Roughly nine months after its Nintendo Switch release, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak makes its way to Windows, Xbox, and PlayStation. Additionally, players will have immediate access to everything up to the third free title update. The expansion includes new locations, skills, and, more importantly, monsters. The expansion comes in Standard and Deluxe Editions, and the Deluxe Edition comes with cosmetics that you can purchase separately.
After saving the village of Kamura from certain doom, your character is asked to assist with monsters in the far-off outpost of Elgado. The changes in scenery and characters are very drastic with Monster Hunter Rise switching from a village inspired by Japan to a more Eurocentric setting. Elgado and its characters aesthetically feel more like Final Fantasy than the the game we’ve become familiar with. The charm and esthetic of the core game aren’t completely lost. There are a few areas where the old and new world exist in harmony, but your character sticks out in their gear when standing next to armored knights.
Once in Elgado, players achieve the rank of MR 1. Going from HR to MR is a huge leap in damage and defense for both monsters and players, continuing the Monster Hunter tradition of dramatic scaling. The big jumps between LR, HR, and MR incentivize player progression by attaching visible value to the gear. Even though the gear a player at the higher end of HR may have some nice skills attached to it, they won’t be able to take or do as much damage once they’re doing MR missions. The easiest way to do that is to harvest from the smaller monsters. There are Master Rank versions of your favorite armor and weapons from the core game and layered armor. Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is not that much different from a traditional MMO, and Capcom caters to this audience as such.
Mastering the Wirebug is more important now than in the original game. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne introduced the Clutch Claw allowing players to move around like Batman, while the Wirebug allowed players to maneuver like Spider-Man. I found the Wirebug more versatile than the Clutch Claw right of the gate in the core game because you’re moving more like a boxer in a circular space versus moving like a fencer going back and forward in straight lines.
Getting locked into only moving two directions is how you get carted in this game. Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak ups the ante by adding over 40 new Switch Skills. Managing Switch Skill load-outs will save you time and frustration. The game offers so much, but in doing so, navigating the menus is still a pain but necessary, and creating dedicated load-outs allows players to spend less time navigating the exhausting menus and more time on missions.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak also introduces the Switch Skill Swap mechanic, which allows players to preload two Switch Skills and swap on the fly while hunting. Players have five swappable Switch Skills, including Silkbind attacks. And just in case you’re mid-fight and need to swap out Switch Skills, the added bonus of the Swap Evade mechanic, which automatically lets the player evade after using Switch Skill Swap. It’s incredibly useful as a Hunting Horn player because the weapon is sometimes cumbersome, but its damage output and buffs make it worth it. Why choose between damage and support when you can do both? And with the increased mobility of the additional Switch Skills, I have increased survivability.
Read Our Monster Hunter Rise Base Game Review Here.
Another important mechanic that Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak introduces is at the canteen. A modifier called Hopping Skewers can make an effect from food 100% certain at the cost of lowering its level. Monster Hunter has always been about getting what you lack somewhere else. Suppose a piece of gear you like is missing an attribute; adding food and jewels is the second-best option. This balance is very helpful early on when you may lack the gear to do certain hunts but still aren’t busted enough for you to rely on it completely.
Everything from the core game has added functionality, even The Argosy. Argosy expeditions are how players farm without actually doing it themselves. Additionally, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak adds Backroom Deals and Bargaining skills to get more from Buddies during expeditions. Backroom Deals don’t cost anything and do not level up. However, Bargaining is a skill that levels but also costs points to use. Bargaining levels with the Buddy that you’re using. And as the Bargaining skill level increases, the quest duration for the expedition decreases.
If you are completely new to Monster Hunter Rise, completing the Gathering Hub missions is the quickest way to engage with the new content. Once you have completed the 7 Star mission “The Serpent Goddess of Thunder,” you can access Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak content. Additionally, Xbox and Windows also offer dual progression for cross-play. Capcom does a great job of providing new players with armor and weapons that can carry them through the late stages of the base game and into early Sunbreak.
Vets and new players should spend the first few hours getting familiar with all the newly introduced mechanics and features. It isn’t just about adding harder monsters in new locales but ensuring fans can have fun while doing so. Monster Hunter games are less forgiving than Souls games in some regards because of how erratic the monsters can be and the lack of a health bar. But it’s balanced with properly equipping the players well enough to survive the fights and incentivizing teamwork when applicable.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is a good expansion and continues the tradition of giving players a lot for their money. With events, free DLC, and monsters that will get added over the game’s life, players won’t ever feel cheated when it comes to spending money on this game.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak will be available for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 4|5 on April 28, 2023.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is a good expansion and continues the tradition of giving players a lot for their money. With events, free DLC and monsters that will get added over the game’s life, players won’t ever feel cheated when it comes to spending money on this game.