Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Review – Sunrise Over The Kingdom
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak sees your intrepid hunter leave Kamura Village for an adventure across the sea to the Elgado outpost. It works almost like a brand new game, introducing a new HUB and cast of characters, languages to explore, monsters to fight, and weapons and armor to craft from their parts. . However, there is little information about Sunbreak that feels truly new or surprising. Adding Monster Hunter is never a bad thing, and Sunbreak is a great expansion with some clever additions that reinforce how good Rise is, but it’s hard not to feel a bit disappointed by the nature of the game. its formula.
For starters, the story is usually pre-built, centered around a brand new threat that makes all the monsters too aggressive. It’s as predictable and easily overlooked as any previous Monster Hunter story, although the new cast is at least more defined and interesting than those in Rise, in part because you spend more time on it. for them.
The new Follower Quest gives you the chance to go on hunts with various non-player characters, allowing their personalities to come out more than the series normally allows. These are single-player missions, but the complexity of the allies’ artificial intelligence makes them almost indistinguishable from multiplayer hunts. Your companions fight like other players, using life-saving potions at the right times, setting traps, attracting the attention of monsters for long periods of time, and sometimes disappearing before appearing on their backs another reluctant beast. You will notice them when they are actively helping you and they are smart enough not to let you down by doing something ignorant. These quests can be optional, but each will reward you with unique items, and they make crushing monster parts by yourself that much more fun.
Having a helping hand is also greatly appreciated as Sunbreak will break the training wheel in the first place. Rise isn’t an easy game at all, but its accessibility helped with a softer introduction to the Monster Hunter franchise, saving real threats to its post-campaign hunts. . To access Sunbreak, you’ll need to complete the Hunter Rank 7 missions in Rise first, so make sure you’re ready to tackle its new challenges. As you begin to expand and reach Elgado, you’re quickly promoted to Master and sent out to defeat some particularly tough enemies – although enemies you’ve mostly fought before. It makes sense to start throwing some familiar enemies your way, in case you get back into the game in a few months, but Sunbreak falls into the trap of dragging the process on for too long.
Your first hunt is against a variant of the Hermitaur, a large crab-like foe that has appeared in the series many times before. It has some new moves and it’s a new encounter for Rise, but for longtime players, it’s not the most exciting way to open an expansion. There are other subspecies of various Rise monsters scattered throughout, such as the Blood Orange Bishaten, which trades Rise’s normal Bishaten poison persimmons for exploding pine cones. For the most part, though, you’ll find the scammer’s gallery is familiar with slightly expanded move sets.
This is on par with that of course when it comes to the Monster Hunter endgame – what the Master Rank usually represents – but considering this is a paid expansion it would be nice if it were preloaded with a few new monsters. to avoid the feeling that you are simply revisiting the land that is full. As such, the first time you face a new threat is not until dozens of hours after Sunbreak, when you reach Master 3.
One change that Sunbreak introduced from the beginning was the Transformation Skill Transform. This allows you to cast two different Switch Skills loads into battle, allowing you to alternate between them quickly. Doing so puts you in a personalized animation that can also turn into a much more effective vibration dodge than your standard dodge and can use up to twice the amount of additional Transformation Skills. Add variety and dynamism to your offensive arsenal. However, like its new monsters, Sunbreak withholds unlocking new Transformation Skills until you reach Rank 4.
It would be nice if it was preloaded with a few new monsters to avoid the feeling that you’re just revisiting the land full of… , they’re almost worth the wait.
While it can be frustrating that so many of this expansion’s new additions have been put on hold for so long, they’re almost worth the wait. In particular, the new monsters are all great additions that offer unique challenges, and they are just as fun to look at as they are to fight. While Rise’s aesthetic is inspired by feudal Japan’s culture and folklore, Sunbreak is influenced by Western and European mythology. The Three Lords – a trio of notoriously aggressive monsters – are the standout monsters and exploiters of this new influence, introducing new things inspired by both werewolves and vampires.
For example, Lunagaron is a formidable wolf-like monster that stalks the Kingdom on four legs. That is, until it transforms into its true form and stands up on its hind legs, taking down hunters with razor-sharp claws and the ability to freeze air. Malzeno, on the other hand, is a fearsome adult dragon that is particularly cunning as it can teleport across the battlefield. Some of its attacks also cause Bloodblight status effects, draining your health and reducing the effectiveness of healing items. While you’re in this state, attacking the monster heals you for the amount of damage you deal, adding a bit of Bloodborne for intense encounters with Malzeno.
While you’ll frequently revisit each language from Rise throughout Sunbreak’s campaign, the expansion will add two new biomes: the Jungle and the Citadel. If you’ve played Monster Hunter 2 before, you’ll probably recognize the tropical island Jungle with its palm trees and white sandy beaches. It’s been superbly reproduced here, using Rise’s seamless map and increased verticality to update the 16-year-old’s location. The Citadel, on the other hand, is all-new, offering an eclectic mix of different environments for you to traverse during a hunt. You can go from fighting in a murky, poisoned swamp to getting work done on a frozen mountaintop, all against the backdrop of a ruined castle. Both languages are denser than in the base game, though each map has been updated with new endemic creature forms to enhance world survival.
New Wirebugs focus on wyvern riding, making punters’ attacks more deadly or increasing the drop rate when two monsters clash. You will also find small creatures called Starburst Bugs stuck on various surfaces. These small bursts will explode if monsters collide with them, giving you another way to deal significant damage while riding on the monster’s back. However, the new Marionette Spider offers an alternative and much more satisfying tactic, allowing you to wrap your targets in silk before jerking them into an explosion. These new endemic forms may represent only a small change, but like Skill Switch, their impact becomes more apparent over time to how well they improve each hunt. .
Almost every other system in Sunbreak has been touched upon in a small but meaningful way. Bunny Dango, the pre-battle meal you prepare before embarking on a quest, now lets you change the effect of each Dango skill by changing the order in which you select them, adding a few more decisions purposeful entry into the process. Traversal has also been improved by removing the requirement to do Wiredash before it can be run on walls, which not only makes navigating each map much faster, but also makes them easier to use vertically. There are also new types of weapons and armor sets, Master Rank layered armor, decorations that you can attach to your gear to activate different types of buffs, etc. You can minimize your hunter to satisfy your heart.
Monster Hunter Rise represents the series at its best, and the subtle improvements made by Sunbreak will make meaningful improvements based on its gripping play loop, even if they aren’t apparent until a few hours later. . The lack of new ideas is disappointing, and this feels more like the challenging end of the original Rise is missing than a whole new experience. Still, the new and returning monsters are great, as are the two new locales, and it’s still relatively easy to lose yourself in the hectic world of Monster Hunter Rise. Sunbreak may not be as substantial as some of the franchise’s earlier expansions, like Iceborne’s for Monster Hunter World, but it improves upon Rise’s foundation with a host of other thrilling hunts. Unfortunately, most of them are all too familiar.