After the wild success of Monster Hunter World on PC, it should come as no surprise that Capcom is releasing another main entry Monster Hunter title on the platform. Enter Monster Hunter Rise, a game that was a Nintendo Switch exclusive, but is now making its way to a personal computer near you. Ahead of its release, I had the opportunity to dive into Monster Hunter Rise on PC and see how it compared to my playtime with the Switch version back in March 2021. I’m pleased to report that the game takes the excellent experience offered on the Switch and sprinkles on all the texture upgrades and options PC players have come to expect. Rise is yet another feather in Capcom’s hat and solidifies the series’ spot on PC.
Before we get into the extra bits and pieces PC players receive, this overview is less a critique on Monster Hunter Rise as a game, and more of an insight into what you can expect when you load it up on your computer. Shacknews’ Senior News Editor TJ Denzer has already done a fantastic job at explaining why Monster Hunter Rise is “beyond anything” he expected. The game manages to encapsulate that sense of preparing for a hunt and tracking a monstrous beast that made the franchise such a hit. Rise not only nails the classic elements but also adds to the experience with its inclusion of the Wirebug, a tool that enhances your mobility by allowing you to quickly zip-line around.
The right gear
In terms of what PC players can expect from Monster Hunter Rise, it includes all the trappings of its original release on Nintendo Switch along with all the post-launch content that was released up until November 2021. On top of that, the game offers new, high definition textures, 4K resolution, ultra-wide support, and uncapped frame rates.
No doubt the first thing you’ll be doing upon launching Monster Hunter Rise is tinkering with the display and graphical settings. To set the scene, I use a 1440p monitor, my graphics card is an NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti, and my CPU is an AMD Ryzen 7 1700X 8 Core 3.4 GHz. It’s technically a dated setup, but it still manages to hit decent frame rates and games still look pretty great. To that end, Monster Hunter Rise allowed me to tweak my experience, crafting a setup that took advantage of the hardware I’m using.
To start with, the game includes a wealth of display modes, including Windowed Mode, Borderless Windowed, Fullscreen, and Fullscreen HDR (for those with compatible displays). There’s even ultra-wide support with UI position correction to bring those elements closer.
Frame rate settings offer the usual suspects of 30fps up to 240 or can be switched off for unlimited frames. I’m certainly no Chris Jarrard, so my analysis of PC performance doesn’t hold a flame to his understanding, but I experienced little to no hiccups while out on a hunt.
For those that do need to create some extra wiggle room to lighten the hardware demand, the game includes a host of advanced graphic settings that inform you of how much CPU load each variable will have on your setup. Things like image quality can be adjusted to alleviate some stress while high-definition textures barely affect memory usage and will likely want to be left on.
Speaking of the HD textures, Monster Hunter Rise on PC looks fantastic. Switching between the non-HD textures and the updated visuals included with the PC version shows a stark difference and really highlights how good the game looks on PC. Though it might not be as impressive as World, choosing to play it on a computer with the texture pack elevates the experience further, as the charming visuals and rich environments are made even more enticing.
Choose your weapon
Given that Monster Hunter Rise is now on PC, it behoves me to talk about the controls. It should come as no surprise that using a keyboard and mouse is a cumbersome experience. Though I might choose to play a lot of PC games with a controller, I’m no slouch when it comes to playing PC games The Right Way. In saying this, the default keybindings do not lend themselves to a comfortable or ergonomic experience.
For example, the game features a new mechanic called the Wirebug, which allows the player to shoot out a tether and pull themselves in a direction. You can either shoot it vertically, straight out in front of you, or wherever you’re aiming. On a controller, this is handle with the triggers and face buttons, on PC, you must hold the mouse scroll wheel and then press either left click, right click, or one of your mouse’s other buttons to perform one of the aforementioned actions. It doesn’t feel great.
What does feel great is being able to quickly navigate through the glut of menus with a mouse. Long-time players will no doubt be used to the bombardment of menus and pop-ups, but if you’re new to the series, anticipate an almost overwhelming number of tutorial boxes.
Where Monster Hunter Rise on PC does shine with its controls is in its controller support. I was able to use both a PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 controller and even change the button icons to match the controller that is being used. One hilarious (and probably useful) feature was that I was able to connect my PS5 controller with a cable and use the left-hand side of it (thumb stick, L1, L2 etc) while I used the right-hand side of my wireless Xbox controller (right trigger, right bumper, face buttons etc). I could even mix-and-match with the keyboard and mouse while out on a hunt.
For the majority of players, being able to use a controller for combat and movement and mouse for menu navigation will be enough, but for those that need the accessibility options, this mix-and-match system is likely a massive benefit.
Thrill of the hunt
Overall, Monster Hunter Rise on PC is another perfect example of why the series belongs on computer. It offers all the excellent experiences found on the Nintendo Switch, albeit with improved visuals, better resolution, a myriad of performance options, and greater controller support. Hopefully there comes a day when PC players get to experience a Monster Hunter title at the same time as console players, because the series has shown that it thrives on PC, with a playerbase ready to dive into it with their whole hearts. For those that have been biding their time, I’m pleased to say that Monster Hunter Rise on PC has been well worth the wait.
This review is based on a Steam code provided by the publisher. Monster Hunter Rise on PC will be available on January 12, 2022 on Steam.