Capcom promises nothing less than a “giant expansion” to all hunters. After three quests we can at least say this much: There is potential for hundreds of hours of stalking.
There is a long and eventful history behind the Monster Hunters-Row. Well, that’s how long the series has existed compared to other colleagues like final fantasy or Super Mario not yet. The first part appeared in 2005 for the Playstation 2, but since then there have been tons of new parts, spin-offs and revised versions of already released games. For a long time, however, magic remained incomprehensible to the author of these lines, which is not least due to one of the cornerstones of Monster Hunter: grinding. Because the name says it all, you have to beat up heaps of huge beasts to collect their parts, make new weapons and armor from them and then be well equipped to slay even larger beasts.
However, over the years the grinding aspect became less and less, at least if you just wanted to get through the story. This was noticeable when I started the series, because I completed the main story of Monster Hunter – Rise (in the test, rating: 8.5) without any problems. But the true pull of addiction only occurs at the end of the actual campaign. Because then it’s about optimizing the equipment, perfecting the skills, in short: the endgame. But that was noodled out comparatively quickly with Rise, so the players are starving for new content. In the form of Sunbreak, these will now be delivered by Capcom on June 30, 2022, on which day the “giant expansion” should appear.
During my recent visit to Nintendo in Frankfurt, I was able to lay hands on Sunbreak for the first time in addition to Super Mario Strikers. You can find out what I experienced there and what my assessment is after three hunts in the following preview. Or in the video attached above.
|When the Lunagaron charges at you like that, you don’t have much to laugh about.|
Old acquaintances, new enemies
I was able to face two monsters, one of which should already be familiar to the series veterans of you. Because with Seregios, the flagship beast from Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has found its way to the switch (and the PC). For me it was the first encounter with the wyvern and it was quite a challenge. For with its razor-sharp blade scales, it really got to me, not least because they cause your hunter to bleed.
At least I wasn’t completely alone, because I had a trailer in my luggage with Arlow. The NPC companions are new in Sunbreak and should act like real players. In the case of my buddy with the gun lance, I can say after a first interaction: The guy was really useful! If I saw myself on the verge of death and stood stunned in front of the Seregios, Arlow would quickly use a life powder or draw attention to himself. Especially in combination with the Palicos and Palamutes, solo hunters should have much more fun with Sunbreak than with the main game. In my experience, the special trailer quests are definitely not too easy, after two KOs I had to catch the Seregios after all, chasing it would have been just too risky.
The second monster we fought in 3-player co-op was the Lunagaron. The Fanged Wyvern makes its debut in Sunbreak and has kept us on our toes with its icy breath, so make sure you collect enough Zeroberries to counteract the ice plague. Even though we’ve tried him twice, I can’t really say much about his moveset yet. In essence, however, it reminded me of the Tobi-Kadachi, both in terms of design and movements. That’s meant in a positive way, because the fanged wyvern is one of my favorite monsters from World.
|The design of the Seregios makes it clear: its scales are not to be trifled with!|
Spoiled for the Switch choice
Those of you who are Monster Hunter veterans will certainly agree that three hunts are hardly enough to capture the full extent of Sunbreak. For example, I could only allude to three weapons, the long sword, the morph axe, and the hunting horn. I’ve also only seen the beginnings of the new alternating skills, but they are definitely promising. For example, the Hunting Horn’s Silkbinder shockwave, which wraps your weapon in a web that deals a few timed hits and can even stun monsters.
But what I did notice: The exchange of art is really as quick and easy as promised by Capcom in advance. The potential possibilities with two attacking sets are almost impossible. For example, as a longsword player, the possibility of going on a hunt at the same time as the Silkbinder Sakura Slash and the Helmbreaker is an obvious choice. Or I use the hunting horn’s Silkbinder shockwave to knock out the beast and follow right up with an Earthshaker.
|In Elgado, too, you can have the Palicos cook for you.|
Unfortunately, my viewing experience in Frankfurt was actually limited to three quests. I couldn’t go through the new base Elgado any more than I could craft equipment sets myself. What Capcom put together in terms of weapons and armor made perfect sense. And the scenes from the base that have been released so far promise at least an atmospheric environment in which numerous characters cavort and of course the boiling Palicos are not missing either.
Of course, I also can’t estimate how “gigantic” Sunbreak will ultimately be. Because the numerous small and new items, little helpers and rope bugs I only touched on while running past. However, everyone who thought Rise was too light, too soft should be happy. Because all three quests I’ve played were in master rank. And he has it all, I didn’t get the Lunagaron small despite fellow Capcom hunters.
A word about the new area, the citadel: it is nested as ever and surprised me with its different zones. The eponymous structure is not only remotely reminiscent of old haunted castles and when it goes down to the Lunagaron in the ice cave, a cold shiver can run down your spine. I look forward to exploring the area down to the smallest detail!
Author: Dennis Hilla (GamersGlobal)
Opinion: Dennis Hilla
It’s no secret, I’m relatively new to the Monster Hunter scene. My start was Rise, but due to my enthusiasm for the Switch offshoot, I’ve also caught up on World in the meantime and I’m really excited about Sunbreak. Every amateur hunter will agree that three hunts are by no means enough to even begin to guess how good or bad the expansion will be. But after my confrontations with the Lunagaron and the Seregios, my anticipation has by no means diminished. In my opinion, the critters complement the previous range of monsters very well and are quite crisp in the master rank.
The new area, the Citadel, is also promising and again looked surprisingly chic in the Switch version I played, considering the power of the Nintendo console. I can’t really assess the quality of the new exchange arts or how strong the exchange will ultimately be, the NPC followers still have to prove themselves. And I probably don’t even want to know what small details I’ve overlooked in the short time.
But what I can say: The typical Monster Hunter moments are there again and what I’ve seen is immensely promising. If we’re hunting the Lunagaron and suddenly a Barioth appears, which we ride without further ado and take advantage of it, then it just bucks. And I also want to try other weapons than long sword, hunting horn and morph axe. Can it be June 30th now please? Thanks!
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak
Preliminary pros & cons
- Tons of possible combinations thanks to swapping art
- The two new monsters seen promise exciting hunts
- Citadel as an exciting and varied area
- Pendants very useful for solo players
- Master rank promises to be pretty crisp
- Increased choice could be overwhelming
- Palico and Palamute are still very effective minions
All monster hunters have probably already marked June 30, 2022 in their calendars and they have a lot to look forward to. The swap art exchange promises hundreds of hours of experimentation, and the new monsters and zone make a good first impression. It is to be hoped that Capcom will push the endgame harder and that the master rank will really be as crisp as hoped.