Seven things to know ahead of its Xbox Game Pass launch
Monster Hunter Rise launches into Xbox Game Pass in a few weeks, and having rinsed the game on Switch, we thought we’d share a little insight into what to expect when hunting season opens anew on January 20th.
Capcom’s latest game in its record-breaking Monster Hunter series is one of a few confirmed games coming to Game Pass in January. We played the hell out of Rise at launch on Switch and expect it to join the ranks of the best games on Game Pass, but it’s quite a bit different to Monster Hunter World. As such, we decided to put together this quick primer to let hunters know what kinds of changes they can expect from Rise, both in terms of gameplay and the Monster Hunter Rise achievements… hopefully you’ll find it helpful!
Learn to love the faster movement
Monster Hunter Rise is the fastest game in the franchise in terms of player movement, introducing a ton of new options that you’ll want to take advantage of to get around the battlefield quicker. The main new feature here is the Wirebug — an organic grappling hook of sorts that allows for air dashes, long-range swings, and recovery options in battle, as well as fuelling the new Silkbind attacks for each weapon. Wirebug movement can also be used to transition into wall-running and parkour for even greater freedom, but keep an eye on your stamina as this can be extremely draining. This all comes together for much speedier traversal and more vertical freedom, so it’s worth grabbing any additional temporary Wirebugs you find on your travels to help open up your options and keep you moving. In addition, the new Palamute companions also assist in movement as well as in combat. You can ride them to get around more quickly (like Iceborne’s Raider Ride mechanic), with the added bonus of being able to use items as you travel — sharpening, healing, buffing, and other menuing on the move saves a lot of downtime, plus you can leap from your canine friend to go straight into Wirebug movement or aerial attacks. You have a lot of movement tools at your disposal in Rise… use them!
Some weapons are drastically different
Each of the 14 main weapon types in Monster Hunter goes through changes with each new entry in the series, and Rise is no exception. Generally speaking, things are a little simpler than they were in World and especially Iceborne, although the extent to which each move set has changed varies wildly from weapon to weapon. Hammer is a good example of one that changes only slightly, with the main difference being the removal of the Power Charge in favour of a style switch that toggles between Strength (raw damage) and Courage (more multi-hit moves) modes to make slight adjustments to attacks and combo paths depending on what kinds of weapons you use — element and status Hammers appreciate Courage to help layer on effects quicker, while raw damage weapons naturally work better with Strength. Hunting Horn, meanwhile, is one of the more radical overhauls, going from being one of the most technical and skill-based weapons in the franchise to being incredibly easy to set up and use. Experts may find the new system an oversimplification, but it’s a small price to pay to increase the usage of one of the least popular weapon types and an amazing support tool. Whatever your weapon of choice, you’ll want to put in a little time on the training ground and in easy early missions figuring out what’s new, as it’s incredibly unlikely that all of your old combo paths from World and Iceborne will be exactly the same in Rise.
Little monsters are your friends
Monster Hunter World introduced various forms of endemic life that could give you a quick boost in hunts when you find them, from swarms of Flashflies that serve as a one-off Flash Bomb when agitated to things like Paratoads that you could lure large monsters towards for a free status proc. Rise takes this concept several stages further — useful little critters are more plentiful and are now portable to make them easier to use when and where you see fit, while even more types have been added that have unique lingering effects. These can be broken down into two types, with some offering temporary bonuses (like World’s Wiggly Litchi bugs that reduced stamina drain) while permabuffers offer slight increases to stats like health, stamina, and attack that last for the duration of a hunt. Especially ahead of longer, tougher fights, it’s worth exploring the map to round up as many of these little creatures as you can, as they can give a considerable edge when stacked.
Rampage missions are kinda awful
One of Monster Hunter Rise’s marquee features is the Rampage — a new type of quest that forces you to repel dozens of large monsters at a time. These hectic missions have their own special arenas and incorporate tower defense mechanics, making you place various elements such as ballistae, bombs, and lures with which to see off the incoming hordes. Beating various challenges during a Rampage will rank up your tools to open up new gear and upgrade existing installations, with some even unlocking the option to end the quest early, giving you an out in case you get overwhelmed and may otherwise fail the mission. Normal weapon damage is far too weak to be useful here until a Counter Signal is fired, giving a temporary but massive boost to weapon power that makes getting hands-on during these short windows your strongest option. I’m not sure whether it’s me being a bit of a MonHun purist or just my active dislike for tower defense in general (likely a mixture of the two) but I detested Rampage missions as soon as the novelty wore off after the first few — your mileage may vary, but it’s a completely different kind of gameplay, so that’s something to be ready for, if nothing else.
Mounting has completely changed since World
If you were the kind of Monster Hunter World player who constantly went fishing for mounts by throwing yourself off ledges and down slopes, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you. Mounting has been completely overhauled, or rather replaced, with a new Wyvern Riding system that combines elements of traditional World mounts with a bit of Iceborne’s Clutch Claw. Large monsters weakened with lots of airborne attacks or by other monsters will be downed, letting you hop aboard to take full control and effectively play as the monster for a short time. The best use case for this is when there is another boss monster around, as you can scrap with it to eventually power up a Mounted Punisher for a big knockdown as well as a bunch of dropped materials, although when riding a solo monster, you can still slam it into walls or hazards to get a shorter knockdown and a bit of free damage. It’s a fun system, especially in the Rampage (a single Rathian can backflip its way through entire waves) but it might take a little learning, especially if you’re used to the older systems of World and Iceborne.
Crown achievements are back
Urgh. Yes, sadly, some of the most heinous Monster Hunter World achievements look set to be reprised in Rise, namely those that require you to hunt creatures of extreme sizes in order to earn crowns for each species. We’re yet to pull in the Monster Hunter Rise achievements, but the Monster Hunter Rise trophies popped up on TrueTrophies earlier today, confirming our fears that these gross achievements could return. The issue stems from the fact that these are purely luck-based achievements, forcing you to farm pretty much every monster until the fates give you one that is either very small or very large. Looking at the trophy list, this won’t be the only brutal grind, either — from collecting and photographing a ton of endemic life to hunting 1,000 large monsters to unlocking a bunch of skills and outfits, we can already tell this will be no quick or easy completion.
For the love of Gogmazios, change the audio language
For some bizarre reason, Capcom decided to have player characters get extremely chatty in Monster Hunter Rise. During a hunt, they’ll constantly spit out all manner of cheesy one-liners that really just cheapen the action and add an unnecessary layer of cringe, but thankfully, there’s a way to shut them up… well, sort of. As well as several ‘normal’ voice languages, Monster Hunter games offer the option of ‘Monster Hunter language’ — the franchise’s own made-up language that just has them chatter unintelligibly instead of saying things you may understand. This is hands-down the best option in most games, but especially in Rise, as that incessant chatter gets old really fast.
And that’s your lot! Planning on joining the hunt when Monster Hunter Rise launches for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Game Pass on January 20th? Let us know, and hopefully this little primer has been helpful in preparing you for your next hunt!