Monster Hunter Rise (PS5) Review – For Those Who Have Held Out

    Title: Monster Hunter Rise
    Developer: Capcom
    Release Date: January 20, 2023
    Reviewed On: PS5
    Publisher: Capcom
    Genre: Action RPG

At its almost 2nd anniversary, Monster Hunter Rise has made its way to new platforms. This will undoubtedly introduce the series to new players. Still, compared to the original Switch version, those who have already dipped into the PC release for its more robust graphical options should likely avoid this version of the game. While Monster Hunter Rise on more consoles is highly comparable to the PC version, the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions at least, the lack of cross-save support made me feel reluctant even to invest my time.

Especially when thinking about how I’d rather be progressing on my already established PC characters, which I started after investing time in my Switch characters. So here I am, resetting the adventure for a third time, which is the main problem I will have. However, you’re lucky if you’ve held out this far because you’re in for a grand adventure.

Monster Hunter Rise has players create a hunter before awakening in Kamura village. After being introduced to the basics of the village, you are welcome to jump into your first set of quests. Quests are divided between Village Quests and Hub Quests, where Village Quests are the main story and single-player focused, and Hub Quests introduce online elements.

Similar to the PC release, players can utilize a voice chat feature for online play, which is absent from the Switch release. Additionally, systems in place keep the quest difficulty balanced to how far you’ve progressed through the single-player content allowing you to take on Special License Quest, which will increase your Hunter Rank for tougher online quests.

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As you take on quests, which include hunting a monster or even collecting, you’ll enter grand environments full of collectible items and enemies. One of the best features of this entry is the traversal options, whether riding on your pet Palamute or using the Wirebug.

The Wirebug is a bit more versatile by offering benefits in combat to dodge or move in quickly for an attack, but both methods speed up the exploration. Aside from this, you can edit your load out and Switch Skills at the tent for added customization. All weapons have some benefits, but there are quite a few, so experimenting with each goes a long way to finding your playstyle.

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Switch Skills are a new edition. Each weapon can be customized with Switch Skills, which grants added abilities. More are unlocked throughout the game, allowing players to fine-tune their combat style further. Weapons can be further upgraded and customized alongside character upgrades utilizing experience and materials found on hunts.

The better parts of Monster Hunter Rise come during high ranks quests, but it takes a while to get there. I rarely had issues on hunts through the single-player content, but that never made them less thrilling. When facing off against some of the larger monster enemies, I found myself in a hypnotic zone as I reacted to enemy attacks, utilized systems such as riding atop enemies, and recognized openings in enemy attack patterns.

However, once you get to higher-rank quests, the gloves come off, and you’ll fight against beasts that put your skills to the test. Although there are plenty of high-rank quests in the single-player mode, multiplayer is where this game lives and breaths.

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As previously mentioned, this console version is compared to the Steam release, but the PS5 release does have a few additional features. For example, players can play at 4k resolution with 60FPS support or 120 FPS at 1080p resolution. This shows in the presentation with much better graphics. Still, given the hardware limitations of the Switch, I feel like every version after suffers from environmental downgrades in terms of textures and scale. Further, players on PS5 can enjoy some adaptive trigger support when blocking or shooting.

I feel this version ultimately falls short if you are playing after you’ve already invested time into the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak DLC, which includes new weapons and abilities. Unfortunately, excluding these means removing a few Silkbinds and Switch Skill options, such as swapping Switch Skills. However, I believe this game was made for newcomers, which means they have an excellent DLC awaiting them.

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Monster Hunter Rise on new platforms is ultimately here for those who have held out. It offers much of what the Steam version has with the ease of being playable on consoles. The absence of cross-play and cross-save is a huge missed opportunity, but new fans have much to look forward to in this adventure. This is a must-play entry in this series, now available across all platforms.

Score:
9/10
A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.