Monster Hunter Rise Review – 2021’s Best Game Comes To PC

How does Monster Hunter Rise shake up the formula after Monster Hunter World?

Monster Hunter Rise Review
Overall
4.5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Monster Hunter Rise is an excellent new entry into the series and a perfect starting point for newcomers to the genre.

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Release Date: March 26, 2021
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation
  • Tested On: PC

Pros

  • Addicting Gameplay Loop
  • Weapon Variety
  • Replayability
  • Wirebug System
  • Solid Framerate

Cons

  • No UI Scaling
  • Graphically Lacking

Capcom has been knocking it out of the park in recent years with quality remakes of the Resident Evil games, an excellent return to the Devil May Cry and Street Fighter franchises, and consistently spectacular installments in the Monster Hunter series.

And with the recent release of Monster Hunter Rise on consoles, along with its new Sunbreak expansion, now is the perfect time to take a look at what this game has in store for its players.

Story And Setting

monster hunter rise story
Story And Setting. (Image Captured by eXputer)

The story in Monster Hunter Rise is divided into two arcs; the Rise arc, which is the base game, and the Sunbreak arc, which is an expansion that takes place after the events of Rise. You play as a villager from Kamura village, who has recently become a hunter. But before you can celebrate this achievement, you are soon informed that there are signs of another Rampage that have begun to show up, which is a calamity that occurred fifty years ago during which hordes of monsters attacked the village.

Now, it’s your job to deal with the rampage by completing hunting quests, gathering resources for the village, and training yourself to become stronger.

Being a mainline Monster Hunter game, the story isn’t the main focus of Monster Hunter Rise, and it shows. While the Sunbreak expansion does add more story content, the campaign is fairly short, and the plot isn’t much to write home about either. However, in classic Monster Hunter fashion, the real meat of the game is in its gameplay.

Gameplay

monster hunter rise gameplay
Gameplay. (Image Captured by eXputer)

Monster Hunter games are well known for their addictive and rewarding gameplay loop of accepting quests, gearing up, and going out and hunting some beasts, and this entry is no exception. There are a plethora of complex systems and mechanics that give a lot of depth to the game, which might make the series a bit intimidating to newcomers. However, Rise is particularly designed to welcome new players and familiarize them with the traditional gameplay loop the series is known for.

You start your journey in Kamura Village, which will be the hub for the rest of your adventure, as this is where you’ll be accepting quests and gearing up for your next hunt. There are two main types of quests you need to be aware of; Village Quests which progress the main story and can only be attempted in single-player, and Hub Quests which form the basis of the multiplayer aspect of the game.

Rise is particularly designed to welcome new players and familiarize them with the traditional gameplay loop the series is known for.

Quests can range from hunting and gathering quests to Rampage Quests, in which you fight off hordes of monsters with the help of your fellow villagers. There are also side quests and event quests which you can mess with if you feel the need to farm for materials and resources.

monster hunter rise quests
Quests. (Image Captured by eXputer)

Aside from quests, the village is also where you will forge and upgrade your armor and weapons. Forging gear requires materials that you can obtain out in the field, and upgrading requires additional materials that strengthen your current gear.

Each piece of armor comes with special skills and elemental resistance bonuses that can help tackle certain types of monsters, so it’s important to check your gear before you head out on your hunt. Here are some of the best builds you can try out for yourself.

At the same smithy, you can also forge and upgrade weapons of various types. Rise features 14 different weapon types, with each one having enough depth it to be sufficient on its own. Each type excels at a particular niche and has access to its own combos and Switch Skills while also having various drawbacks to balance all the weapons out. Usually, it’s recommended to pick a weapon type you’re most interested in and try it out at the training arena to see if you like it before investing heavily into a weapon tree.

Picking a weapon type that doesn’t click with you can drastically alter your experience with the game, so do check out our weapons guide so you can make the right decision for yourself.

monster hunter rise village
Kamura Village. (Image Captured by eXputer)

With your gear all set, you can now look after your Buddies who will assist you during your hunts. In Monster Hunter Rise, alongside your Palico, you also have a Palamute which is a dog-like creature that supports you both in and out of combat. At the start of the game you get to create your own Buddies, but later on, you can also hire more at the Buddy Plaza. Buddies can not only accompany you on your hunts but can also be sent out on expeditions on their own to collect rare materials for you. 

Rise features 14 different weapon types, with each one having enough depth to it to be sufficient on its own.

Speaking of the hunt, once you’ve completed all your preparations, you can depart for the quest that you accepted earlier. Hunts take place in separate zones, similar to older Monster Hunter games. The terrain of these zones can range from wide open fields to craggy cliffs and mountains. You can traverse across these terrains by either sprinting, which consumes stamina, riding on your Palamute, which is much faster and does not cost stamina, or zipping through the air with the help of Wirebugs, which are essentially grappling hooks in the game. These Wirebugs can also assist you in combat and play a major role in making the gameplay feel more fluid and streamlined.

monster hunter rise wirebugs
Wirebugs. (Image Captured by eXputer)

One of the ways in which Wirebugs can assist you in combat is through the use of Silkbind attacks. Similar to Switch Skills, these are special attacks unique to each weapon type and can help immobilize the target monster in order to allow you to mount it. While riding a monster, you can either pit it against other powerful monsters or you can launch it into walls and cliffs to deal massive damage. There’s a large variety of rideable monsters that you can capture in both the Rise and the Sunbreak arcs.

After defeating these monsters, you can loot their bodies for valuable materials that you can use to forge and upgrade even more gear back at the village for your next hunt.

Visuals And Performance

monster hunter rise visuals
Visuals And Performance. (Image Captured by eXputer)

Having been developed initially for the Nintendo Switch, Monster Hunter Rise takes a stylistic step back from the hyper-realistic and highly detailed world of its predecessor, Monster Hunter World. However, that’s not to say the game looks bad by any means. Capcom was well aware of the hardware’s limitations and thus decided on a slightly more stylized art style for the game, and it’s very well executed. The game looks great for a portable handheld game.

However, since the game was later ported to PC and came to home consoles earlier this year, it does start to look a bit lacking when put side by side with other modern titles. The stages are missing much of the detail that was present in Monster Hunter World, but to compensate for this the character designs and animation are vibrant and colorful, which makes the rather bare-bones environments feel less noticeable. There is also no option for UI scaling, which makes the UI that was designed for a smaller screen look too big on a larger display.

This may very well be one of the best ports we’ve seen in recent years.

The game also manages to run at a near-constant 30 FPS on the Switch and has no noticeable performance issues in the PC version either. Even though the system requirements are low for a modern game, the game still exceeds expectations and performs exceptionally well on lower-end hardware. Plus, it also comes with fully customizable graphics settings that are expected from modern PC games. This may very well be one of the best ports we’ve seen in recent years.

Verdict

monster hunter rise verdict
Verdict. (Image Captured by eXputer)

All in all, Monster Hunter Rise is an excellent entry into the series and a perfect entry point for newcomers. While the series has been on handhelds before, Rise is by far the most impressive portable entry, while also making minimal compromises in comparison to its console counterparts. While the visuals do take a hit compared to the previous mainline entry, the gameplay still manages to strike a perfect balance between complexity and accessibility.

The gameplay loop of accepting quests, gearing up, taking care of your Buddies, and going out to hunt monsters to collect materials, all to come back and gear up for your next hunt all over again results in a very rewarding dopamine cycle that scratches a particular itch that most other grindy games fail to achieve. Capcom clearly knows what needs to be done to not only satisfy existing fans of the series, but also to attract players that may have been on the fence about getting into the series, and the numbers speak for themselves.

This has been our Monster Hunter Rise Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles. 

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Huzaifa is eXputer's Review Editor, who’s all about RPG games. He’s got several years of experience critically judging games and writing his unbiased thoughts on them. You can also find his content published on sites like Twinfinite & GearNuke. Huzaifa has been gaming for 23+ years, during which he managed to amass 400+ hours on Elden Ring! You can follow his gaming activity on his Xbox and Steam Profiles.

Experience: 5+ years || Previously Worked At GearNuke & Twinfinite || Mainly Covers RPG Guides & Latest Games Reviews || Education: Bachelors in Hospitality.

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