Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Hands-on Impressions
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Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak - DLC
I got the chance to play Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak before release, and I wanted to report my impressions on the game. Take what I say with a grain of salt, however: I was playing a beta version of the game, and while it was quite similar to the full release, some things are subject to change so whatever is here may not be true anymore.
After completing my first Master Rank quest and arriving at Elgado, I could instantly tell that the developers have listened to feedback and have resolved to correct problems from the base game, from big to small. One of the major improvements was the hub itself. Elgado Outpost had everything in one zone, so I barely had to see loading screens outside of going to and from quests, unlike Kamura Village where I had to use the fast travel system to jump around to accept Side Quests and receive rewards.
Sunbreak does its best to streamline a lot of the more tedious and unfun aspects of the base game, like grinding for talismans. There are items just for melding now, and by spending an MP Accelerant, you can receive them instantly instead of having to complete a quest to do so. You can also run up walls just by sprinting into them, see the trajectories of Great Wirebugs, have a Palamute use the Sniff ‘Em Out command to mark points of interest on your map, and more as you rise through Master Rank.
One of the new mechanics introduced in Sunbreak is Switch Skill Swap. With a quick combination of buttons, the player can switch between two fighting styles, which is completely free to customise to your liking. Playing with the new mechanic opened up a ton of opportunities for me while I was out on hunts. I mainly played with the Great Sword, and going from slowly charging up my attacks one second to unleashing a fast barrage of swings next felt weird but amazing, and I could do that in the middle of the fight without delay. It takes a little bit to get used to, but it was a very fun mechanic to play around with.
There’s also a new type of quest, available once you hit MR2: Follower Quests. Followers are NPCs from Elgado and Kamura who will help you in whatever quest you accept. Fiorayne — one of the new characters introduced in this expansion — will even join you on certain Urgent Quests, so if you’re playing multiplayer you can have up to five hunters in your party. Each of them have their own skills, weapons, and playstyle. They’re fun and very competent: they will heal, set down traps, plant bombs on sleeping monsters and will even leave a fight with a target to come back Wyvern Riding another monster to topple them down. No wonder they’re mainly restricted to single-player.
As for the monsters themselves, all the ones that were in the base game got updates to their movesets to make their fights a little more challenging for Master Rank. They’re a little harder, a little faster, and a little more aggressive. Meanwhile, the monsters and subspecies that weren’t in Rise are fun to fight and have some amazing-looking equipment with cool skills. I actually freaked out upon actually seeing Gore Magala in the game, as it is one of my favourite monsters from my first Monster Hunter game: 4 Ultimate. And seeing Espinas from Frontier opens the gates for monsters from lesser known Monster Hunter games to make it in.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak - Deluxe Edition - DLC
I do have some nitpicks but they’re minor in comparison. Wall-running is a little too sticky, there are two Dango skills named Defender, and I have to wait for whatever NPC I interacted with to finish their goodbye animation before I could do anything else like talk to another NPC or save. Other than that I’ve been having a blast doing each and every quest, and crafting all the weapons and armour I wanted throughout my time with the game. It is an improvement to the overall Monster Hunter Rise experience from what I’ve played. I’m still itching to fight more monsters, and I hope you’ll be accepting my Join Request soon when Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak comes out on 30th of June 2022.