Console Corner: Monster Hunter Rise Review
Monster Hunter Rise is here and I’m delighted to report Capcom’s franchise is better than ever.
The action role-playing game for Nintendo Switch is the sixth mainline installment in the series and ambitiously attempts to marry the best of what has come before with a host of new features.
Well I say attempts... it does more than that, it fully succeeds - and then some.
In Rise you have a new animal companion called a palamute that can be used to ride across the map or into battle, and the use of wire bugs to traverse the game world vertically and mount and ride certain monsters in the game.
It is literally a game changer and the crowning achievement of MHR without any shadow of a doubt.
As with previous Monster Hunter titles, Rise sees the gamer take the role of a Hunter, tasked with slaying or trapping large monsters using a variety of weapons, tools, and environmental features to damage and weaken them while surviving their attacks.
You are rewarded with loot - usually in the form of various monster parts from the monster you have defeated - which can then be used to forge new armour and weapons as you work your way up the monster food chain.
Several of the monsters from previous titles return along with a bevy of new beasts for you t tame.
All 14 weapon types that have been present in both Monster Hunter Generations and World, which mix archetypes of swords, shields, staves, bows, and guns, are present in Rise.
The game uses the same map approach introduced in Monster Hunter: World rather than the zoned area format of the earlier games in the franchise.
Maps are more focused on vertical movement than previous games, as implied by its title, so new tools are given to the player to help with quickly vertical scaling.
One is the companion Palamute I touched on earlier, a dog-like creature the player can ride without losing stamina. The Palamute can quickly scale cliffs and can also be ridden and perform attacks while fighting monsters, alongside the player's cat-like companion Palico. A new tool, similar to the Clutch Claw added in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, is the Wirebug, which can allow a player to grapple and swing across gaps or to higher locations as and when needed.
The Wirebug also has different interactions with each weapon type, adding to that weapon's set of moves and combos. The Wirebug also allows you to take on certain monsters in Wyvern Riding, allowing the hunter to mount and control the creature to a limited degree as to either lead it into areas more amenable for combat or to engage in combat with a different monster.
It is truly epic.
And the good news is you can enjoy it with friends as Rise features local and online multiplayer modes with up to four hunters in a group. If single player is your thing then you hunt with both your Palico and Palamute companions. In the online modes, though, you must select either the Palico or Palamute to join you.
Another addition in Rise is Rampage, a survival mode where players must defend the base village from several attacking monsters. Prior to and during the attack, the players can set up siege weapons and instruct non-player characters to attack the monsters while the players attack the monsters directly.
Rise really is Monster Hunter at its finest.
The Wirebug adds immeasurably to the experience in terms of both exploration and combat.
New moves and traversal options mean there is a lot less grind as you can jump straight into the thick of the action unlike previous titles.
There is remarkable depth to your weapon selection and combat and plenty of customisation to boot.
Rampage is a welcome addition too, adding to Rise’s overall scale in a innovative and interesting way. It is not just a gimmick or last minute add-on to pack out the offering, this is instead a well conceived, expertly woven element to the game world.
There are some negatives. Having to go back to Village and Hub quests jars at times just when you are getting into a flow and the story itself is not up to much compared to other action RPGs. That is a disappointment and has never really been Capcom’s strong point if truth be told.
Overall a superb addition to this much-loved series and one that will have you coming back for more as you increase your powers and arsenal to take on the biggest and baddest this unholy universe has to offer.