Monster Hunter Rise PlayStation 5 Review

After a period of exclusivity for the Switch, Rise already appeared for the PC. Now, almost two years after its original release, the rest of the consoles are up for grabs as well. As such, this is purely about Rise. For the expansion Sunbreak you will have to wait until the spring of 2023. While it’s obviously good that Rise can now be experienced by everyone, it still feels a bit wry. Rise in its latest patch contains a huge amount of content, but doesn’t feel complete without Sunbreak’s improvements.

Minimal improvements

Actually, little has changed in this version compared to the PC version that Sven reviewed last year. Even on current PlayStations and Xboxes, Rise looks fine – as long as you keep in mind that it was originally a Switch game. On PlayStation 5 and Series X, you still have the advantage of being able to play it in 4K at 60FPS. As a little bonus for the PS5 owners among us, the DualSense’s adaptive triggers are supported when using your bow or shield, for example.

At the same time, the world of Monster Hunter has not stood still during that time. With World and Rise, the series was already moving further into the direction of power fantasy. No longer did you have to make endless preparations for each hunt, track your prey, or guess when it was weak enough to catch. The series is also less and less about mastering a limited moveset, and more about using greatest attacks effectively with ambient traps, mounted attacks and “wirebug attacks” that could be straight out of a Shounen anime.

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Incomplete version

When Sunbreak came out last year, it brought not only new monsters and environments, but also new moves and systems that built on the above. The Switch skills in particular had a huge impact. Now I have to say I’m not a fan of the direction Monster Hunter is going, but after playing Sunbreak, Rise feels incomplete in the way your hunter is controlled. ‘Wirebug attacks’ that generate resources here cannot be exchanged directly for the counterpart that spends the resource. Swapping switch skills was a very logical addition and you notice the lack of it here immediately.

Another thing that stands out is how easy Rise is compared to Sunbreak (or World, for that matter). This struck me in my original review already on, but especially after all the patches and with a free armour set gift, I raced through the low rank guild quests on my own. Now here is Rise in the latest content patch, including all the extra challenges. So at the end of it, a Teostra or Valstrax will be able to hit the brakes quite a bit. Still, this remains the least challenging Monster Hunter title in the series.

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Of course, if this is your first introduction to Rise of Monhun in general, that need not be a problem. Even then, it is still a bit stingy to first release the game without the expansion when that expansion is already more than half a year old by now. All sorts of features that may by now be considered standard are also missing here. Other than cross-gen matchmaking between PS4 and PS5, no cross-play is possible. Logically, that means cross-save functionality is likewise conspicuous by its absence.

All in all, of course, this port is a last-ditch effort to knock some more money out of Rise (and later Sunbreak) – and Capcom is right. However, the changes are somewhat minimal compared to the PC version, and it’s a shame that Sunbreak doesn’t come with the base game right away. Also, Rise stands out somewhat ugly against the now five-year-old World in both graphics and diversity of gameplay and challenge. Let’s hope Capcom announces a larger-scale sequel soon. In any case, I can’t wait for Generation 6.

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