Monster Hunter Rise PC
Capcom

Monster Hunter Rise finally arrives on PC: will the RE Engine once again prove to be a small technological masterpiece?

In Japan Monster Hunter has always been a cult. Inextricably linked to portable consoles – culturally the most popular among Japanese gamers – after the monstrous success of Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (known here as Portable 3rd, in fact), the saga is considered in those parts a sort of must have for any hardware “by travel “, and it is therefore not surprising that Nintendo wanted at all costs to grab a chapter exclusively for Switch … especially after the explosion of popularity in the West following the excellent World and Iceborne.

This peak of notoriety has exceeded – very probably – even Capcom’s remarkable expectations: by taking advantage of the loss of audience of some well-known online titles and slyly placing itself in the middle of that exodus, the software house has captured a gigantic fanbase of newbies who have made a series in the past noticed by few on our shores more mainstream than ever.

With the increase in success, however, the expectations of the public, increasingly hungry for news and content, are also raised; It is therefore a testament to the ability of the current Capcom that Monster Hunter Rise has managed to keep up with these desires, thanks to a more advanced gameplay than ever and to a technical sector that is nothing short of exceptional if we consider the chosen platform.

Today, however, our intent is not to retrace the success story of Monster Hunter Rise or the whole saga, but to analyze its placid landing on the tumultuous shores of PC users: an important litmus test both to further consolidate the already highly appreciated RE Engine that moves everything, both to ensure a further expansion of the fanbase after the excellent sales on the Nintendo console. For the review of Monster Hunter Rise for PC we tried the game for a long time, trying to properly evaluate its technical characteristics, and we found ourselves in front of a real pearl of optimization, even higher than our most optimistic forecasts. Let’s see why.

Structure: the old and the brand new

We’ve already reviewed Monster Hunter Rise on Switch and analyzed its structure, but it’s always a good and right thing to brush up on everything. Capcom’s latest Monster Hunter is in fact a curious fusion of old and new, which significantly evolves several elements of the saga, but at the same time slightly detaches from what is seen in World and Iceborne to return to a more classic vision of progression.

The narrative element is in fact here skin and bones, less integrated with the progression and mainly linked to the Village Quests (although, especially at the end, not exclusively to those). These are mostly cutscenes tucked between one main mission and another, and designed to carry on a banal plot that resembles those seen at the beginning of the series. If nothing else, the characters that surround the events are pleasant, however do not think you are in front of a Monster Hunter with a particularly structured story: as always, the heart of the series is the fundamental gameplay loop; everything else is decoration.

Monster Hunter Rise
Capcom

Speaking of the village quests, these come back in perhaps even easier form than in the past, and represent a perfect introduction to hunting for those who have not had the opportunity to practice with the previous chapters (or for those who want to quickly get to the more difficult challenges offered by the game). Monsters during these missions have low hit points after all, and any hunter with some experience can complete them in under ten minutes each. Finishing the mandatory ones, however, allows you to unlock special quests with multiple monsters to be eliminated that allow you to move to the next level of the “guild quests”, more similar to the challenge level of the past Monster Hunters and necessary to later unlock the High Rank, where it begins. in some ways the real game. It is a careful content management, which is not lost in frills and allows players to approach the adventure at their own pace. Furthermore, it is nice to see how the more boring and backward structures – such as the egg and material recovery quests – have been either largely eliminated or dampened by the changes to the gameplay, for an overall experience much more focused on the actual hunting. Undoubtedly the best choice, given the level reached by the combat system in this chapter.

Gameplay

As already mentioned above, the gameplay here is emperor: each chapter is an action of rare mechanical complexity, where the choice of a weapon immensely changes the approach to battles, the variety of systems is absolutely impressive, and the development of the character. it is exclusively related to the crafting of his equipment with the pieces of the eliminated monsters.

World and Iceborne had already implemented multiple innovations in all this good news, significantly speeding up and modernizing the experience (although not everything had gone down smoothly to the veterans), yet Rise is perhaps the biggest systemic revolution since then, because not only does it apply a “customizable” approach in some ways close to that seen in Generations with styles, but it significantly increases mobility with the addition of wire insects: in effect the equivalent of winding maneuvers that allow hunters to move freely in the air.

Monster Hunter Rise
Capcom

Thread bugs are a stratospheric addition that we already talked about in the previous review: they offer a myriad of additional escape and approach options, a control of your alter ego never seen before in the series, allow you to recover from the ground instantly, and they even change the basic maneuvers of the weapons used. Yes, because their charges are also consumable for the execution of some special moves, which can be replaced as you progress through the game.

The connection with Generations lies precisely here, because these choices lead to the use of styles that are often completely different from the basic one (such as for example for the double blades, which can become almost an aerial weapon, or the hammer, whose charges are transform into small loadable combos that completely change their pace). The transition from one fighting style to another is not as sudden and immediate as in that chapter, but there is a greater degree of customization that allows you to adapt your weapon in a way that we believe is even more pleasant to your habits.

All in all? Fabulous for anyone who loves complex and well-calculated combat systems, and a sensitive step forward that really bodes well for the future of the brand. And yes, we know well that there was some stumbling block this time too: the possibility of riding monsters perhaps excessively facilitates multiple hunts (although not as abusable as the repetitive wall stuns seen in Iceborne speedruns), the companions make sometimes the somewhat chaotic battles (and the Felyne are infinitely more useful than the Canynes, despite the possibility of riding the latter), and the implementation of the Furies – horde phases to be faced in a way similar to tower defense sections, very different from classic hunts – not everyone liked it, given that this new modality is sometimes badly balanced (too easy in a group, even irritating at times in single); yet it would still be crazy in our opinion to criticize the gameplay of this Monster Hunter. It is mechanically the highest point of the series, with no ifs and buts.

If you then calculate the fluidity deriving from the release of the frame rate on PC, things get really sensational at times; on the other hand, a system built around the complex movement where the fluidity of the dodges and the attacks in flight are an integral part of almost every battle earns infinite points from precise commands and without any delay in the response.

Technical sector: a king of hunting optimization

Already on the Switch Rise it was a small optimization miracle, with its 30 fps all too stable and a graphics quality among the best seen on the Nintendo hybrid. On PC, however, the always excellent RE Engine once again finds its natural ecosystem, thanks to a really high-quality port. We tested the game on a pretty powerful configuration, true, but we never had half a hiccup with every option set to full, high-resolution textures and unlocked frame rates. If you decide to keep everything still at 60 fps there are no drops, frameskip, or freezes of any kind (very few microscopic scatterelli seen only in the village of Kamura have happened only once, and we have never seen any appear in the maps). Things get even more sensational during the exploration of the maps, where at the unlocked frame rate we constantly traveled above 150 fps regardless of the location, even in the most excited phases of the battles (including the Furies). The fact that the videos are still at 30 fps, however, is a negligible lack to say the least.

Even the graphics options available are very respectable, and outside of the “predictable” ones it is even possible to set the screen to 21: 9 for ultrawides (can also be used on normal screens to widen the view, even if obviously you have to live with the black edges), vignetting effect, depth of field, motion blur, and even some pretty striking additional aesthetic filters (including a couple that bring the game’s aesthetics very close to black and white films).

Monster Hunter Rise
Capcom

Of course, the polygonal models are always the same and the general level of detail is not scary, so it is quite obvious that an engine already very well optimized on the Nintendo Switch will make sparks on a good PC; yet, given certain modern ports that are anything but sparkling, it is really nice to see Capcom once again on the piece with a respectable job. The only real flaw? It is not possible in any way to import saves from the Switch version, and there is no cross play with players of that platform. So, if you want to be ready for Sunbreak, you’ll have to do it all over again.

If nothing else, the basic version of the game will not be waiting for you: Rise on PC contains all the updates after launch, including the real ending of the game, and there will be no shortage of things to do in the final stages. Just one note, during the review phase we did not have the opportunity to properly test the stability of the title on the net. We do not believe there will be big problems, but it should be emphasized, because in this field the flaws can always occur, and the online experience is always and, in any case, an integral part of Monster Hunter.

GameZone Star review

Pros

  • Port of excellent quality, very well optimized and full of options
  • The game contains the main content updates
  • Outstanding Combat System further elevated by the introduction of wire bugs

Cons

  • The Furies won’t go down at all
  • The increase of maneuvers actually lowers the general difficulty, especially for the experts

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