Capcom’s latest addition to the Monster Hunter franchise is Monster Hunter Rise, which came out for Nintendo Switch on March 26, 2021. The latest entry has both received critical acclaim and shipped in huge numbers since its release in the last week.
Monster Hunter Rise’s predecessor, Monster Hunter World, was a huge success as well. It made the Monster Hunter franchise a global sensation. Monster Hunter World released initially on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 26, 2018, and it released a couple of months later on PC.
As Monster Hunter Rise’s release follows Monster Hunter World chronologically, it was very natural that a comparison would arise between them. This article provides a detailed comparison between the games in terms of graphics, art style, environment design, gameplay mechanics, and so on.
The major differences between Monster Hunter Rise and Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter Rise, being a successor to Monster Hunter World, keeps the core gameplay loop intact, while tweaking some of the other aspects of the game. It is important to keep in mind that Monster Hunter Rise is a Nintendo Switch exclusive until it gets released on PC in early 2022, compared to Monster Hunter World’s platforms which were PS4, XB1, and PC.
Resultingly, Monster Hunter Rise had to cut down on graphical extravagance to run properly on Nintendo Switch, which is, hardware-wise, a much weaker gaming system compared to the home consoles, let alone the PCs.
Initially, Monster Hunter World ran at 30 fps at 900p to 1080p on the consoles. While the mid-gen upgrade (PS4 Pro and Xbox One X) improved the graphics by a lot, it still didn’t reach the lofty landmark of 60 fps at 4k. The PC version, on the other hand, ran amazingly, obviously depending on the capability of different computers. But with the right hardware, it was possible to play the game at 60fps@4k or even more.
Now coming to Monster Hunter Rise, it runs at 720p when the Switch is in its docked mode, and at 540p when in portable mode. The framerate is locked at 30 fps in both states. However, the graphical fidelity will likely not be a dealbreaker since Switch has a small screen.
Even though Monster Hunter Rise has been built with the new RE Engine, the character models look very similar to that of Monster Hunter World, albeit the reduction in polygon count to ensure performance for Switch.
Also, the animation of the characters and monsters are almost indistinguishable across both games.
The drop in lighting and particle quality in Monster Hunter Rise is very noticeable though. Even though the overuse of bloom sometimes resulted in a washed-out appearance in Monster Hunter World, the lighting looked drop-dead gorgeous in general. The particle effects were also very prominent in Monster Hunter World, which the devs had to cut down on, understandably so, to fit the performance budget of the Switch.
Artstyle and environment design
Compared to Monster Hunter World’s rugged neo-caveman aesthetic, Monster Hunter Rise chose feudal Japan as a backdrop. So the difference in art style is quite tangible.
In terms of environment design, whereas Monster Hunter world featured densely packed areas with grass, other flora, and detailed terrain, Capcom went with large open areas in Monster Hunter Rise to circumvent the hardware-induced limitation caused by the Switch.
Although the core gameplay loop is intact, which is of taking quests from the hub, then going into the world and hunting down monsters; not everything that was in Monster Hunter World has been carried over to Monster Hunter Rise.
Speaking of which, the method of tracking down monsters has been simplified in Rise, where the player can follow the monster on the minimap, compared to the whole ordeal of gathering clues and then tracking down monsters in Monster Hunter World.
Monster Hunter Rise also does away with the slingshot tool. So hunters can now throw items like flash bombs from the hand again.
A major change in terms of gameplay in Rise is the addition of Palamutes, which are essentially dogs that would follow players wherever they go. They can be ridden across the game world and can serve a critical role in combat by attacking monsters with different abilities.
Another major change in Rise is the addition of wirebugs, which can be used anywhere in the game world to ease traversal.
Compared to Monster Hunter World, where smaller fauna served as merely ambient creatures, the various small bugs, insects and other lifeforms in Monster Hunter Rise provide hunters with various temporary buffs.
Summing it up, Monster Hunter Rise is a great follow-up to Monster Hunter World. Although Rise lags behind World in the graphical department, which was fully expected since it was announced on Nintendo Switch, Rise goes forward with the already tried and tested gameplay formula of World and makes it even better. It will be interesting to see Monster Hunter Rise’s release on PC, which will be sometime in early 2022.