Monster Hunter Rise has already given fans a taste of what’s to come via an extensive demo, but now that critic reviews are pouring in, there’s a whole new batch of opinions to discuss. Players already know about some new features in Monster Hunter Rise, like the ability to ride Wyverns, but how does the game come together as a whole?
According to most critics, Monster Hunter Rise is one of the best entries in the long running series. Part of the acclaim comes from the sheer grandeur of such a large game on the Nintendo Switch. The Washington Post reporter Gene Park described his shock, stating, "I can hardly believe a game this large, that runs this smoothly, exists on the Nintendo Switch." Park marveled at the scope of Monster Hunter Rise, noting that it outperforms most games on the handheld-console hybrid. While there aren’t as many fine details as Monster Hunter World, everything works well and looks gorgeous. As Park said, "There’s less fur, but everything moves as beautifully as it ever did."
More player agency in Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise fundamentally changes the dynamic of Monster Hunter games by making the player character more powerful from the beginning, giving them a greater sense of agency in the world. Martin Robinson of Eurogamer wrote, "Traditionally in this series, you’re the whipping boy – for the first few dozen hours at least – as you get knocked this way and that by all number of beautiful beasts. In Monster Hunter Rise, however, you are OP AF, and I am 100 per cent for it."
Robinson detailed that he believes Monster Hunter Rise is a "Monster Hunter for all" because of the way it empowers players, even those who are new to the series. He was particularly impressed with how the title "encourages experimentation." Players are free to play and try new approaches because they feel secure, even at the outset of the game, in their abilities. That’s something special.
More mobility = more fun in Monster Hunter Rise
Both Ryan Gilliam of Polygon and Tom Marks of IGN praised the Wirebug, a new mobility tool introduced in Monster Hunter Rise. The Wirebug allows players to zip through the air, either to travel more quickly or perform devastating aerial attacks on monsters. Gilliam argued that the Wirebug made Monster Hunter Rise feel more "modern," while Marks said that it completely changed the feel of combat for the better.
Gilliam stated that even though the Wirebug changed the way he played Monster Hunter Rise in comparison to other Monster Hunter games, "it still offers those bulls*** moments, like watching helplessly as your Hunter gets carted back to town because you couldn’t get them up fast enough. These are the kind of frustrations that cause Monster Hunter vets to look at you and shrug because … yeah, that’ll happen." Difficulty remains a key component in Monster Hunter and Gilliam acknowledged that, at its core, Monster Hunter Rise has challenges like never before.
Marks also had a negative note, however minor, about Monster Hunter Rise‘s story. Marks called the plot of Monster Hunter Rise "as thin as tissue paper," but ultimately didn’t see the lack of juicy plot as a deterrent to fun. Overall, he highly recommended the game and saw it as an entry point for hesitant hunters.
Monster Hunter Rise might satisfy BotW fans
Sam Machkovech at Ars Technica urged Zelda: Breath of the Wild fans to pick up a copy of Monster Hunter Rise. Machkovech claimed that Monster Hunter Rise technically outperformed Breath of the Wild, but that both games should be applauded for their creativity and rethinking of older franchises. Like Breath of the Wild, Machkovech said, Monster Hunter Rise thrives on discovery and exploration and encourages players to find things out for themselves.
Machkovech explained that "Capcom was clearly confident in the game and gave us significant lead time ahead of this review, which meant I could take my time and return to the game at my leisure." Indeed, Capcom seems to have given most review outlets a lot of leeway with Monster Hunter Rise, which is almost always a good sign.
With overwhelmingly positive reviews and a massive built-in fanbase, things are looking good for the newest Monster Hunter game. Monster Hunter Rise will have a timed release on the Nintendo Switch on March 26 before coming to PC in early 2022.