Monster Hunter Rise is out now, and it's fast becoming one of my go-to titles when I have a few minutes or even hours to kill. One thing, though, has been clear when discussing Rise with other Monster Hunter World players – difficulty, or lack thereof.
Monster Hunter Rise is an easier game than Monster Hunter World, and compared to Iceborne feels like something of a cakewalk.
And you know what? That's just fine.
Monster Hunter: Rise Is Easier Than I Was Expecting, And I'm Grateful For It
Firstly, some context. I adored Monster Hunter: World (and Iceborne), but since vanquishing those monsters, I became a father and am now locked down in the UK with an almost-two-year-old. As you'd imagine, that means I have less time to grind a 50-minute hunt just to run out of time before I deal the killing blow (I'm an Insect Glaive main, so damage output isn't a big strong point).
Jumping into Rise, especially after setting the Switch down and resuming from a tap of the power button, knocking off a gathering quest or even a full hunt in less than 20 minutes, suits my schedule no end, but I think there's a boon there for everyone.
As I mentioned above, the Insect Glaive isn't a big damage dealer. I use it for its manoeuvrability, but that often means I felt like I was tickling a monster in Iceborne rather than doing any real damage, at least when playing solo.
With shorter hunts, I'm much more likely to jump in, knowing I won't be wasting the best part of an hour to fail a quest. In fact, I'm inclined to try a new weapon class entirely, or one I may not have bounced off of in the past.
Then there's the Switch's portability and the boons and caveats that come with that. My launch-era Switch doesn't have the improved battery of the later hardware revision, and the prospect of slogging away at a monster only for the battery to drop out is a terrifying one when I can't always readily scramble for my charger when I'm getting my son to sleep (on the rare occasions I can play at that time).
On the other hand, as I noted earlier, I can press one button and pick the game up in the quest selection screen and be hunting or gathering in seconds. In fact, I'm still yet to play Rise docked, despite it being my preferred way to play my Switch usually.
The good news for franchise veterans is that more content is coming, and it's bringing an Elder Dragon. Chameleos will arrive for free in April, as well as other new monsters, and the game is likely to get plenty of new content beyond that.
That really makes Monster Hunter: Rise as it stands a great jumping-on point for franchise newcomers or those with lots of commitments outside of gaming. It's a sizeable game already, and it's only going to get bigger.