It’s pretty rare to see any Switch exclusive game ported to other platforms, so Monster Hunter Rise is in pretty limited company.
Seeing as Nintendo games don’t go multi-platform, and the likes of Bayonetta, Astral Chain and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 are nowhere to be found, your comparisons are pretty much restricted to Octopath Traveller.
But what’s most impressive about playing the game on my PS5 is how naturally suited it feels to the hardware and how glorious it looks in 4K.
We already said that this is one of the best games made on Nintendo Switch and for good reason. This is Monster Hunter at its absolute finest. It’s vast, the missions are varied, it’s easy to pick up and get into, and it plays like a dream.
While many people’s experiences with this franchise will be limited to the excellent World of a few years back, Rise is more of a core Monster Hunter experience and the type of game that was exclusive to Nintendo hardware for the longest time.
That’s what makes this release so damned exciting. Because this opens up the franchise to millions of new players, especially since it’s also going straight into Xbox Game Pass. And it’s a fantastic point of entry.
Aside from the obvious that the game gleams and glistens in shiny HD as never before, making a miraculous, mind-blowing transition from the small screen, this capitalises on what made World so good.
There’s more of an openness to the environments rather than them being seperated into sections. The hub area is extremely vast and full of options and variety, like being able to order in trade requests, hire buddies to help out in battle and even a training section.
You can take on different quests in your own time, whether you prefer to gather materials or hunt down ferocious creatures. You can even choose to capture those you hunt rather than slay them. But the ultimate aim of Monster Hunter is fighting your way through to Urgent Quests where you take on the baddest of the bad, upgrade your Monster rank and become renowned through all the land.
The thing this does better than World is that it is much more of a pick up and play game. That’s what made this so perfect for Switch but that style of gameplay also works superbly well in an era that’s loaded with games. You can dedicate huge amounts of time to Rise if you want to, or play it in between other games.
The game is flexible and works around the player, which means it’s probably one that will find itself stuck in your library for the long term.
Getting around in Rise is also a lot more natural and fluid than in previous games, between riding your Palamute around or using the Wire Bugs to soar around the map. Which is all incredibly satisfying.
The thing I also really love about Rise is the way it builds up your main hunts. The way it shines the spotlight on these bad ass, ferocious creatures and really builds the pressure on the player as you try to track them down and go in for the confrontation. Not least because there’s a time limit.
Even when you’ve weakened down your enemies, nothing quite shows off how much damage you’ve dealt than the way hunts stagger and struggle to stay upright and in some cases desperately try to run away from you. Other times, if you make a monster really mad, they’ll come at you even harder and really put up a fight.
Monster Hunter Rise is just absolutely loaded with things to do between the optional quests and making sure you clear out areas of all contracts. Characters often have requests for you as you progress while the general gameplay flow stays constant, never losing itself or unravelling.
Where the game sometimes looked a bit rough on Switch, Monster Hunter Rise comes alive on current gen systems and really thrives on its new home.
My one concern is why Sunbreak wasn’t bundled in here at launch. One has to assume there’s still some exclusivity with the Switch and it will eventually arrive on other platforms too, but having the vast expansion added in here from day one would have made this an even more ridiculous value proposition. As it is, we imagine it’ll come with an additional price tag sometime this year, which some people might find a bit irksome having rather had it from the off.
But there’s really nothing to fault here. Monster Hunter Rise has started this year off with a bang. It was a pleasant surprise as an announcement and it has translated superbly to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. One of the best Switch games on the market just got even better and is sure to consume hours of your life in the months to come.
Monster Hunter Rise feels right at home on PlayStation 5. Between the DualSense support, 3D Audio, and the stunning 4K visuals, it’s a source of amazement and wonder just how well a handheld game has translated to such powerful hardware. Despite the disappointment of missing Sunbreak here at launch, this is a vast, valuable and enjoyable package that suits your playstyle, whether it’s a mission here and there, or a week of intense hunting.
+ One of the best Monster Hunter games got even better
+ Looks absolutely incredible in 4K, 3D Audio is spellbinding and the DualSense support is wonderful
+ Loaded with quality content that’s approachable for vets and newcomers
– Sunbreak is a surprising omission at launch
Monster Hunter Rise is now available on Xbox Game Pass, PC, PlayStation, and Switch
Played on PS5
Code Kindly Provided by Capcom
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