Updated March 26, 2021 at 1:53 p.m.
- “Monster Hunter Rise” relies on huge beasts, sophisticated fighting techniques and a prehistoric world with a Japanese flair.
- The game, which is initially exclusive to Switch, suits beginners, but remains a complex challenge.
- On the weak Nintendo hardware, “Rise” has to follow in the gigantic footsteps of “Monster Hunter World” for PC, Xbox and PlayStation.
The “Monster Hunter” series from Capcom can certainly be seen as a radical alternative to the cute “Pokémon” titles: Here the “Resident Evil” manufacturer has been unleashing gigantic beasts on the players for almost 17 years. The sometimes scaly, sometimes furry, then feathered colossi are neither trained nor bred or trained – they are carved.
So also in the current branch “Rise” for the Switch. The creatures provide valuable resources: skin, claws, bones, sinews and of course meat – everything is recycled and processed into swords, axes or armor with which the heroes can kill even larger and more dangerous beasts. An – admittedly – old spiral of addiction, which still works today, especially since a dragon fillet on a skewer also increases the attribute values.
In addition, “Monster Hunter” has been relying on a cooperative multiplayer experience for years: If you plunge into the mostly jungle-overgrown hunting grounds of the game world alongside a small group of hunters, the grueling craft is even easier. Then the monster hunters can tactically grapple with cyclopean creatures such as Magnamalo, Zinogre or the ape-like Goss Harag and divide themselves according to their specializations.
A potential boss in every fight
By the way, “Monster Hunter Rise” – just like in the one-player operation – is strictly divided into instances: An open game world in which you can move around completely does not know the primeval backdrop with this time Japanese flair. It consists of several miniature areas linked by tight transfer interfaces.
And they are basically more luxurious arenas than real adventure playgrounds: “Monster Hunter Rise” is not primarily about discovery, but about fighting – and about making every battle feel like a full-fledged boss confrontation.
It goes without saying that there is a whole hodgepodge of sometimes ludicrous maneuvers. And unfortunately, as usual from the series, many of them are explained extremely cryptically and hidden deep in the game structure. Maneuvers that are usually only discovered and mastered by those players who happily bury themselves in the title for weeks and months and do not even put down their arms when they are overwhelmed by a flood of tutorial boxes.
After all: Anyone who has played “Monster Hunter World” knows the movesets, which can be strung together like a construction kit to form a seemingly endless chain of attacks.
On the other hand, it is unusual that Capcom made the monsters surprisingly tame this time – as if they wanted to compensate for the overly complex user guidance and make the game halfway interesting or at least less frustrating for beginners and newbies. Real warriors, on the other hand, are likely to react angrily to having pulled the beast’s teeth a little.
Monster hunt bombast for the patient
And yet: Anyone who thinks that the “Monster Hunter” series is somehow conciliatory or particularly beginner-friendly with “Rise” after a six-year absence from Nintendo (apart from the role-playing game spin-off “Monster Hunter Stories”) is far from it .
“Rise”, which is splendidly presented for Switch conditions, is even more sedate and unruly than “Monster Hunter World” for PS4, Xbox and PC. With this, the manufacturer Capcom wanted to loosen the rigid target group corset of the traditional series and additionally strengthen the brand’s multi-player orientation.
“Rise”, on the other hand, is aimed at pretty much the kind of die-hard hunter who was already happy with “Monster Hunter Tri” on the Wii and “Monster Hunter 4” on the 3DS.
Swing like “Spider-Man”
The new part is still not at a loss for innovations: helper creatures such as the hummingbird-inspired lunatics, the marten-cat hybrid creature “Miefnerz”, the well-known anthropomorphic “Palicos” cat creatures and dog-like mounts make everyday hunters’ lives easier or more cheerful – provided you understand how to use them. Because like its spiritual predecessors, “Rise” is the tank among the monster raiders: Great to drive if you know how – otherwise the collateral damage is greater than the fun.
The same applies to the so-called “rope beetles”: with these useful silk moth insects the hunter shoots tether ropes in “Spider-Man” fashion, which considerably accelerate the vertical exploration of the arenas and which can also be used for artful bondage attacks. Anyone who skillfully tied up massive dragons and furry creatures or even wanted to ride them after being enormously weakened, however, first has to practice a lot – because here, too, the controls are unnecessarily stubborn.
Those who get involved in the often arduous dance will, however, be richly rewarded: For the patient professional hunter, “Monster Hunter Rise” is a veritable treasure trove of clever tricks, pleasantly balanced weapons and smoothly animated, awe-inspiring creatures that the Switch would not be technically capable of would have. In return, people are happy to accept the arenas, which are sparsely equipped compared to “Monster Hunter World”.
And also a bit of zeitgeist blows through the “Monster Hunter” village of Kamura, which has to be defended against several beasts at the same time in the new “Riot” mode. The whole thing is reminiscent of well-known “Horde” and tower defense modes from other titles – only paired with the “Monster Hunter” mechanics.
This is what Switch players can expect in the new offshoot of Capcom’s cooperative monster hunt.
Teaserbild: © Capcom / Nintendo