Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak will be the first major, paid expansion for the dinosaur-slaying simulator. If prior precedent holds, it’s also probably the last, before we eventually see a fully-fledged sequel to Monster Hunter World. But one precedent I’m very glad publisher Capcom isn’t following this time is a staggered release date between console and PC. Sunbreak will be available on June 30, 2022 for both personal computers and Nintendo Switch (unlike the base version of Monster Hunter Rise and previous releases of MHW).
The original Monster Hunter Rise is no doubt a much better experience on PC, you see. Portability is a sad trade to make, but in exchange the game runs like a dream and looks great on home computers. Though it sadly doesn’t feature cross-save or cross-play with its Nintendo cousin. This means that, once again, I’ve been playing through the base campaign of a Monster Hunter game twice. Once on Switch and now on PC. Capcom is providing the same “boost” seen in MHW: mid-level weapons and armor that make blasting through the early game a breeze. Though it’s still a bit of a nuisance.
But more Sunbreak news, as seen in the Monster Hunter livestream today alongside the expansion’s release date, is a great motivator. We got a look at new NPCs, new locations, and of course new monsters. Original creatures like Lunagaron and Garangolm join mascot baddie Malzeno to form the “Three Lords.” These seem like the initial major threats in the new campaign — similar to the Fated Four from Monster Hunter Generations. Speaking of which, the lightning-fueled wyvern Astalos is joining Monster Hunter Rise as of Sunbreak as well. That just leaves Gammoth, the ice-armored woolly mammoth, missing from the Generations quartet. Though even more monsters will surely be revealed and kept behind the curtain between now and June 30.
Monster Hunter Rise could honestly use the injection of fresh content, too. The game got a few new monsters after its release in March of last year. These didn’t feel so much like add-ons as missing pieces of the whole, however. The game felt strangely incomplete at launch (almost certainly due, at least in part, to its development cycle slamming right into COVID-19). Further post-release content has focused on cosmetic additions. New costumes, fun gestures, in-game stickers: it’s all good stuff. It just didn’t live up to the wild standard set by MHW and especially that game’s expansion, Iceborne. As such I don’t know anyone in my admittedly anecdotal circles who’s still playing Monster Hunter Rise. Hopefully a fresh batch of content and PC parity will change that!
This is still one helluva Monster Hunter game. The high-flying Wirebug grappling hook system is incredible; the new monsters are largely excellent; Palamutes are cute. It does quite a lot of stuff right. Sunbreak stands a good chance of making it the kind of game you can play and play for ages — with friends and strangers.