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    Monster Hunter Rise review

    Need to Know

    What is it? Murder monsters then make cute hats out of their faces.
    Expect to pay £50/$60
    Developer Capcom
    Publisher Capcom
    Reviewed on GeForce GTX 1070, 16GB RAM, i7-7700HQ
    Multiplayer 4-player co-op
    Link Official site (opens in new tab)

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    A genuine pleasure over my lifetime in gaming has been watching Monster Hunter go from a niche favourite to wild success in Japan, and gradually making inroads in the west before—with Monster Hunter: World—smashing through and becoming a global hit. That’s perhaps over-simplifying the arc for Capcom’s beast-bashing grindathon par excellence, but the series now has a huge fanbase and the kind of resource behind it that has resulted in years of better and better games, as well as a distinct split.

    There’s the Monster Hunter: World take on the series, which has the fundamentals but is a seriously big-budget endeavour—a visual and aural spectacle with gorgeous, flowing animations and jaw-dropping monsters. Monster Hunter: Rise is the other branch, following in the footsteps of games like Generations and hewing closer to the series’ portable heritage: Smaller, more contained maps rather than larger more open-world style exploration.

    Fighting a monster in Monster Hunter Rise.

    (Image credit: Capcom)

    It’s actually difficult to describe a ‘typical’ hunt in Monster Hunter: Rise because part of the game’s inexhaustible quality is that there are so many dozens of large monsters by now it can mix-and-match them in endless new combinations. It’s also less shy than ever before about having monsters fight one another, which used to happen rarely in the older games but is now very frequent (you can also temporarily ‘ride’ the monsters during these and enjoy a Godzilla moment).

    This may make me sound slightly psychopathic but it is enormously satisfying to chase down a wounded creature trying to escape.

    The monsters look absolutely amazing, and the older ones have more aggressive and surprising behaviours than ever. This game is a riot: I went with gunlance (again) because I love it, and the weapon has certain familiar moves but also a whole bevvy of new ones that make it feel completely new. The more Rise you play, the more it has to give. You begin unlocking special moves that give each weapon’s moveset a new angle of approach, or a ten-tonne slam for when it’s needed (Gunlance’s big downside was always low mobility, but in Rise this feels irrelevant when you’re doggo-sprinting, grappling, and force-blasting across the landscape). Sometimes you try out a new ability, process what has just happened, then mime a chef kiss and give silent thanks to the Capcom brain that thought it up. 

    The sheer variety of Rise’s bestiary and weapons means that, even as the game cracks on at enormous pace, it doesn’t stop serving up new stuff for a very long time. There’s so much to do here, and it’s all laid-out and explained better than ever, with all of the little fiddly bits that used to annoy players just gone. Sure, this might be a Nintendo Switch game in origin, and visually it shows. But who cares, because it’s hard to shake the feeling that Monster Hunter Rise is as good as this series has ever been. Which is to say: As good as it gets.

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    As seen on PCgamer

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