In recent years, Monster hunter it has earned a certain reputation among gamers. The series has always been about the community, but the barrier to entry was huge. Capcom sought to correct that with Monster hunter world, however, and now they have gone one step further with Monster hunter rise.

Increase trademarks Monster hunterReturn to the Switch after World and its massive expansion, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, remained in another place. While World Y Iceborne focused on doing Monster hunter easily accessible with a feeling of great wonder, Increase seems more focused on giving players back the sense of charm and camaraderie that made the series so popular in the first place.

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He had played a good shot of Monster hunter world, but Increase instantly drew me deeper than World ever did. Much has to do with Increasethe feeling of getting back to franchise basics while still taking advantage of ease of access World brought to the table. Increase It still has handy tutorials and takes you step-by-step through your first searches if you wish, but the game is less cluttered. Gone was Astera’s admittedly overwhelming three-level home. Increase instead, it bases the player on Kamura, a simpler city where everything you need is in one easy-to-navigate path.

While World it was a prosperous and lived world filled with a colorful cast, Increase it’s about getting you into action. The game constantly prioritizes your hunts, and two constant on-screen billboards, one pushing you towards the Single-player Village missions and the other towards the Multiplayer Hub missions, keep that action in continuous focus. Sure, there are villagers with dialogues, their own stories, and their own missions, but your conversations with them are short and to the point. You’re not here to hang out with the blacksmith or watch a Barroth unload at the base; you’re here to refuel and get back on the field.

Fortunately for those who played World, you will get back to the rhythm of combat rather quickly. Weapons are handled incredibly similar to Increasepredecessor. I was able to pick up the long sword, my weapon of choice in World, and basically start running. If you are a newcomer, there is a training area where you can play with your weapons. Weapons in Monster Hunter are similar to choosing your main in Apex legends or Tekken; you want to try them out to get familiar with them and then learn the one that feels best for your style. I’ve always been drawn to Gunlance, Great Sword, and Long Sword, but your mileage can vary depending on how you want to play.

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You have some new skills thanks to the Wirebug in the game. Silk binding skills can prepare for great damage once the time is reduced. In turn, these lead to Switch Skills – powerful abilities that you can customize and unlock new abilities. The Long Sword begins with Soaring Kick, a flying kick that sets you up for a powerful kick, but it’s a pain to aim and aim, especially on smaller monsters that tend to move quickly. Finally, I was able to swap it out for Silkbind Sakura Slash, a special attack that allowed me to outrun the opponent and deal damage over time. A later update turned my overhead drawing into a highly effective double bar.

However, there are more new additions to the game than just a new city and silk-linked tactics. Most notable is his latest companion, the Palamute. Part dog, part saddle, Palamute really redefines how the game works. Chasing a monster in battle was previously one of the slowest things to do in Monster Hunter, but now you can ride your Palamute and still use items or even a whetstone while moving. However, it is well balanced by placing those abilities on a second friend. You’ll still have the mainstay of the series, the Pallico, by your side to help you heal, heal status effects, or deal damage. You can participate in a single player quest with two friends, one of each or two of the same. However, as long as you are online, you will not be able to take both of them into battle. This means that you can have an ally who can help you move or one who can use abilities to heal you or aid you in combat.

Fortunately, you can outfit your Pallico and Pallamute with a full set of gear, as well as yourself. Monster Hunter’s trademark gear system is back, with plenty of armor pieces to mix and match. Like other entries, it can also be incredibly frustrating. Your gear options are often limited to that rare piece of loot you haven’t been able to find, or the inherent abilities of the gear aren’t exactly what you’re looking for. You’ll also have some layered gear options, allowing you to style yourself to your liking. Once you’re done building yourself, turn what’s left into leftovers and equip your friends too, and you’ll be slaying monsters in no time.

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The new Rampage mode is also an exciting addition to the franchise and it also features single-player and online variants. It is essentially the Monster Hunter version of a tower defense game. Build weapons on platforms and defend against an army of attacking monsters for loot and new abilities. Completing them will allow you to unlock acceleration abilities for your weapons, offering improvements to key statistics.

But obviously, everything is based on the online mode. Monster hunter riseAs with other entries in the franchise, it is designed to be less about managing bars and payout levels and more about the thrill of hunting with your friends. It’s easier than ever to join a game from any screen, although the Gathering Center still exists to allow you to quickly respond to requests for help from other Hunters. Joining a fight proved to be a great way to get quick experience and loot to help build the team. There was a noticeable lag at times, especially when collecting items from the Item Box, but that was rare and didn’t interfere with gameplay. Online battles are honestly a real treat; there is something incredible about seeing an entire team working in unison to smash a giant monster.

Monster hunter rise It may be the best entry in the series to date for new players, and future updates will only allow it to get better. The franchise may have exploded with World, but IncreaseThe return to a less cluttered layout creates a friendlier experience that really opens up for new and old players. Whether you’re a series veteran looking to relive the excitement of your first hunt or a newcomer trying to break into the series, Monster hunter rise It’s worth a try.

Developed and published by Capcom, Monster Hunter Rise is available now for the Nintendo Switch. A PC port will be available in 2022.

CBR received a copy of this game from the publisher for review purposes.

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