The Switch hasn’t been a great platform to own for Monster Hunter fans. Though Capcom did release Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate for Nintendo’s hybrid, that’s a decidedly last-gen Monster Hunter experience, and being stuck on the sidelines playing that while PS4, Xbox One, and PC players have a blast in Monster Hunter World and Iceborne has been, well, not fun. Thankfully, Monster Hunter Rise is almost here, as a Switch exclusive, no less, and it’s looking like it’s going to be another excellent entry in Capcom’s beloved action RPG franchise. As we get closer to its launch, here, we’re going to talk about the key details you should know about it.
BUILT ON RE ENGINE
Since debuting the RE Engine in 2017 with Resident Evil 7, Capcom have slowly been turning it into their primary engine for nearly all of their biggest games and franchises. Though Monster Hunter World used the MT Framework engine, the series will be making its RE Engine debut with Rise. In fact, the engine itself is making its Switch engine (although technically Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection, which also uses the RE Engine, is releasing first). Monster Hunter Rise is going to be running on a modified version of the RE Engine, which has been tweaked specifically for Switch-focused development.
Kamura Village will serve as your central hub and base of operations in Monster Hunter Rise. One look at the village is enough to tell you that this time Capcom are going for a very Japanese vibe with the architecture. It looks really good, and as you’d expect, the village is also going to have several facilities for players to make use of. For instance, there’s the Gathering Hub, where you can visit facilities such as the market and the the canteen, and can take on Arena Quests and Hub Quests.
Unsurprisingly, Monster Hunter Rise is promising to have a pretty large and varied world, with plenty of locations to visit and explore outside of Kamura Village. The Shrine Ruins will be one of the game’s earlier locations, and is dotted with ruins and abandoned buildings from a bygone era. There are also areas with specific themes, from the volcanic kind to the sandy desert kind to the frosty icy kind. Maps are also going to be seamless, like Monster Hunter World.
Monster Hunter Rise will be introducing several new mechanics, with Palamutes being among the biggest of the lot. Palicos are, of course, still going to be by your side, but now, you’ll also have a canine companion. Palamutes can deal damage, draw aggro, and can even be ridden, while their ability to scale walls will give the game an added layer of verticality that hasn’t been seen in Monster Hunter before.
The Wirebug is another new mechanic, and this one is essentially going to completely change how traversal works in Monster Hunter. Players will be equipped with two of these bugs, and can use their silk to swing about environments like Spider-Man. Wirebugs can also anchor themselves mid-air, so essentially, there are no limits to the freedom of traversal Monster Hunter Rise is promising. On top of that, Wirebugs can also be used in conjunction with weapons for special attacks using special techniques called Silkbind attacks.
The Wirebug’s silk is also going to enable Hunters to do other special things- like riding wyverns. Essentially, once you’ve done enough Silkbind attacks on a wyvern, you can jump on its back and begin controlling it by pulling the strands of silk around it, turning it into a massive puppet. You can make wyverns run, attack other monsters, dodge their attacks, and if your wyvern riding meter is filled up, you can even unleash a special attack to deal tons of damage.
Rampage is one of Monster Hunter Rise’s flagship new features, and even ties in with the game’s story. Kamura Village has been living in fear of a catastrophic event dubbed the Rampage since ancient time. This periodic and mysterious event sees massive hordes of monsters attacking the village all at once, with one that happened about 50 years before the beginning of the game nearly wiping out the entire village. In terms of gameplay, Rampage will be a tesne affair, in which players will take on oncoming hordes of monster, and even use weapons such as traps, canons, and ballistae to stop their onslaught.
Monster Hunter Rise is also bringing back Apex Monsters, and these will tie in directly with Rampages. During Rampages, once you’ve defeated enough monsters, you’ll have to take on an Apex Monster, which, as the name suggests, will be the boss battle capping off the Rampage. These extra powerful variants of monsters will have to be defeated to end Rampages.
It wouldn’t be a Monster Hunter game without new monsters to track down and hunt, and it seems like there’s going to be plenty of those in Rise. A few of these have been revealed so far, including the fanged wyvern called Magnamalo; Tetranadon, an amphibian monster with a shell on its back and a belly that it can inflate; the massive Leviathan called Somnacanth; the bird wyvern known as Great Izuchi; and more.
Of course, many monsters from past games will also be returning in Monster Hunter Rise, and though it remains to be seen what the full roster in the game will look like, many have been confirmed already. The likes of Rathalos, Anjanath, Tigrex, Rathian, Khezu, Barioth, Mizutsune, and many more are going to be making an appearance in the game.
TURF WARS RETURNS
Monster Hunter World introduced a number of major features and mechanics to the series, with Turf Wars being perhaps the best new addition. Turf Wars saw different monsters within a single ecosystem interacting with each other, and often even taking each other on in fights. Monster Hunter Rise is bringing back Turf Wars, and Capcom are promising that the mechanic will be even more central to gameplay than before.
Monster Hunter Rise is also bringing back Endemic Life forms from World, but it seems they’re going to be expanded upon. While in World they functioned almost entirely as collectibles, in Rise, they will also yield tangible bonuses, from buffing your health to handing out resources to even being used as consumables during combat, should the need arise.
RESOLUTION AND FRAME RATE
Even with the impressive RE Engine, Monster Hunter Rise isn’t going to look as good as World, given the fact that it’s on the technically inferior Switch. So exactly what should players expect where resolution and frame rate are concerned? Capcom haven’t officially confirmed that, but thanks to the game’s recent demo, we have an idea of the same. In handheld mode, it runs at a resolution of 960×540, while in console mode, that’s the resolution is 1344×756. Frame rate is maintained at a solid 30 FPS regardless. Meanwhile, the UI is rendered natively at 1080p when docked, and at 720p when undocked. It’s possible that the final game sees improvements from the demo, of course, but we can at least expect that to be the baseline.
SPECIAL EDITION SWITCH
Monster Hunter Rise is probably the biggest game releasing for the Switch this year (at least based on what’s been announced for 2021 until now), so it’s no surprise that there’s going to be additional goodies for sale as well. That includes both a special edition Nintendo Switch, and themed Switch Pro controllers. Where the former is concerned, Monster Hunter Rise-themed hardware (which includes Joy-Cons, a Switch itself, and a dock), in addition to a digital code for the game, as well as codes for the pre-order bonuses and Deluxe Kit content.
Monster Hunter World received some excellent post-launch support from Capcom, from crossover events to new monsters being added to meaty new updates to, of course, a massive expansion in Iceborne. Right now, Capcom haven’t announced any specific plans, but they have confirmed that Monster Hunter Rise will get free DLC after launch. Whether we also get a full-fledged expansion or perhaps an Ultimate release remains to be seen, though at least one of the two seems likely, given the series’ history.