Monster Hunter Rise Review

Richard Walker

Off the back of the runaway success of 2018's Monster Hunter World (at time of writing, it still holds the record as Capcom's best selling game, shifting a staggering 18.5 million copies), Monster Hunter Rise arriving three years later was hardly surprising. What was surprising was its initial no-show on Xbox and PlayStation, something that has happily now been rectified, almost two years on. Good things come to those who wait, then, and Monster Hunter Rise is a very, very good thing indeed.


Anyone who has sunk hours into Monster Hunter World will feel immediately at home in Rise, its vibrant Kamura village an invitingly sedate and breezy place, inhabited by friendly folk going about their business and pun-spouting Palicoes greeting your intrepid hunter with a cheery 'meowdy''. Of course, all is not well in Monster Hunter world, as a dormant and savage creature named Magnamalo, a fearsome dragon-like quadruped wreathed in purple flame, last seen nigh on fifty years ago, rears its head once more. Naturally, Magnamalo threatens the very destruction of Kamura and its happy denizens.

And so, it falls to you to rise up as the village's monster-hunting saviour, to take up your weapon of choice and venture into the wilderness with two loyal 'Buddies' at your side. Reporting to white-haired veteran hunter Elder Fugen, you're soon acquainted with your mission, and the fate of Kamura lies in your capable hands. Anyone well versed in the nuts and bolts of Monster Hunter will be familiar with much of what's on offer here, be it the oversized weaponry you're able to wield, or the menagerie of rampant fauna that serve as your quarry during various quests. There's plenty that's new in Monster Hunter Rise, too, making it far and away one of the most accessible and interesting entries in the series. That doesn't mean there's any compromise when it comes to complexity, mind you – Rise still finds plenty of ways to confound.

Menus remain fiddly, while the sheer number of gadgets, monster pieces you've harvested during hunts, and other miscellaneous items you end up accumulating, make inventory management a time-consuming, often dizzying affair. Tutorials are constantly thrown at you via pop-up text windows, and, early on, it can all seem quite overwhelming. Eventually, I found it best to dispense with the convoluted fripperies and simply get on with the hunting, taking time between hunts to explore Kamura, and forge or upgrade weapons and armour, via the Smithy. It turns out you can do just this and still have a fine time toppling Rise's hugely diverse array of hostile creatures.


As for the aforementioned new stuff, there's the 'Wirebug' - a traversal tool that makes zipping around the game's expansive maps far easier than in previous games; and the 'canyne' Palamute is a hefty rideable dog pal that also provides support in battle. The cutesy 'felyne' Palicoes return, too, throwing healing items and other helpful things your way when you need them most. It's the Wirebug that's the real star, though, enabling you to quickly recover with a 'wirefall' when knocked back, scurry up cliff faces, and, when combined with wall running, helps you scale hard-to-reach plateaus. It even allows you to mount and ride weakened monsters for a limited spell, using strings of silk to control the wounded beast like a salivating, toothy puppet. It's every bit as brilliant as it sounds – nothing beats riding a savage Rathalos, galloping around atop a fanged Barioth, or wrangling a wriggly Somnacanth.

A surfeit of story-driven Village Quests, Training Quests, Event Quests, challenging Hub Quests (best played in co-op with fellow hunters), Arena Quests against the clock, one-off Special License Quests, optional objectives, and, later on, Rampage Quests, present you with more than enough to get on with. The latter take the form of tower defence-style missions in which you're tasked with protecting Kamura's main gate in an effort to prevent it being breached, using ballistas, bamboo bombs, and a range of other traps and emplacements. Rampage Quests prove to be a nice, diverting break from the standard hunting fare, but fall short in scratching a monster-slaying itch in quite the same way – you'll always gravitate towards the monster bashing or capturing proper.


It's testament to Rise's core mechanics and compulsive gameplay that each hunt feels fresh, too, the Wirebug keeping you in the thick of the action. The sheer diversity of monsters to hunt, and their unique behaviours and styles, will also keep you on your toes, ensuring you're unlikely to reach a point where things start to feel tiresome or repetitive. Endemic life, like bugs and Spiribirds, as well as various plants and other flora, also aid you on your hunts, presenting you with myriad ways to take down or subdue your prey. As such, Rise is by far the most varied and engaging Monster Hunter game in recent memory.

While many of its peripheral activities, like sending 'Meowcenaries' off on item-retrieval missions, training your cadre of hired Buddies, carrying out an array of busywork for Kamura's NPCs, or decorating your quarters, can be easily ignored (some of it can feel like unnecessary, distracting noise), there's no shortage of RPG depth and variety on show in Rise. The act of hunting itself proves to be a constant joy, and the Wirebug injects some welcome mobility to Monster Hunter's occasionally sluggish combat and traversal. Make no mistake – Monster Hunter Rise might just be the best Monster Hunter game Capcom has mustered to date, leaving no stone unturned in delivering an endlessly enjoyable monster mash.

Monster Hunter Rise

A deep and colossal monster melee, Monster Hunter Rise is both enormously fun and uniquely rewarding. Snap it up.

Form widget
91%
Audio
85%

Wonderful music, lovely voice acting, and all manner of ferocious animal sounds. The ditty playing whenever you visit Kamura will worm its way into your brain and sit there.

Visuals
85%

Monster Hunter Rise looks fantastic – vibrant, colourful, and pleasingly bold. But then, what else did you expect from Capcom's always marvellous RE Engine?

Playability
90%

Quite possibly the easiest Monster Hunter game to get to grips with, despite a handful of poorly explained mechanics. Crucially, this is great fun.

Delivery
90%

Countless quests, side missions, errands, and more to partake in, as well as numerous weapons, armours, and such. Polished and well-presented, MHR is also huge.

Trophies
40%

If ever a game served as the perfect example of pure and unremitting grind, then this is it. This is a list that will take you the best part of 100 hours to complete, if not more, and none of the tasks on offer are fun or creative. A dull, disappointing list.

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