The Nintendo Direct has just hit and if you weren’t already dizzy from yesterday’s PS5 showcase then Capcom has certainly sent you spinning with their announcement of not one but TWO brand new Monster Hunter titles coming for the Nintendo Switch next year. The first being Monster Hunter RISE releasing next March and the second being Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. The latter will be a sequel to the relatively successful Monster Hunter Stories released on the 3DS back in 2016 for Japanese players and 2017 for the rest of us.
So let’s start with RISE. For the time being, we can assume RISE is the spiritual successor to Monster Hunter World which was the first game to have a bigger emphasis on story and expanding the lore of the Monster Hunter world. (Pun intended) So that tells us that RISE is the next mainline title for the series while Stories 2 is another spin-off like its predecessor.
Without any information to the contrary, we can assume to see the more standard affair for RISE such as mission selecting, hunting individual monsters to gather materials with which we make new weapons and armour and a large map to wander around in and stalk our prey.
Beyond that, the major announcement is the introduction of the ‘Wirebug’ which lets you grapple Batman-style onto thin air and progress through a very vertically focused map. In the direct itself it is stated that “the player carries several of these small bugs around” which makes it unclear if these ‘Wirebugs’ are a resource akin to health potions and stamina restoring jerky or if they are going to act as the new Wedge Beetles. Wedge Beetles was a tool in previous games which allowed you to do a similar grappling action but only in specific spots.
And as I mentioned the developers are focusing on verticality for this game so there’s going to be plenty of climbing and jumping to make this map feel expansive and filled with hidden secrets. Monster Hunter World already had some verticality with its Ancient Forest map so it’s going to be pretty interesting to see what Capcom put together when it’s part of their main focus of the design.
To aid us in our travels of this new and mountainous world comes the “Palamute.” Our brand new ‘canine ‘ companion! If you happened to play World’s expansion Icebourne then you’ll remember that we got to ride around on some of the indigenous smaller monsters found in the game. These monsters were basically a ‘stick a note on the map and go’ kind of ride. You had no control over their direct actions. Unfortunately, there’s been no confirmation, as of yet, if this is changed.
What is different is that this Palamute will join you in combat! As soon as you dismount off your furry taxi and attack the monster the Palamute will begin aiding you in direct combat. Lucky for us though we will still have our supportive Palico in the back lines providing healing, traps or whatever it is we need them to do. The developers have also stated that we can choose what ‘buddies’ to bring. Two Palamutes? Two Palicos? Or one of each? It’s all an option which I am sure plenty of solo-players (like myself) will greatly appreciate when the inevitable Devlijho attack happens.
Speaking of multiplayer there’s been no significant news so we can assume, for now, that it’s relatively unchanged. The only thing we got word of is that even in four player co-op each hunter can bring along one buddy of their choice. In past games, only two player hunts brought their Palicos along so this might mean an increase in monster difficulty considering that is a max total of eight entities all fighting one monster.
In terms of new monsters, we’ve been given four. The flagship monster will be the Magnamalo a large fanged beast with a heavy samurai/kabuki aesthetic followed by the Aknosom, a bird type beast that uses its large crest to control the fight, the Great Isuchi a bird Wyvern that attacks in groups of three and finally the Tetranadon, an amphibian monster that eats gravel and dirt to increase its size and change its move set.
Beyond that the creators have confirmed there will be more new monsters and returning monsters. In the trailer we saw the Tobi-Kadachi facing off (and losing) against the Magnamalo and the Arzuros, an old school monster, fighting the Tetranadon. They also said they are working on new ways for monsters to interact with each other in a way that feels meaningful to the battle. Monsters have, for a long time, been able to face off but in World they were given custom animations for certain fights such as the Rathalos picking up Brute Wyverns and slamming them to the ground.
Finally, it have confirmed that there will be story. That’s about it. Personally, I was a huge fan of the story in World and Icebourne but it’s not exactly what anyone plays the games for.
RISE is set to release on the 26th of March 2021 and you can guarantee I’ll be there on launch day trying my best to stay ‘objective’ in my review of the game.
We got substantially less information on Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. By and large, we got a summary of the story, Rathalos are disappearing and it’s up to us as a descendent of the hero from the first game to save the day. No gameplay was shown but graphically it takes a turn from the main series and is much more reminiscent of Breath of the Wild.
The long and the short of it is that we are a Monster Rider and we take on quests to progress the story.
Wings of Ruin is slated to release in Summer 2021 on the Nintendo Switch.
Finally, Capcom also said that both RISE and Stories 2 will have interactions with each other’s save data and that three new amiibos will release alongside RISE.
Make sure to keep checking our front page for more information as it develops.