Monster Hunter World
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Here are all the biggest changes series fans can expect.
Monster Hunter World was the biggest evolution we have seen for the Monster Hunter series in a long time, maybe ever, and it essentially laid down the foundation for what the series is going to play like for the next several years. The upcoming Monster Hunter Rise is obviously not going to be as much of a leap forward, but though it’s largely iterating on the improvements introduced with World, the Switch exclusive is still bringing several new mechanics and features of its own to set it apart from the previous Monster Hunter entry. Here, we’re going to talk about fifteen of the biggest changes it’s making.
The Monster Hunter series has been using Capcom’s MT Framework engine for a long time now, and even though 2017 saw the beginning of Capcom’s widespread shift to the new RE Engine, 2018’s Monster Hunter World nonetheless stuck with MT Framework. With Monster Hunter Rise though, the series is finally making that switch. Built on a modified version of the RE Engine specifically retooled for development on the Switch, Monster Hunter Rise will mark yet another major Capcom franchise’s shift to the RE Engine.
Palicoes have always been synonymous with Monster Hunter, and while they are, of course, returning in Rise, the upcoming sequel is also adding something completely new. The yin to the Palicoes’ yang, Palamutes will be canine companions who will accompany you on your hunts, and will be capable of a lot more than just aiding you in combat (more on this in a bit).
The Wirebug is probably one of the biggest new additions in Monster Hunter Rise. One of the many areas it’s impact is going to be felt is the combat. Wirebugs and weapons can be used in conjunction with each other to perform new moves and attacks, with each of the fourteen weapon types interacting with the Wirebug differently. The major differences between each weapon type have always been one of Monster Hunter’s biggest strengths, so to see that being amplified even further is very exciting.
Combat isn’t the only area of gameplay that’ll change significantly thanks to Wirebugs. Traversal is also seeing major changes. With a Wirebug equipped to each arm, players will be able to tether bugs practically anywhere and swing from them on yarns of silk, essentially being able to swing all across the maps like Spider-Man. Additionally, Monster Hunter Rise will also allow you to hope on your Palamute’s back and ride it across areas, so all in all, it’s definitely looking like traversal is going to be much quicker and much more kinetic.
Verticality, it seems, is a major focus in Monster Hunter Rise. A lot of that is obviously down to the new traversal mechanics courtesy of the Wirebugs, which we’ve already discussed, but other new mechanics emphasize that as well. Most surfaces in the world will be climbable, for instance- though you will have to keep an eye on your stamina while climbing, which will deplete pretty quickly. Palamutes, meanwhile, can also climb up surfaces, further encouraging vertical traversal.
Wyvern riding is one of the most interesting new elements being thrown into the mix with Monster Hunter Rise. Once you’ve hit a wyvern with enough Silkbind attacks using your Wirebugs (which won’t be a cakewalk, since those attacks will have cooldowns), you’ll be able to jump on the monster’s back and use the silk yarns as puppet strings. Following that, you can control the wyverns to move, dodge, and even attack other monsters.
Here’s yet another headlining addition Capcom are making to the Monster Hunter formula with Rise. Rampages are part of the lore and narrative premise in the game, with these catastrophic events occurring every so often and threatening to destroy Kamura Village with hordes of monsters. These will, of course, be set piece gameplay moments as well, in which you’ll have to take on oncoming hordes of multiple monsters, even using traps and siege weapons in the process, and then wrapping things up with climactic battles against Apex monsters.
Co-op multiplayer is a core part of the Monster Hunter experience, but Rise will be making some changes from how things were handled in World, essentially to make them more streamlined. While multiplayer lobbies in World could house up to a total of 16 players, Monster Hunter Rise is bringing that number back down to 4. Things will definitely be less chaotic, but how the game will handle larger special hunts with a lower player count remains to be seen.
While some might not be happy about the smaller lobby sizes in Monster Hunter Rise, the game is also making a few other changes to multiplayer that are definitely going to improve things. In Monster Hunter World, like in previous games in the series, players could only meet up with each other in the hub location’s Gathering Hub. In Rise, however, players playing in a group will be able to explore all of Kamura Village together while still in a multiplayer session.
Monster Hunter hasn’t really ever been a story-centric series. Even though Monster Hunter World put more focus on storytelling than its predecessors (which isn’t saying much), the story was still very much an afterthought at most. Which was why it was so annoying to have to sit through unskippable cutscenes. From taking you out of the action to presenting hurdles in multiplayer, it could be a real nuisance. Thankfully, cutscenes in Monster Hunter Rise are going to be skippable, so if you don’t care about the story and just want to ignore it and get right back into some monster slaying fun, you will have the option to do so.
Endemic Life forms from Monster Hunter World are returning, but this time, they’re going to be much more than just collectibles. They’re going to have actual tangible impacts on gameplay as well. Some can be used as consumables in combat, some can be used to make it easier to mount monsters, some can provide crucial stat buffs, while some can even inflict the new Monster Blight status ailment.
Grinding and farming parts and components from monsters to craft and upgrade gear is a crucial part of Monster Hunter’s core gameplay loop, and while that obviously isn’t changing with Rise, it is being tweaked. Essentially, the entire process is going to be much quicker, with weapons requiring significantly fewer parts to be upgraded, requiring less grinding.
SURVIVAL MECHANICS REMOVED
This is one that has proven a bit controversial with Monster Hunter fans. Every game in the series has featured light survival mechanics requiring players to drink specific potions in locations with certain climates in order to prevent hits to heath and stamina, and though this isn’t necessarily a major mechanic, it is something that has been around for a while. Until now, that is. Monster Hunter Rise is removing those stealth mechanics, and while there are many who argue that it was just busywork anyway, others still will tell you that it might contribute towards making things too simplistic. It remains to be seen what kind of an impact this will have, but it’s an interesting change, to say the least.
Capcom have been vying for better accessibility in Monster Hunter games for as long as Monster Hunter has been around. This is a notoriously dense series, and miraculously enough, Capcom managed to streamline it to a great extent with World, making it very accessible while still retaining its identity and most of its complexities. The developer is aiming to make Rise even more accessible though. Things such as improved traversal, the removal of survival mechanics, requiring less grinding, and more are probably going to come together to achieve that effect.
You’d expect this to be included in most Switch games- even those that don’t necessarily need gyroscopic controls. Thankfully, Monster Hunter is a series that can definitely benefit from gyro support. Ranged combat has often been a bit finnicky in Monster Hunter, so being able to use gyro controls for weapons like the Bowguns should definitely things a lot more responsive and intuitive. Of course, this will be optional, so if you want to stick with buttons exclusively, you will be able to do that as well.