But I didn’t hate it. And over time, Monster Hunter Rise’s core loop – choose a mission, eat some food, kill a monster and dissect it for parts, talk to the villagers, craft or upgrade some gear, repeat – became sort of… fun? Actual, for real fun, and lots of it. New locations, NPCs, and mission types were subsequently introduced at a more comfortable pace, plus some new traversal gadgets to keep things interesting. Monster Hunter Rise also debuts the new Rampage mode, a sort of siege mode in which you must build defences and coordinate with NPCs to survive a mob of monsters. It’s chaotic and hard, but the loot is totally worth it.
The game’s various environments and biomes are fantastic too, with a new emphasis on vertical scaling – and although the maps are large, getting around them is now made much easier and faster with your Palamute, Monster Hunter Rise’s new, very good boi, doggo-like companion who, conveniently, is also a mount. You can even dress him up, if you’re into that, and everybody is into that, don’t even pretend you’re not. You can also retain the services of a Palico, just like previous Monster Hunter games, and they remain adorable as ever.
(For some reason, Gareth forgot to mention that the Palico food vendors in town are super adorable too, and they sing and dance when they’re cooking. I think this is absolutely, obviously Monster Hunter Rise’s most important feature, but this isn’t my review so apparently my opinion is irrelevant or whatever. I’m editor, though, so here’s a passive-aggressive screenshot instead. – Tarryn)