'Monster Hunter Rise' Review: New Features Make Hunting Beasts a Blast

9.0/10 - Nintendo Switch

Capcom has been hitting it out of the park with its Monster Hunter offerings lately. Monster Hunter World was a game-of-the-year contender back in 2018, and the Nintendo Switch's Monster Hunter Generations: Ultimate was an amazing port.

In 2021, Capcom looks to continue that momentum with Monster Hunter Rise, a Nintendo Switch exclusive that delivers the monster-hunting goodness that fans of the series have come to expect, with new features that make exploring and taking down gargantuan beasts a blast no matter how many times you do it.

monster hunter rise wirebug fall
Use the Wirebug to attack and avoid monster attacks in 'Monster Hunter Rise' Capcom


Monster Hunter Rise puts your character in the town of Kamura, a village located in a deep jungle where the locals specialize in using Wirebugs, a new mechanic that helps hunters climb mountains and subdue monsters.

The story sees the hunters of Kamura having to deal with a force called the Rampage, a horde of monsters that are approaching the village, led by the Magnamalo. It's up to you to start hunting these monsters one by one and find the Magnamalo.

It's a simple story that eases players unfamiliar with Monster Hunter into the games and how they work. It also adds new wrinkles to the world of Monster Hunter and monsters for seasoned players to enjoy.

Players will venture through various locations, from lush jungles to snowy fields to volcanoes, in search of the desired monsters. Different monsters appear depending on the difficulty of the mission, which players can gain access to as they complete a number of quests.

Many of the same monsters from past games make their return, but there are plenty of new ones that will give even the most seasoned players a sense of mystery as to how to take them down.

Thankfully, Monster Hunter Rise gives plenty of tutorials on how to hunt and catch monsters—perfect for new hunters—and how to use the new Wirebug and Wyvern Riding features, which we'll get to in the next section.

Rise also wonderfully escalates the difficulty of missions and hunts at the perfect pace. From Level 1, you'll be able to take down monsters at your level, to help you gain experience and material to build stronger weapons and armor.

There are also two separate mission lines: one meant for solo play, the other for online play. The solo lines are where I spent most of my time, as the monsters are easier to take down alone and are the perfect places to grind out materials to get the desired weapons and armor for my playstyle.

Online missions have monsters that can technically be taken out solo, but it'll take a lot longer—and with a time limit, you're better off joining a group. Rise's online capabilities are similar to past Monster Hunter games. You can hop into someone else's mission in the middle of it, to help out players, or set out on your own hunt and request help from others.

I was able to get some help from other reviewers who hopped into my mission and made my hunt a lot easier.

There's also the option of creating your own room to invite players, or joining someone else's, like other online games. This option is great when you have your group of friends ready to go, but if you're just looking for anyone to help you out on your mission—or if you're looking to hop into someone else's mission—using the request board is the way to go.

It took me about 20 hours to finish the main story quests, but there's plenty to do afterwards, including harder missions. Capcom has also promised updates post-launch that will likely bring new monsters to hunt in the future, which has me excited.

monster hunter rise magnamalo
The Magnamalo is the star of 'Monster Hunter Rise' Capcom


Monster Hunter Rise adds quite a few new features and game modes that deliver a lot of content.

The Wirebug mechanic is the biggest addition, and it adds a lot of exploration and hunting moves to your arsenal. Players hold two Wirebug charges at one time and, depending on the move used, will use a portion of the charge. You can use the Wirebug to dash forward, get out of the way of monster attacks or climb vertically up the sides of mountains and hills.

Just about anything is accessible using the Wirebug. Steep mountain sides can be run up, roofs of dilapidated temples can be reached—you name it.

Depending on your weapon, you can also use Wirebug attacks to deal massive damage against monsters, or to evade and reposition yourself.

For example, while using the Sword and Shield, your Wirebug attack will allow you to spin it in a circle to attack everything around you. Using your Wirebug attack when wielding the Bow will allow you to quickly evade oncoming attack while your weapon is still drawn.

Players can even use the Wirebug to ride on the backs of monsters in a mechanic called Wyvern Riding. Attacking a monster enough to have it fall will allow players to use the Wirebug to ride it like a horse. Then you can use the monster to attack other beasts, or slam them against walls for massive damage. It's a very fun mechanic and can help you turn the tide of a battle against your target, or hunt two monsters at once. Simply put, there's aren't many activities in the game more fun than hopping on the back of a Rathalos to take out smaller monsters.

Hunters will also have their trusty Palimute along with them on missions. These canines will fight monsters alongside you and your Palico (in solo missions only), and can also act as a steed to run through the locations, so you can traverse faster and save your stamina.

While hunting missions are what players will primarily be busy with, there's another line of missions called Rampage missions. In Rampage missions, players will have to fend off hordes of monsters before they break through the gates and get into Kamura.

Players will have a short amount of time to set up turrets, and even other hunters from the village, to help you fend off these monsters. It's an interesting "survival mode" style mission that can get very chaotic very quickly.

While they are different, I wasn't the biggest fan of the Rampage missions. There's so much going on, and keeping tabs on all of the turrets and monsters in your area can be a hassle. Also, there were times when I didn't know how I made it out of a Level 5 mission. I was certain that the monsters were going to break through, but my timer ran out and we survived.

Although I largely stuck to the regular hunting missions, Rampage quests are a great way to scavenge materials from different monsters at one time. It's a challenge for sure, for any hunter looking to change up their gameplay.

This is also the only place to earn Rampage Tickets that will give your weapon an added skill.


Speaking of monster materials, the RPG elements of Monster Hunter Rise are deep and give players so many options to play.

Not only does each of the 14 weapons offer different ways to hunt, but Wirebug attacks change what they do. Players can equip various skills and talismans that give certain buffs—and that's not even mentioning the armor.

I've spent hours just looking at weapon trees to see what materials I've needed. When I'd defeat a new monster for the first time, I couldn't wait to run to the smithy to see if I had unlocked a new weapon or armor upgrade.


Monster Hunter Rise is another win for Capcom. The actual monster hunting is as smooth as ever and the new Wirebug mechanic makes exploring the various locations so much fun and unique from other installments in the franchise.

The new Rampage missions are chaotic and offer a survival-style mode that can be challenging. Although I wasn't the biggest fan, there will no doubt be plenty of players who enjoy it.

While there are some moments of grueling grinding and the fetch quests can get a bit monotonous, the game is a must-own for Monster Hunter fans, and if you're on the fence and own a Nintendo Switch, you won't want to miss out on what may be one of the best titles on the console this year.

Monster Hunter Rise will release Friday, March 26, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.