Monster Hunter Rise: The Best Weapons and Armor for Every Hunt
Rise follows many of the new conventions established in Monster Hunter: World while also introducing new features and mechanics, including a new animal companion called a Palamute that can be used to ride across the map or into battle, and the use of Wirebugs to traverse the world and mount and ride certain monsters. The game received generally positive reviews upon release with critics praising the gameplay and its expansion of the mechanics introduced in World. It has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide since launch, making it the second best-selling game in the series.
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As with previous Monster Hunter titles, Monster Hunter Rise has the player take the role of a Hunter, tasked with slaying or capturing large monsters using a variety of weapons, tools, and environmental features to damage and weaken them while surviving their attacks. Successful completion of the offered quests provides loot, typically in the form of various monster parts from the monster, which are used to forge new armor and weapons that can be used to take on more powerful monsters, forming the series' notable core loop. Several of the series' monsters return along with a host of new monsters developed for Rise. All fourteen weapon types that have been present in both Monster Hunter Generations and World, which mix archetypes of swords, shields, staves, bows, and guns, are present in Rise.
Rise uses the same seamless map approach introduced in Monster Hunter: World unlike the zoned areas typical of earlier games in the series. Its maps are more focused on vertical movement than previous games, as implied by its title, so new tools are given to the player to help with quick vertical scaling. The Wirebug, similar to the Clutch Claw added in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, allows a player to grapple and swing across gaps or to higher locations as needed. The Wirebug also has different interactions with each weapon type, adding to that weapon's set of moves and combos. Further, the Wirebug allows a player to engage certain monsters in Wyvern Riding, letting the hunter mount and control the creature to a limited degree as to either lead it into areas more amenable for combat or to engage in combat with a different monster.
Palamutes are new dog-like companion creatures in Rise. The player can ride them to quickly navigate the map without losing stamina. Additionally, Palamutes can quickly scale cliffs and perform attacks while fighting monsters alongside the player's other companion option, the cat-like Palicoes, who return from previous games.
Rise features both single player and local and online multiplayer modes with up to four hunters in a group. In single player modes, the player hunts with up to two of any combination of the Palico or Palamute companions. In the online modes, players selects up to one of either the Palico or Palamute to join them.
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In addition to the series' typical hunts, Rise introduces Rampage, a tower defense mode where the players must defend the base village from several attacking monsters. Prior to and during the attack, the players can set up siege weapons and instruct non-player characters to attack the monsters while the players attack the monsters directly.
Besides incorporation of new content such as new monsters and locales, the expansion Sunbreak adds in a Switch Skills Swap feature that allows the player to switch between two different skill sets while in the middle of a hunt without returning to a base camp. Current non-player characters in the hunting hubs can be befriended by the hunter character and then become companions that join the player for hunts.
In Kamura Village, the player-character is informed they have been promoted to a Hunter by the Guild by the Wyverian twins Hinoa and Minoto. They escort the new Hunter to the village leader Fugen, though along the way, the Hunter catches sight of an unknown flying monster far in the distance. Fugen congratulates the Hunter on their success, but warns that they have been alerted about pending signs of "The Rampage", a mysterious calamity that occurred fifty years ago where a large horde of monsters attacked the village in a frenzied rage. Fugen tasks the Hunter to prepare themselves for a possible recurrence of the Rampage by helping with various quests to protect and supply the village with goods while building up their hunting. Further signs of the Rampage emerge, and Fugen instructs the Hunter to go to the Stronghold, a battleground that guards the gates to Kamura. After repelling the attack, the Hunter, Yomogi, the village chef, and Iori, the "Buddy Handler", are suddenly attacked by a tiger-like, mace-tailed fanged wyvern, forcing them to retreat. Fugen tells the trio that the monster is known as "Magnamalo" who appears alongside the Rampage and feeds on monsters of the horde. Under Fugen's orders, the Hunter slays Magnamalo. Upon returning to the village, Fugen and Hinoa congratulate the Hunter on their victory. Fugen then gives the Hunter his Long Sword, which has been passed down in Kamura for generations.
After repelling another Rampage attack, as Hinoa wonders how long the Rampage is going to last, suddenly the same flying serpentine dragon-like monster that the Hunter saw earlier appears. Hinoa's eyes suddenly turn blue as she says, "Where is my queen? Where is my queen?" before regaining her senses. The monster is later identified as an Elder Dragon known as the Wind Serpent, Ibushi. After Ibushi is repelled, the group begins to question who Ibushi's "queen" is. Master Utsushi, the village's lookout, discovers who Ibushi's "queen" is: the Thunder Serpent, Narwa, who is Ibushi's female counterpart and mate. Further research from the guild reveals the origins of Ibushi and Narwa. Every fifty years, Ibushi, as well as Narwa, will emerge to mate with each other; in order to do so, Ibushi will wander the land to seek out Narwa. Ibushi is also known to cause destructive storms by sending dragon energy into the ground. This turbulence is strong enough to uproot trees and wipe out the landscape. This causes nearby monsters to become terrified and flee directly into Kamura Village. Meanwhile, Narwa seems to wait in a location she prefers until Ibushi is able to locate her. However, the disturbance caused by her presence and electromagnetic abilities tend to drive other monsters berserk, leading to a rampage event that regularly hits Kamura Village during the Serpent's mating process. This information reveals that the actions of the Serpent Elder Dragons are the primary cause of the Rampage. Due to the fact that Narwa had wiped out most of the village's hunters, they call on the Hunter to slay Narwa. After a fierce battle with the Thunder Serpent, Narwa is seemingly killed when she falls to her death. Narwa's corpse is not found, however, causing Fugen to believe that Narwa is still alive. At night, the Hunter witnesses Hinoa and Minoto (possessed by Ibushi and Narwa) talking to one other, saying that their offspring will roam across the earth.
After the end of the Rampage, the hunter is hailed as a hero and peace returns to Kamura. This peace turns out to be short-lived, as a hermit crab-like monster, a Daimyo Hermitaur arrives in the shrine ruins. The Hunter and Utsushi investigate and slay the Hermitaur but a new, strange werewolf-like monster suddenly appears out of nowhere and attacks the two. They are unable to defeat it until the arrival of a knight from Elgado named Fiorayne, who repels the monster, then explains that the monster is a Lunagaron from the kingdom of Elgado.
Fiorayne shares that her purpose in Kamura is to recruit the Hunter to help the people of Elgado face a trio of monsters called the Three Lords. One of the Three Lords, a vampyric elder dragon known as Malzeno, is believed to be making the monsters more aggressive and driving them out of the kingdom. As the monsters from Elgado are now threatening Kamura as well, Fugen accepts Fiorayne's request and allows the Hunter to travel to Elgado in order to meet its commander and defeat Malzeno.
Arriving in Elgado, the Hunter meets Admiral Galleus and his allies. The Hunter and Fiorayne soon face the first of the Three Lords, Garangolm, and defeat it. The Hunter and Elgado's lead scientist, Bahari, encounter a species of glowing red moth-like creatures called Qurio. Bahari believes the Qurio may somehow be responsible for the madness plaguing the monsters of Elgado. The Hunter and Fiorayne soon face Lunagaron again, who is the second of the Three Lords, and defeat it as well, but are ambushed by Malzeno, who seems to be commanding the Qurio. Malzeno poisons Fiorayne with a virus from the Qurio as it departs.
Although the Qurio have lost their host, they have begun killing monsters around the kingdom. The Hunter and Fiorayne find the citadel littered with the corpses of monsters, their life energy drained by the Qurio. The Qurio swarm gathers as a large pit opens from beneath the ocean near Elgado. An enormous monster, Gaismagorm, emerges from the pit, causing an earthquake. Before the creature can cause anymore destruction, Galleus arrives with his fleet and forces it back into the pit. Galleus and Bahari reveal to the Hunter and Fiorayne that the creature was the "Archdemon of the Abyss", a legendary monster that is said to rise up from underground and destroy the world. They also reveal that, based on their research, Gaismagorm is the true source of the Qurio and it sent them out to gather energy in order to free itself from beneath the sea. As Malzeno wasn't affected by the Qurio, it rivaled Gaismagorm and stalled its release. With Malzeno now dead, nothing is able to stop the Archfiend from emerging.
Monster Hunter Rise was announced during a Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase broadcast on September 17, 2020 for a worldwide release on March 26, 2021. Alongside its release, Rise included three Amiibo figures: a Palico, Palamute, and the game's flagship monster, Magnamalo. Using the Amiibo unlocks a set of unique layered armor for the player in the game. A month-long demo was released on January 7, 2021, featuring four quests with all fourteen weapons available as well as single player and online multiplayer support. The demo's release briefly caused the Nintendo eShop servers to suffer outages due to its popularity. A second demo was released on March 12, 2021. The game currently has free post-launch content similar to World.