Monster Hunter Rise Review
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Monster Hunter Rise is the latest addition to the classic Monster Hunter franchise. Exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, this version sees players using all kinds of new tools to get the upper hand on a huge variety of creatures. And in short, it’s one of the best games to come out on the Switch in a long time.
The game sees you defending your village by going out into different locales to hunt various monsters. The story is pretty weak, but you’re probably not playing this for the story, so I’d rather focus on what really matters. And thankfully, the gameplay is top-notch.
Rise plays like your typical Monster Hunter, but this time there’s an increased focus on mobility. Fights have more verticality now with the introduction of the Wirebug, which sees hunters flying around the map and climbing obstacles with ease. It feels faster and more fluid, which adds more excitement to an already thrilling experience. You can cross the map quicker with the help of your new canine friend too, and they’ll even help you out in battle. These mechanics add to the brilliant hunting gameplay, and personally, I’ll find it hard to go back to a game without them.
One of Rise’s greatest achievements is reducing the downtime between all the action. The aforementioned canine companions allow you to sharpen your weapons and use other items on the move, which seems like a small thing but actually improves the flow of the gameplay a lot. You don’t need to track monsters anymore, which puts you straight into the best part of the game from the moment you start a quest.
As always, there’s a huge amount of stuff to see and do here, with a plethora of monsters and tons of customisation options to keep you hooked. The core gameplay loop of killing monsters and forging new armour and weapons is addictive and engaging, and you can spend hours farming materials without getting bored. Each monster is unique and memorable, and they all have their own special cutscene introductions, which help to give them more character. Some of these designs are really great – the Khezu is particularly creepy with its horrifying faceless appearance, and the Tetranodon is gloriously goofy with its massive bloated neck. Fighting new monsters never gets old, and this is a really fantastic line-up.
However, that isn’t to say Rise doesn’t have flaws, with the main one being the feeling that this game is a bit unfinished. Fighting each monster for the first time is a blast, but once you get to the endgame, it feels like something is missing. An update coming at the end of April promises to introduce more monsters and a more fleshed-out endgame, which makes me wonder why the game wasn’t released a month later. Despite this, there is a ton of content to enjoy right now, and it’s well worth getting stuck into.
Wyvern Riding is perhaps the coolest feature here. If two monsters encounter each other, a fight will break out, and you’ll get the chance to mount one and use it to smash the other. These moments are utterly ridiculous and loads of fun. There will be times when a difficult monster is causing you trouble, and then a new monster will show up to join the fray, turning the game into a huge monster wrestling match.
There’s a new type of quest called “Rampage” too, but I could have probably done without it. This mode sees you defending against waves of enemies with ballistas and other tools, but it doesn’t really introduce anything worthwhile compared to the proper hunts, and the gameplay just isn’t as fun. Thankfully you won’t have to spend too much time doing these, but I wish they were a bit more up-to-par with the rest of the quests.
Overall though, the bulk of this game is excellent. Fighting monsters has never been more fun, and there are moments where Monster Hunter Rise will make you feel like an absolute badass.
All of the series’s classic charm is here, and it carries over a lot of the best things about Monster Hunter World, including many of the monsters introduced there. When the rest of the content arrives, it’ll be even better. Until then, it’s still worth picking up, as long as you go in with the knowledge that the endgame isn’t entirely in place yet.