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Monster Hunter Rise feels every bit the generational leap that World was

VysePSU

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Article by Martin Robinson, Features and Reviews Editor (Eurogamer)
You'll be familiar - perhaps even a little weary - of the 'can you pet the dog' question often asked of games these days, but Monster Hunter Rise has now set my expectations a little higher. Can you drift the dog in your video game? Because in Capcom's latest beast-slaying epic, you very much can - and it feels bloody awesome.

Palamutes, rideable mounts with the lithe proportions of an oversized greyhound, are one of Rise's headline additions, and in keeping with the maximalist design that's so often defined Monster Hunter it's not enough to just whisk you from one side of the map to another in record time. Here, it's all about doing it in style. These things bound and dash, allowing you to sharpen your weapon or neck a potion as you're in transit, and at the press of a button you can send their arse hanging out as your dog describes a glorious arc, in true Tokyo Drift fashion.

Maybe there's an extension of the traditional Japanese theme that defines Monster Hunter Rise in there, somewhere. That theme is a bit more explicit in the Shrine Ruins area that hosts the recently-released demo; lower areas full of pampas grass to crawl through, while bamboo forests thick with endemic life seemingly modelled on various yokai, many of which can grant you various buffs, while at the heart of the map are those ruins for you to clamber all over.


Rise also marks the debut of RE Engine both on the Switch and in the Monster Hunter series - and the results are one of the best-looking Switch games to date, with portable play in particular really excelling.

Which, of course, is something else new in Monster Hunter Rise, with the addition of wirebugs that let you scale surfaces with no small amount of speed and grace. Like many others, I initially had the feature down as a gentle lift from Breath of the Wild, but it turns out that was a bit of a lack of imagination on my part - instead it's an extension of the ever-expanding traversal options Monster Hunter has been introducing for generations now. Its introduction is fairly elegant here, and also far-ranging, with each of the 14 signature weapons being emboldened with new wirebug moves.

It goes further still, with the ability to use wirebugs to harness monsters in silk and guide them into battle against other monsters, allowing for some relatively easy and very substantial damage to be dealt. Wyvern riding's an unwieldy thing in Monster Hunter Rise, as you'd imagine trying to tame one of these beasts would be. In the demo, you get to pit two Arzuros against each other, the mutant honey badgers ripping chunks out of each other in a self-contained arena. When out in the wild, it's just another option that's to hand.

It is, quite frankly, dizzying stuff - enough to make me feel like a newcomer all over again, and to ensure some dozen or so hours with the recently-released demo I'm still being constantly surprised by the possibilities on offer. Indeed, after Monster Hunter World went out of its way to accommodate new players I kind of appreciate the harder edges on display here, and the early signs of a Monster Hunter that means serious business. It's there in how the demo labels the fight with Mizutsune - an absolute bastard of a thing, blowing bubbles for you to dodge through like you're playing the second level of Gradius 3 - as an intermediate challenge, which given the lack of skills available in the demo seems slightly amiss. Or at least I struggled to down him on my first attempt, though having familiarised myself a bit more with all that's new it's proving less problematic.

It's also there in how Monster Hunter Rise takes all the lessons learned from World and then throws in so much more besides. This is, in many ways, a more traditional Monster Hunter than World, but it's also one that feels as much as a leap forward in all that it offers as that blockbuster entry. There's so much that's new, and so much to be discovered, that this feels like another generational leap for Monster Hunter, as well as a welcome return to portable play.

I like Monster Hunter Rise a lot, essentially, even if I'm feeling like there's still so much left to learn. This demo is the sort of thing that offers dozens of hours of play, and the potential for the final thing with its full cast of monsters is enough to make me feel a little light-headed. Yes, you can drift the dogs in Monster Hunter Rise - and it seems you can do so much more besides.

 
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It looks great, it's like how Capcom pushed the Gamecube with REmake/RE0. They're doing the same with the Switch and MH Rise. If I didn't feel done with MH right now it'd push me once step closer to the Switch.
 
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Jun 23, 2020
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I've put more hours into the demo of this game than I've put in many full released games, including "big" titles.

I think the wire bug (the new grappling hook mechanic) is just what this series needed: something to add more agility to both combat and exploration without changing the initial formula too much, and the result is great.

Can't wait for the full release.
 

e&e

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After playing it more, it’s REALLY hard! But everything is built so well. I’m a tutorial type of person I just wish the demo had more tutorials.
 

VysePSU

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I've put more hours into the demo of this game than I've put in many full released games, including "big" titles.

I think the wire bug (the new grappling hook mechanic) is just what this series needed: something to add more agility to both combat and exploration without changing the initial formula too much, and the result is great.

Can't wait for the full release.
Yeah, making traversal quicker is a smart decision for this series.
 
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BabyYoda

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I absolutely loving MHRise, I like the extra mobility and I just love the visuals style they are going for.
Yeah I prefer the more stylised art of the non MHW games, I regret that they went with a more realistic art style in that game, partly because it doesn't age as well, but also because it's obvious the engine was falling apart at the seams and I'm not sure anyone could run the game at a consistent 60fps. If it does come to PC, then I know it won't likely be a slideshow, which is nice!
 
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Danjin44

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Yeah I prefer the more stylised art of the non MHW games, I regret that they went with a more realistic art style in that game, partly because it doesn't age as well, but also because it's obvious the engine was falling apart at the seams and I'm not sure anyone could run the game at a consistent 60fps. If it does come to PC, then I know it won't likely be a slideshow, which is nice!
I don’t understand why Capcom feels needs to have realistic graphics in their recent games. DMC5 is still feels “anime” as fuck with over top action but now with realistic face scans which feels like characters are cosplaying as DMC characters and I feel the same way about MHW. I vastly, vastly prefer more stylized look of Rise over realistic visuals of World.
 
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Termite

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I can't get hyped for this game. I'll play it and enjoy it but it certainly doesn't feel like a generational leap to me - it feels like a step backwards.

Firstly, replacing mounting with wirebug "control" of the monsters is bullshit to me. Mounting a monster to damage it feels like something a hunter might actually do. This new system is essentially just allowing you to "play as" the monster for a short while, and it feels way outside of what monster hunter should be. I realise the clutch claw kinda started this trend with "launching" monsters into walls but I hate it.

Secondly, the levels are far less "natural" than World. I loved those levels. They were beautiful, confusing and immersive. I understand many MH fans will much prefer the simple levels of Rise to get you to the monster quickly as that's the point of the game, but for me the setting matters and Rise is a big step backwards. (Of course it's because it's a Switch game, but still.)

Lastly, as an insect glaive player I feel like the weapon has been completely ignored and I'm not happy about it. With the wirebug giving everyone maneuvering tools the glaive needed some extra kit or extra damage to keep up. So I'm stuck learning another weapon, which isn't great.
 
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D.Final

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I can't get hyped for this game. I'll play it and enjoy it but it certainly doesn't feel like a generational leap to me - it feels like a step backwards.

Firstly, replacing mounting with wirebug "control" of the monsters is bullshit to me. Mounting a monster to damage it feels like something a hunter might actually do. This new system is essentially just allowing you to "play as" the monster for a short while, and it feels way outside of what monster hunter should be. I realise the clutch claw kinda started this trend with "launching" monsters into walls but I hate it.

Secondly, the levels are far less "natural" than World. I loved those levels. They were beautiful, confusing and immersive. I understand many MH fans will much prefer the simple levels of Rise to get you to the monster quickly as that's the point of the game, but for me the setting matters and Rise is a big step backwards. (Of course it's because it's a Switch game, but still.)

Lastly, as an insect glaive player I feel like the weapon has been completely ignored and I'm not happy about it. With the wirebug giving everyone maneuvering tools the glaive needed some extra kit or extra damage to keep up. So I'm stuck learning another weapon, which isn't great.
Because of the hardware
Literally a technical issues
 

Manus

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I can't get hyped for this game. I'll play it and enjoy it but it certainly doesn't feel like a generational leap to me - it feels like a step backwards.

Firstly, replacing mounting with wirebug "control" of the monsters is bullshit to me. Mounting a monster to damage it feels like something a hunter might actually do. This new system is essentially just allowing you to "play as" the monster for a short while, and it feels way outside of what monster hunter should be. I realise the clutch claw kinda started this trend with "launching" monsters into walls but I hate it.

Secondly, the levels are far less "natural" than World. I loved those levels. They were beautiful, confusing and immersive. I understand many MH fans will much prefer the simple levels of Rise to get you to the monster quickly as that's the point of the game, but for me the setting matters and Rise is a big step backwards. (Of course it's because it's a Switch game, but still.)

Lastly, as an insect glaive player I feel like the weapon has been completely ignored and I'm not happy about it. With the wirebug giving everyone maneuvering tools the glaive needed some extra kit or extra damage to keep up. So I'm stuck learning another weapon, which isn't great.

Yeah wirebug is something that I hope stays in Rise and doesn't come to World 2.
 
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Secondly, the levels are far less "natural" than World. I loved those levels. They were beautiful, confusing and immersive. I understand many MH fans will much prefer the simple levels of Rise to get you to the monster quickly as that's the point of the game, but for me the setting matters and Rise is a big step backwards. (Of course it's because it's a Switch game, but still.)
Thank you, yes, exactly how I feel. MH already has arenas, go spam those if you want a flat area to fight in.
 

Danjin44

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Yeah wirebug is something that I hope stays in Rise and doesn't come to World 2.
I actually love the wirebug mechanic not only its great for traversal but also in fights like you can easily recover when you get knocked down, close distance to the monster or even use it to dodge attacks.