REVIEW

REVIEW

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

August 23, 2022

GOOD

  • New and returning monsters & locations
  • Great follower collab quests
  • New endemic life and switch skills to help hunter mobility

BAD

  • Sunbreak takes longer than it should to introduce players to some of its new features
  • Rampage skills are removed from your weapons when upgraded to the Master Rank level

GOOD

GOOD

All in all, Sunbreak is an excellent addition to the Monster Hunter franchise. We’re spoiled with new endemic life, new characters, additional fighting players, and, of course, monsters. Players will not be disappointed.

With each new day, sunrise signals birth and a new journey’s start. And on this day, our journey begins at the sighting of Sunbreak. In this expansion to Monster Hunter Rise, Sunbreak takes hunters away from the village of Kamura to lend their strength abroad; To a new coastal outpost known as Elgado. It is here, you, as the savior of Kamura, will begin your journey and put your skills to work to help a new Kingdom plagued by a monstrous new enemy known as Malzeno.

And so it begins…once more!

If you’ve just completed Rise or are even just jumping back into it after a few months, Sunbreak will feel welcoming and familiar to you. With the expansion only allowing you to start after completing HR 7 quests in the original base game, you’ll begin Sunbreak with a fresh hub (Elgado) and a rather lively and expressive cast of characters that’ll help along this new journey. And, of course, there are some new monsters to take down, a particular highlight if you’re a veteran of the Monster Hunter franchise. Falling back to our rather colourful cast of NPCs, this time around I was excited by the surprise that some of them will now accompany you on quests and even fight alongside you. I wasn’t expecting how much I actually enjoyed this little tweak.

Yes, it’s no secret that often when fighting and even adventuring alongside NPC’s it can become a little annoying; Constantly being forced to follow behind them, being instructed to hit a switch or open a door and even clear a trap for them… all actions you could clearly do yourself. However, the follower collab quests in Sunbreak are nothing of that sort. In fact, it almost felt as if I was hunting alongside my own friend guild in multiplayer. The characters come along with a few quirky dialogue scripts, and more than that, they never seemed to get in the way. What’s more, they contributed to the hunts in ways even your own online hunting guild might not; Setting traps for you, attacking the monsters with a number of hard-hitting blows, following behind you on their own Palamutes, and even activating healing items to support you. And although they’re only mainly there through single-player quests, they still do appear alongside you in a few “Urgent” quests that your online friend guild can also join.

…it almost felt as if I was hunting alongside my own friend guild in multiplayer.

The Wonders within our World

Elgado’s companions aren’t the only ones around that’ll grant you aid on your quests. Just like in Rise, the Endemic life is full of secrets. Secrets not heavily guarded, mind you, so keep an eye out and you’ll be helped by wall-clinging crabs that’ll fire upon larger-sized monsters. These beetle-like bohemoths that seem to be minding their own business until fired upon, and then release an explosive reaction to any monster or hunter that gets too close. Or perhaps you’ll have to square up against a spear-shaped squid, who’ll inflict serious damage on anyone lured along their path. How any hunter or monster survives in these lands truly baffles me?!

Sunbreak also grants hunters access to new locales such as the Citadel. Areas with diverse environments including poison-encompassing swamps and frigid frozen landscapes. Even returning areas receive an upgraded re-imagining, including the wondrous jungle, with its lush and blossoming life filled with greenery, alongside its beautiful shoreline beach camp. It was all a joy to behold and explore.

But let’s be honest for a second, the real reason anyone truly plays Monster Hunter, is probably not for its pretty locations, interesting NPC’s or the fact that you can craft and create various items. Sure those are nice too. But well all know the real reason we play is for the MONSTERS. After all, it’s in the title itself, we’re here to HUNT MONSTERS. And thus, in the spirit of the franchise, Sunbreak not only brings back some well-deserving, and ferociously scary monsters but also introduces us to some nail-biting new creatures of the night. Creatures that’ll haunt your thoughts and dreams. And the trio introduced in this expansion are particularly capable of doing just that. So, let me tell you more about what you’re actually likely going to be most excited about…

It was all a joy to behold and explore.

Monsters Incorporated

Known as The Three Lords in Elgado, the three new monsters are nightmarishly beautiful in appearance. However, they also bring with them an assortment of fresh and incredibly versatile attacks. Our main nemesis, for example, has the ability to affect our healing capabilities with a status effect known as bloodblight. Under this effect, hunters will find that their health bar is restrained from maxing out or regenerating their health to its full extent. This causes even the best of potions to be ineffective. What’s more, your health will keep reducing during this time. Rather vampiric don’t you think? However, all is not lost, as attacking the monster in this status-induced form will grant the player health equal to the amount of damage you can inflict. So best make sure you’re buffed up and ready to go at it in full combo form during this time.

Another beastly opponent from the trio left me utterly bemused. Although it did not seem like this monster was bred to be a creature of the night, its colossal size and type can only be described as a King Kong-sized beast. With its large and slow movement, some early ‘experienced-hunter’ confidence was high but was soon stripped away. One hit from the beast along with its control over different elements very quickly left me heading back to camp, reconsidering the gear I had equipped… A truly thrilling challenge.

Best make sure you’re buffed up and ready to go at it in full combo form hunting The Three Lords!

Of course, some familiar monsters return and also had me excited. It was truly a treat to hunt Gore Magala for example. Sure, this battle could be considered an absolute pleasure or nightmare, depending on how your tackle it, but it’s definitely one of the monsters that is not only a thrilling challenge to hunt, but once defeated, also creates a rather aesthetically appealing weapon and armour set. Another monster I admittedly never got to hunt before as it was exclusive to a monster hunter spin-off game called Monster Hunter Frontier, was the Espinas. A rather savage-looking and well-designed beast which also possesses quite a cool-looking armour set. Other cool additions to the game are the duo of giant crabs, the Daimyo Hermitaur and Shogun Ceanataur, Pyre Rakna-Kadaki, a rather fiery and explosive sub-species, the annoying, yet majestic, Seregios and two of my personal favourites throughout the series, the King and Queen of the skies, Silver Rathalos and Gold Rathian.

Sunset

All in all, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is an excellent addition to the Monster Hunter franchise. It notably introduces another level of hunter rank, known as Master Rank, and I think players will not be disappointed. This expansion into the ever-growing world of the Monster Hunter series combines not only familiar-favourite locales, monsters, and crafting items but also introduces exciting new ones. We’re also spoiled with new endemic life, new characters, and additional fighting and hunting skills in the form of Silkbind and Switch Skills – which provide an extra layer of strategy I liked. And of course, in Sunbreak, we get the opportunity to once again use decoration jewels to equip on the fourteen different weapon type selections. And with all these additions and beloved returns, Sunbreak may just be an expansion, but it is simply a must for all hunters out there.

Written by Zain Moosa

August 23, 2022

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