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Monster Hunter Rise is The Game to Lure in Newcomers to the Franchise

Capcom’s Monster Hunter spin-off comes to new consoles and PC, but should you dive in?

Jeremy Proome

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The Monster Hunter series has a cult-like following — anyone who’s put in the time will understand the depth and complexity the hunt-kill-upgrade-repeat gameplay loop actually entails, setting you on journey to constantly hunt bigger and trickier monsters. However, there’s no denying that the game has quite a learning curve, but thankfully, Monster Hunter Rise, a spin-off which first appeared on the Nintendo Switch, has made its way across to other platforms, and gives first-timers something to latch onto in the crazy world of digital monster hunting.

Acting as a spin-off to the main series, Rise introduces new features, including a new animal companion called a palamute that can be used to ride across the map or into battle, and the use of wirebugs to traverse the game world vertically and mount and ride certain monsters in the game. Still, it’s the ease of introduction that is its biggest asset.

Where other Monster Hunter games throw you into the deep end, with just so much loot, menus, and mechanics that can be overwhelming, Rise tries to slowly re-introduce you to the world, how everything works, and why it’s just so damn alluring to go after bigger and meaner monsters time and time again.

While the initial enemies can be difficult for those who may not grasp the timing of dodging and attacking, the game allows you to come to terms with the way these giant beasts move and fight in a gradual way, further made more accessible by the vastly improved movement mechanics. It’s a lot faster and snappier than some previous Monster Hunter games, and the addition of the zipline-like wirebugs, which can launch you into the air or get an aerial advantage over your enemies. You don’t feel so ‘stuck’ in your combat stance and this makes for a much more enjoyable gameplay experience.

You can also use the wirebugs to trap enemies and hold them down while you beat the living hell out of them and doll out some serious damage. The addition of this mechanic also gives you a lot more strategic choice with how you want to take out the enemies.

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Also unique to Rise is the addition of Rampage missions, which are almost tower-defence sequences where you have to protect a base or village from waves of monsters. Moving from chokepoint to chokepoint using your zipline wirebug, and using turrets to get the upper-hand is exhilarating and a welcome mix-up of pacing for the game.

Visually, Rise is still a port of a Switch game, so while it does look colourful and the art style is timeless, there are some slight drawbacks to the higher-fidelity departments that other games shine in. It doesn’t pop like 2018’s ‘current-gen’ built Monster Hunter World, but it does run super-slickly with a seamless frame-rate even when the action heats up, so we’ve got to give it credit for that.

If, for some reason, you’re a Monster Hunter fan but haven’t jumped into Rise, what it lacks in high-end visual splendour it makes up for in interesting new movement and combat mechanics. And for those who haven’t dipped their toes in the MH universe, this is a great gateway for what else is out there.

Monster Hunter Rise is available on PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC (along with the original release on Switch).

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