Monster Hunter Rise is really fun while playing online. With how chaotic the battles can get it helps to have extra players to help out. The actual lobbies in the game are the starting village and from there the host of the lobby can choose missions that the whole lobby can join. Joining missions while in lobbies is optional. Some lobbies that I joined were already engaged in a missions. While in the lobby, you can run around the village and prepare for each mission. The online seems smooth overall. I purposely played with players from other countries and the games seemed smooth on all my sessions. The only thing that I noticed was that the load times were longer (like in most online games) while playing online.
The real beauty of Monster Hunter Rise is that it appeals to both casual and hardcore types of play. The game has advanced techniques such as parrying along with other techniques sometimes depending on the weapon used. The weapon classes are all varied rather well and some are harder to use than others. There is a lot of things to explore in Rise for all kinds of player types. Weapon classes are a lot of fun to mess around with. The game offers heavy, light, and projectile weapon classes. While obtaining items, you’ll be able to upgrade your weapons and armor for both your hunter and your two companions (Palamute and Palico).
The load time in the XSX version is lightning fast in single player. I don’t even get the chance to read but about three words of the loading screen descriptions before it switches to the next area. The graphics are equal to the PC version – I compared the two and didn’t see any noticeable differences. The only real flaw with this release is that it doesn’t include the Sunbreaker expansion. It does mention in-game that the Sunbreaker expansion will be coming soon however! If you have yet to experience Monster Hunter Rise, then be sure to try it out on Xbox or PlayStation now since it’s just as good as the PC version overall!
+ It’s finally on PlayStation and Xbox consoles!
+ A very addicting game
+ Xbox Series X version runs silky smooth
- The game is a bit hard to learn from the start (so many button combinations, menuing, etc)
- No Sunbreaker DLC yet
Final Rating: 80% - Monster Hunter Rise is finally available outside of PC and Switch!
Note: A review code for this game was provided by the publisher.