Capcom featured Monster Hunter Rise prominently at Tokyo Game Show, with not one, but two 20-minute gameplay demos with developer commentary. After that showcase, we had the opportunity to interview Monster Hunter Rise producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and director Yasunori Ichinose, and learned even more.
Here is some of the most important new information about Monster Hunter Rise for the Nintendo Switch, from skippable cutscenes to how Capcom is handling Nintendo Switch Online.
1. The New Normal Naming Convention
This is more of a big picture detail, but you should know Monster Hunter games with subheads, like World and Rise, are the new norm.
Tsujimoto said each new game is based around a specific theme or concept, and they decided that it would be better to give new Monster Hunters a title that reflects their focus – for example, World’s introduction of large, open areas, and Rise’s emphasis on verticality.
Specifically, I asked if Rise and World were examples of a new normal naming convention, and if we were done with numbered Monster Hunters. Tsujimoto responded with: “Yeah… Each new game is based around a specific theme or concept, and we decided that it would be better for the players to understand what kind of, what the game is about, if we give the game a title that reflects what it’s about rather than just a number. So yes, we will be doing this in the future as well.”
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2. Rise Is “Very Much Its Own Unique Thing”
Though it has shared similarities with Monster Hunter World, Tsujimoto and Ichinose insisted it’s “very much its own unique thing” and “not just a carbon copy of World.”
Ichinose was the director for Monster Hunter Generations, and had been wanting to make a new portable Monster Hunter, which he began working on largely in tandem with Monster Hunter World – this game became what we now know as Monster Hunter Rise.
“If you try out the game, I’m sure you will notice that it is very much its own unique thing,” Ichinose said. “We have some of the same quality of life improvements [as Monster Hunter World], but it is very much focused on the Switch as a platform.”
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As for whether Rise “feels” more like World or a more classic Monster Hunter like Generations, Ichinose said “there are elements from Generations and from World, but, [Rise is] going to have its own unique, new things as well. Some of which we are not allowed to talk about yet. So there’s a lot to look forward to.”
Ichinose also said that Rise will certainly feel like a Monster Hunter, and every game in the series has to meet those standards as not to alienate fans. With that in mind, any experience from any past game, whether it’s World, Generations, or an older Monster Hunter game, will prepare you for a new game in the series.
3. Single-Player and Multiplayer Quests are Separated
If you’ve only played Monster Hunter World, you’ll be used to the idea that all key quests can be completed either solo or with friends. But in previous Monster Hunters, there was a separation between the two playstyles, with single-player quests accepted in the “Village Hub” and multiplayer quests accepted in a “Gathering Hub”-like location.
This more traditional method of quest separation returns in Monster Hunter Rise – but don’t worry, single-player progression won’t affect your ability to progress in multiplayer quests and vice versa. However, past Monster Hunters did require players to progress the single-player campaign in order to unlock certain features and facilities, and we don’t know if this is the case for Rise just yet.
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4. Monster Hunter Rise’s Cutscenes Can Be Skipped
In Monster Hunter Rise, cutscenes are skippable in both multiplayer and single-player. This means they will no longer create a barrier to joining multiplayer quests, like they did in World.
“We made sure not to put too many restrictions on that,” Ichinose explained. “…So, you can play with anyone you want. The only restrictions that are in place are your Hunter Rank [your character level in multiplayer].”
Thankfully, you will always be able to rewatch these cutscenes at your leisure, even if you do choose to skip them initially.
5. No, Monster Hunter Rise Is Not Inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
In Monster Hunter Rise you can climb and explore pretty freely, so it’s not hard to make comparisons to another familiar and explosively popular Nintendo Switch game. I’m sure Ichinose and Tsujimoto have heard this comparison quite a bit already, because they burst out laughing when I asked if Rise was inspired at all by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But contrary to what people might think, Breath of the Wild isn’t the inspiration behind Rise, as the team has wanted to create a Monster Hunter with a lot more freedom of movement ever since they completed Generations – which was released in 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS.
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“[Monster Hunter games] already had a lot of exploration elements to them, and we basically wanted to build on that. We wanted to give the player even more freedom to move around,” Ichinose said. “Just moving around alone is going to be a lot more fun in this game.”
As far as how this freedom of movement affects combat, I was told “it doesn’t mean that you have to use the Wirebug during the battle, but monsters’ attacks have different variations, and depending on where the hunter is, there are monsters that will change their attack methods.”
So don’t expect to be able to cheese monsters too badly by taking advantage of being able to traverse walls. Ichinose also said, “We hope that players enjoy having the freedom to do various actions by using the Wirebug.”
6. All About the Wirebug (and More Surprises to Come)
In both the trailers and TGS gameplay, we’ve been able to see quite a few flashy new attacks made possible by consuming the Wirebug gauge. These attacks remind me of Generations’ Hunter Arts – however, Ichinose explained that while Hunter Arts were mostly used as a “sort of special moment that could only be used occasionally because of long cooldowns,” the Wirebug attacks are something they “actively want players to use during combat in between attacks to make new combos.”
Also unlike Hunter Arts, these Wirebug attacks are not customizable. However – here comes the exciting part – there are other new elements regarding actions that they can’t talk about yet. They said to please look forward to that. (And as a bonus detail about combat, they told me there would be no armor skills that augment the Wirebug’s abilities.)
7. Icons Are Being Adapted to Suit the Nintendo Switch’s Small Screen
I must admit, I didn’t actually notice this myself, but I did see plenty of buzz around it online – and like me, the director and producer were surprised that so many people were talking about it: the change in the antidote icon. In previous Monster Hunter games, the antidote icon looked exactly like a potion except it was blue. However, in Monster Hunter Rise it has a totally different shape. This is because they are adapting some icons to be more legible on the smaller screen of the Switch. As a result, they’ve been looking over existing icons and fixing them to suit the Switch as necessary, like Bowgun ammo as well.
8. NintenDon’t Voice Chat
Speaking of adapting for the Nintendo Switch (and unfortunately moving on to the “not so hype” part of this list), there will be no voice chat on the Nintendo Switch or on the Switch mobile app. This is pretty much the norm when it comes to Nintendo Switch games, however I can’t help but be a bit disappointed. When asked to elaborate as to why, they said they “cannot comment on Nintendo Switch hardware features.”
Instead, you will be able to input messages, create quick commands, post stickers, and use gestures in order to communicate with your fellow hunters. Capcom also confirmed a Nintendo Switch Online subscription would be required to play online multiplayer.
9. Prowler Mode Is Not Returning
Finally, one final bit of mildly disappointing news we learned is that the Prowler mode, which let you play as a felyne in Generations, will not be returning in Monster Hunter Rise. But hey, at least you can play with your adorable Palicos and Palamutes by your side instead!
Of course, we learned a ton more than that during the gameplay videos shown at Tokyo Game Show – like how you won’t need paintballs or scout flies to track monsters in Rise. You can read more about what we learned during TGS in Monster Hunter Rise: Gameplay Shows Off New Abilities, Combat and More or watch in the presentation above.