Monster Hunter Rise Lets You Control Monsters and Ride ‘Em Around

There are no strings on m- Wait, no, never mind.

Monster Hunter Rise is just a couple months away, but Capcom still has more secrets to reveal. That includes the new feature called Wyvern Riding: allowing players to puppet big bears and lizards and whatnot like a lethal Pinocchio. If that sounds cool, it’s because it looks cool. You can see so for yourself in the new Monster Hunter Rise “Digital Event” video the developer streamed to promote the new features.

Wyvern Riding isn’t the only news, though. There were also some monsters in the video. Most of these are newly announced returning favorites — like one of my personal icons from the series, the bubble-blowing Mizutsune. There’s also the nasty, leech-y Khezu and a big, friendly bunny called Lagombi (they are not actually friendly). Many of these can be found in the newly announced ice region: the Frost Islands.

Following in the footsteps of Iceborne, it makes perfect sense to include a frigid biome. Capcom has all those character models just laying around! But I, personally, always want to see something completely new. We got a bit of that, too, in the form of Goss Harag. Though it features ice abilities, the strange creature is new to the series with Monster Hunter Rise. It’s classified as a Fanged Beast — meaning it’s more of a mammal than a dragon or giant insect — but looks awfully different than what we’ve seen before. Goss Harag is a sorta… shaggy rhinoceros… demon… thing. Only it stands on its hindlegs and summons ice weapons over its arms.

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The rest of the newly announced monsters include Great Baggi, Tigrex, and Barioth. Though there’s almost certainly more to come! While we wait, players can look forward to a free demo on the Nintendo Switch which will explain both Wyvern Riding and the new Wirebug feature. The latter feeds directly into the former, and is basically a replacement for the Clutch Claw system, also from Iceborne. It allows players to grapple around the battlefield and counter enemy attacks with special moves.

We knew most of that before today. What we didn’t know is that doing enough Wirebug attacks will set monsters up for Wyvern Riding. This is the puppeteering system, and it works pretty much like it sounds. Once mounted, monsters are entirely under the player’s control for a limited time. Getting hit reduces said duration. Though landing hits refills the gauge ever-so-slightly. Successfully Wyvern Riding seems to end in one of two ways: “wall bangs” or a super-powerful “Mounted Punisher.”

Wall banging is just what I call slamming monsters into walls. It’s a pretty important tactic in Iceborne, and the source of my Clutch Claw comparison to the Wirebug. Mounted Punishers, by contrast, are what Capcom calls the finishing attacks you can perform from a monster’s back. This requires one to fill up a gauge first, but promises devastating damage. As such, I imagine there must be some pretty steep restrictions on how quickly and how often you can engage in Wyvern Riding. The Clutch Claw mostly doesn’t work when monsters are enraged, for instance.

Monster Hunter Rise Goss Harag

The final bit of big Monster Hunter Rise news involved the supporting characters. Namely their names. They have them this time! Whereas most mainline Monster Hunter games just use generic titles for NPCs (e.g. the Handler, the Admiral, the Seeker, etc.). Capcom confirmed the character names alongside their duties in the game.

I’m already quite fond of Kogarashi. They’re a Felyne (read: cat person) who sends Meowcenaries on missions between hunts. That’s a long-running mechanic in Monster Hunter. This time, however, it seems to have a similar flair and attention to detail found throughout Monster Hunter World. Kogarashi sends their squads out by attaching the kittycats to kites. Does that make them kiteycats? Yes, I think so. I just love the absurdly adorable little animations Capcom drums up alongside cooking and such.

One thing still lacking detail is the so-called Rampage. This new mode has been teased as a major part of the Monster Hunter Rise story since its announcement. But the Digital Event video simply said to wait for more details. Honestly, I’m content to do just that. March 26 couldn’t possibly feel further away for my most anticipated game of 2021. But a demo with one of my favorite monsters will finally soothe my yearning.