Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise has gone from being a cult classic to a major franchise for the storied development house. Following its humble and tumultuous roots on the PlayStation 2 has resulted in a series with a multitude of games, spin-offs, and even film installments.
The latest game in the series, Monster Hunter Rise, has been exclusive to the Nintendo Switch at least for consoles. This has left Monster Hunter fans stuck with the previous entry, Monster Hunter World, if they had invested in a Sony or Microsoft console. That’s all changed, however, and Monster Hunter Rise is arriving on the other consoles on the market.
Monster Hunter Rise Goes Cross-Platform
Monster Hunter Rise hit the Nintendo Switch on March 26th of 2021. It isn’t a straight sequel to the critically acclaimed Monster Hunter World. It does take some of the quality-of-life improvements from that installment.
Critical reception of the Switch release of Rise was solid. Nintendo owners finally had a truly next-generation Monster Hunter experience. This was after the port of the 3DS Generations which had graced the console earlier in its lifecycle.
PC gamers didn’t have as long a wait as owners of other consoles. The Steam release of Monster Hunter Rise hit the platform on January 12, 2022.
Now, nearly two years after its release the PlayStation, Xbox, and Game Pass users get the game on January 20th, 2023. There is no real discernible reason for the delay itself. Aside from perhaps exclusivity agreements in place by Nintendo which could have otherwise restricted the title. This isn’t an uncommon practice with certain third-party titles. It also isn’t a terribly uncommon practice with Capcom, who exercised similar exclusivity contracts for 2005’s Resident Evil 4.
In a similar situation to Monster Hunter Rise, Resident Evil 4 was originally slated as GameCube exclusive. After its initial release, it was followed by subsequent ports and releases on the Sony PlayStation 2 and other consoles.
How Does Monster Hunter Rise Run?
Monster Hunter Rise has far less demanding assets, unlike its predecessor Monster Hunter World. PS5 users have reported performance of a staggeringly high 120 frames per second at 1080p. At 4K it is likewise silky smooth, with a butter 60 frames per second expected even during the heaviest of sessions. There are a good few options regarding graphical fidelity for the Xbox Series X and PS5 ports.
Users have the option of adjusting their image sharpness, texture fidelity, lighting, and shadow quality. It is truly a solid set of options for giving the game some much-needed gloss or maintaining extreme performance. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X ports have options you often only see on well-done PC ports of former console-exclusive games.
Gamers new to Monster Hunter Rise certainly won’t be disappointed in the performance of the game. By all accounts, it plays the best on every platform aside from the Switch.
What Is It All About?
Monster Hunter Rise is the latest mainline entry in the long-running Capcom series. Gamers venture out to Kamura Village, a central hub inspired by Feudal Japanese storytelling. At its core Monster Hunter Rise isn’t what you would call a very story-heavy series. Instead, gamers will run hunts, gather materials, and participate in an ever-escalating treadmill of gearing up for better gear.
Critical reception to Monster Hunter Rise has been positive. The Switch original bears an 88% on Metacritic currently, and the PC port has an 86% currently as well. Regardless of the platform, it is a solid entry into the series of addictive monster hunts.
If you’re looking for your next greatest time sink with friends, the four-player cooperative gameplay will surely keep you occupied for some time. Monster Hunter is a series that shines when played with friends, and Rise is no exception. There are also additional new mechanics like mounts. Players can also use the wire bug, a new method of traversal meant for quick getaways or approaches. The core gameplay is not quite as smooth as Monster Hunter World. It does have huge shoes to fill given the smash hit Monster Hunter World proved to be.
What About DLC?
Monster Hunter is an odd duck when it comes to DLC. Previous entries would have an expanded version released a year or so after the base title. You can see this with Generations, Monster Hunter 4, and Tri among the more recent games. Monster Hunter World marked a departure from this arguably antiquated method of providing extra content. Iceborne added essentially a whole new game using the same engine, providing a plethora of new gear and additional hunts with increasing difficulty.
Rise is no different in this regard, and Sunbreak adds new settings, more hunts, and even more gear to craft for your hunter. Sunbreak isn’t available for PlayStation, Xbox, or Game Pass users just yet. The expansion is already out on the Switch and PC versions. Capcom has issued a nebulous tentative release date of Spring 2023 regarding the release of Sunbreak for these consoles.
This is certainly a bit of a disappointment, given there isn’t feature parity with the other versions. Gamers likely won’t be through the base game’s content if they’re taking their time, however. It cannot be exaggerated how much of a time sink the core content in Monster Hunter Rise is.
Should You Get Monster Hunter Rise?
Is Monster Hunter Rise worth picking up? If you were a fan of any of the previous entries, then it certainly is. The gameplay mainstays still remain but have received a nice improvement in the quality-of-life features. Monster Hunter Rise’s combat isn’t as stiff and unresponsive, allowing for fluid engagements. Traversal has also had a bit of a shake-up with the implementation of the mounts you get at the start of a game.
Monster Hunter Rise is a rare title that demands huge swaths of your time, but also tries to make it an enjoyable experience. The series has had a bevy of steady improvements since its introduction on the PS2. Newcomers to the series might want to pick up Monster Hunter World, as Rise isn’t quite beginner-friendly. The gameplay loop is more reminiscent of the older portable games, but with the refinements and lessons are taken from Monster Hunter World. Hunts have a certain edge to them, being slightly more difficult than the opening hunts of World.
That aside, if you’re looking to enter the series this is certainly a fine entry. Online play has a welcoming community that can show you the ropes. It isn’t an impenetrable title to get into, but it is one that certainly is a smoother transition if you’re a veteran of previous games.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Cover via MobyGames http://www.mobygames.com.