Monster Hunter Rise review (PS5)

When it came out in 2021, Monster Hunter Rise was one of the most technically impressive titles on the Nintendo Switch we’d ever seen, and it backed that up with excellent gameplay. It’s now been ported over to the PlayStation 5 – how does it hold up almost two years later?

Gameplay-wise, it’s not surprising that little has changed from the Switch version we reviewed earlier. If you’re a fan of the Monster Hunter franchise this is a must-buy, but other action RPG fans who’ve never played a game in the series will likely also enjoy what’s on offer here. Centering its story around the village of Kamura, you’re freshly promoted to the rank of hunter and will need to try and stop the “rampage” by taking down all kinds of monsters and keeping the town safe and running through supplies.

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Compared to previous Monster Hunter titles one of the biggest changes that Rise introduces is the increased verticality, letting you go airborne by attaching yourself to Wirebugs. This adds an additional layer to both the traversal and the combat, with an end result that’s fresh and familiar at the same time if you’re coming from something like Monster Hunter World.

In a nutshell, Monster Hunter Rise is an excellent game on any platform, and the PlayStation 5 version offers subtle improvements in certain areas while sacrificing things elsewhere. That might sound strange considering the power of the hardware, but on the PS5 you use the mobility of the Switch version, which is still one of the most impressive handheld titles we’ve seen thus far.

And while there’s more visual fidelity here, the differences aren’t spectacular either. Despite higher resolutions (of up to 4K) and better framerates (up to 120 FPS), you can tell that the game’s Switch origins hold it back – if you were hoping for something that looks better than Monster Hunter World on the PS4, you’ll be disappointed. It looks good and moves fantastic, but doesn’t push what we’ve seen from the franchise before to a higher level.

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Other improvements are also subtle, but undeniable. The soundtrack is still excellent, but 3D audio (with the right hardware) does provide a boost to the audio, and the DualSense support is a lot of fun. It’s been implemented well, and does a good job of giving you feedback that differs depending on your current loadout – guns in particular have a nice tactile feel to them.

If you’re played one of the previously released versions of Monster Hunter Rise then there’s not enough reason to head out and grab the PS5 version as well, although if you look past the lack of portability there are definite improvements here. It’s an easy purchase if you haven’t had the pleasure yet though, and it’s great to see this one becoming available to the large player base that’s been playing Monster Hunter World on PlayStation.

Score: 8.7/10

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