Review Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

In support of its acclaimed action movie Monster Hunter Rise, Capcom has released a major content expansion subtitled Sunbreak. The developers have prepared for the players a new difficulty mode, an additional story campaign and many minor fixes. The DLC was released on Nintendo Switch and PC on the same day.

Monster Hunter Sunbreak is a global expansion for Monster Hunter Rise. To understand the context, we recommend that you read our review on Monster Hunter Rise.

After defeating the ancient snakes Narwa and Ibushi, the Monster Rampage has finally stopped and Kamura Village is no longer in danger. However, the danger came from where they did not expect. An ancient monster awakened on overseas land intends to destroy the local kingdom, which is why the defensive forces of the state were forced to turn to the great hero of the village of Kamura for help.

The main action of the add-on takes place in the trading port of Elgado. While the base game was based on Japanese culture and folklore, the expansion draws inspiration from European style with giant castles and shining armor. The approach to storytelling has also changed – Sunbreak features many more story cutscenes than Rise.

In its first hours, the addition is revealed rather slowly. The vast majority of new monsters are reserved for the second half of the story campaign, so at first you will have to hunt already familiar creatures from the original Rise. In total, exactly 17 new monsters are introduced in Sunbreak, which is quite small compared to similar expansions of previous games in the series.

By the way, among the updated zoo there are several iconic creatures for fans. First of all, this is Gor Magala – the title monster from Monster Hunter 4, which imposes a unique status effect on hunters called Frenzy. The second interesting specimen is Espinas, the first monster in over ten years to debut in Monster Hunter Frontier and be added to the main line games.

The developers have already announced a roadmap for free updates, according to which, by the end of 2022, hunters will receive about a dozen new monsters and their
varieties.

The main feature of the add-on is traditionally a new task difficulty mode – Master Rank. The ingredients obtained from these missions can be turned into powerful armor and weapons, or processed into talismans.

The overall difficulty of the gameplay has grown noticeably, but will still seem trivial to longtime fans of the series. The monsters have become faster, stronger and more aggressive, but they still lack the strength to compete equally with hunters and their pets. Given the expansion of the arsenal of skills with the use of the Bugbeetle, even the slowest and most clumsy weapons can become incredibly mobile and strong, leaving no chance for monsters to resist.

In addition to monsters, the expansion brought several new locations to the game. The first one, Jungle, is a reworked version of the zone of the same name from Monster Hunter 2. The second one is a completely new map called The Castle, which is a complex mountainous biome with many man-made buildings.

Unfortunately, both old and new locations feel very lifeless. Monsters aimlessly roam the earth in a random direction, not interacting with either their own kind or with the outside world. The developers have supplied fresh maps with a couple of natural traps, but they are all quite primitive and do not bring any variety to the battles.

One of the most interesting innovations was the Assignments of the Companions. In missions of this type, the player goes hunting along with story-driven NPCs controlled by artificial intelligence. In total, there are about 10 allies to choose from, including both old friends and new acquaintances. Among the possible partners, you can find the main characters of the original Monster Hunter RIse, such as the elder of the Kamura village – Fugena, or the twin sisters Hinoa and Minoto.

During the hunt, companions enter into dialogues between themselves and the player, which allows you to reveal the characters from a new perspective, unobtrusively advance the main plot and complement the overall picture of the world. Companion missions could be a great alternative to multiplayer hunting, but you can use computer allies only within special missions, which are quite few compared to regular missions.

At the same time, the developers completely ignored the Rampage mode, which was one of the key innovations of Monster Hunter Rise. Quests in this mode stop appearing exactly after the final mission in the village of Kamura, which, of course, makes sense in terms of storytelling.

Rampage was coolly received by the community. Among the main problems, players noted excessive length and repetitiveness, but still expected that the developers would at least try to fix these shortcomings with the release of Sunbreak.

The core gameplay that players love about the Monster Hunter series is slowly evolving and getting better. However, some of the key aspects of Rise and Sunbreak, such as the hunters’ high mobility, sometimes feel like overkill.

Ultimately, Sunbreak isn’t as exciting as it should be. Battles with monsters are not a serious challenge, and the rewards for completing difficult missions are completely based on luck. The lack of timed events, unique quests, and collaborations makes late-game gameplay a monotonous grind for the slim chance of getting slightly better gear.

Monster Hunter Rise was one of the most controversial releases in the series, and Sunbreak didn’t fix things. On the one hand, we have a classic Monster Hunter with a lot of monsters to beat and a hurricane of gameplay. On the other hand, there is always a feeling that something is missing. Enemies could be stronger, locations livelier, and the story more interesting. If you close your eyes to minor flaws, it’s easy to drown in Sunbreak for tens or even hundreds of hours, but in general the game came out too ordinary and faded, which is why it can get boring right after the passage of the story campaign.

In addition to monsters, the expansion brought several new locations to the game. The first one, Jungle, is a reworked version of the zone of the same name from Monster Hunter 2. The second one is a completely new map called The Castle, which is a complex mountainous biome with many man-made buildings.

Unfortunately, both old and new locations feel very lifeless. Monsters aimlessly roam the earth in a random direction, not interacting with either their own kind or with the outside world. The developers have supplied fresh maps with a couple of natural traps, but they are all quite primitive and do not bring any variety to the battles.

One of the most interesting innovations was the Assignments of the Companions. In missions of this type, the player goes hunting along with story-driven NPCs controlled by artificial intelligence. In total, there are about 10 allies to choose from, including both old friends and new acquaintances. Among the possible partners, you can find the main characters of the original Monster Hunter RIse, such as the elder of the Kamura village – Fugena, or the twin sisters Hinoa and Minoto.

During the hunt, companions enter into dialogues between themselves and the player, which allows you to reveal the characters from a new perspective, unobtrusively advance the main plot and complement the overall picture of the world. Companion missions could be a great alternative to multiplayer hunting, but you can use computer allies only within special missions, which are quite few compared to regular missions.

At the same time, the developers completely ignored the Rampage mode, which was one of the key innovations of Monster Hunter Rise. Quests in this mode stop appearing exactly after the final mission in the village of Kamura, which, of course, makes sense in terms of storytelling.

Rampage was coolly received by the community. Among the main problems, players noted excessive length and repetitiveness, but still expected that the developers would at least try to fix these shortcomings with the release of Sunbreak.

The core gameplay that players love about the Monster Hunter series is slowly evolving and getting better. However, some of the key aspects of Rise and Sunbreak, such as the hunters’ high mobility, sometimes feel like overkill.

Ultimately, Sunbreak isn’t as exciting as it should be. Battles with monsters are not a serious challenge, and the rewards for completing difficult missions are completely based on luck. The lack of timed events, unique quests, and collaborations makes late-game gameplay a monotonous grind for the slim chance of getting slightly better gear.

Monster Hunter Rise was one of the most controversial releases in the series, and Sunbreak didn’t fix things. On the one hand, we have a classic Monster Hunter with a lot of monsters to beat and a hurricane of gameplay. On the other hand, there is always a feeling that something is missing. Enemies could be stronger, locations livelier, and the story more interesting. If you close your eyes to minor flaws, it’s easy to drown in Sunbreak for tens or even hundreds of hours, but in general the game came out too ordinary and faded, which is why it can get boring right after the passage of the story campaign.

Completed on: PC Correct topics: none Duration: 15 hours (campaign)

Shovel Knight

Platforms: SWITCH PC Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Genres:

action
RPG

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