I’ve mentioned before how much I love Monster Hunter—even though, admittedly, it did take me a while to get into the series—but it’s amazing to think just how much Monster Hunter Rise shows off the Switch’s capabilities. While some publishers can barely manage to get 15-year-old games running competently on the platform, Monster Hunter Rise looks great and plays almost identically, if not (debatably) better than its predecessor: Monster Hunter World.
I’ve loved Monster Hunter Rise since I first played the demo, and more so when I got my hands on the full version, and really got to master the game’s incredible fluidity, and expanded combat mechanics. Of all the game’s on my Switch, it’s one of the few I still regularly jump into, so when I saw the announcement for Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, I was fully on board for more Monster Hunter content.
And what I got had me beyond elated—Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak not only adds new monsters, as well as some new variants on old ones, but also a breadth of quality of life additions that expand the game in ways that make it more accessible and fun.
The additional story has monsters native to “The Kingdom,” leaving their habitat and disrupting the natural balance of Kamura, causing the player to set off to the Elgado Outpost to investigate. When it seems the return of the “Three Lords,” has caused the Kingdom’s monsters to begin acting erratic, players must team up with the Royal Order to take down these fearsome foes and restore order—both for the sake of Kamura and the Kingdom.
It’s about as standard a story as one can expect from Monster Hunter that adds a lot of charming characters and quite a few additional cutscenes to go along with it. But the story is just the garnish on top of the gourmet platter of added content that bolsters an already amazing game. For starters, the Elgado outpost is a welcome, if albeit, familiar location that eschews the more traditional Japanese landscapes and themes of Kamura, for a more medieval style—less Samurai and more Chivalry. This is present even in the many armour sets that can be unlocked through defeating monsters, as they look more like full suits of Knight’s armour.
In order to acquire these sets of armour, however, players will have to clear the additionally added Master Quests—which seems odd to lock behind a paywall, as Master Rank and its accompanying quests unlocked naturally after beating the game in Monster Hunter World. While several of these Master Rank quests will have players facing familiar monsters from the main game, most Rank Up quests will have players facing either a new monster, or a new variant of an old one.
“The biggest selling point of the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak DLC, is the multitude of aforementioned combat improvements.”
There’s a lot of hunting to be done, and I’ve only faced a few of the newer ones, but I genuinely liked what they’ve done. The Blood Orange Bishaten is still as chaotic and aggressive as it’s counterpart, but now a fire-based monster that throws exploding pine cones at its enemies. The Diyamo Hermituar returns as well, posing an interesting challenge as its hard shell means you can only approach it from one side; and the Garangolm is a massive ape-like beast with two elemental arms that can cause devastating fire, and water damage.
The biggest selling point of the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak DLC, is the multitude of aforementioned combat improvements. Several of these improvements came with the 10.0 update—particularly being able to wall-run without Wiredashing first, which never made sense to me—as well as new Dango features that allow players to access higher level Dango abilities at reduced activation chances; and some new smithing features.
Furthermore, additions like Follower Collab Quests, which allow you to go out on Hunts with an NPC companion, add a unique layer to single-player gameplay, and give players a chance to actually interact with some new characters. Players can also access unique Meowsonary functions, and additional Buddy Skill abilities.
This add-on has me a bit conflicted though—for all the good that it adds, I question whether some of it really needed to be locked behind a paywall. Make no mistake, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is an incredible addition that is sure to please fans of both the series and Monster Hunter Rise specifically; but a $50 CAD price tag might be a bit steep for a few new monsters and some new combat abilities—love them, though I do.