Monster Hunter Rise PC review
Owning a PC in 2022 is like a gaming master key, opening the door to console exclusives that Sony, Microsoft, and even Nintendo fanatics would firmly like to keep to themselves. While your God of Wars and Halo Infinites are indelibly linked to their home consoles, Monster Hunter has never truly found a permanent home, as evidenced by Monster Hunter Rise which is now coming to PC. The series started on PlayStation 2 and PSP, played with Xbox 360 and PC in Japan, before joining Nintendo until the wonderful Monster Hunter World. So PC owners can feel pretty smug, with their platform becoming the only place to play the latest two Monster Hunter games and, if you’ve got the gear on hand, the best place to play them.
Monster Hunter Rise is pretty wonderful on its own. One of the prettiest games on Nintendo Switch, its Japanese-inspired world proved to be utterly appealing when it arrived on Switch in 2021, with a cast of iconic monsters returning reinforced by a set of new designs from creatures. Add in a host of new mechanics, including hook grapples which opened up a spectacular new set of moves, and the ability to ride and control monsters for the first time, and it was clear Capcom was on to another winner.
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Further Reading: Monster Hunter Rise or World? Which game is the best?
When we found out the game was coming to PC, we were like a Felyne with a cat clip. Rise used to be a stunning showcase for the Switch, but it’s still a handheld powered by rapidly aging hardware that puts some strain on the game. What might gaming look like with real processing power behind it? The answer is, it’s more or less perfect, although anyone who expects Rise to suddenly match Monster Hunter World’s level of visual fidelity should have their expectations tempered somewhat.
Monster Hunter Rise on PC looks better than ever. Running a GTX 3070 and an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X allowed me to push the settings as far as possible, and the result is an extremely pretty Monster Hunter game. The resolution takes a big leap from the Switch’s docked 1344 × 756, letting you crank things up to 4K. The increase takes the blur out of the original version and everything from hunter armor to different biomes is crisp, clean, and much more attractive.
Besides the huge increase in resolution, you can increase the refresh rate as far as your monitor allows. Mine thankfully passed 144 fps, but you can set limits, from the Switch version’s 30 fps all the way to 240 fps, or just leave it unlocked. If you have a variable refresh rate screen with FreeSync or G-Sync, you can run without V-Sync enabled while still enjoying a screen tearing-free experience.
The benefit of the improved frame rate in Monster Hunter cannot be underestimated. Everything feels faster, smoother and more immediate, and in the heat of the moment, you couldn’t ask for more. The return to the Switch version seems slow in comparison, and once you’ve tried the game on PC, you’ll have a hard time going back.
You can make other changes to the graphics settings to get the best performance, although I was able to increase everything to 1440p and not experience any issues. You can change the image quality by pushing it to 150%, which results in a much smoother image. On top of that, you’ll want to use high-res textures, and you’ll have access to texture filtering, ambient occlusion, shadow quality, dynamic shadows, gear shadows, depth of field, and all kinds of other visual niceties. Oh, and you can also display ultra-wide if you have a screen that matches your giant sword.
On top of everything else, you can apply visual filter effects to the whole thing, letting you indulge in a black and white hunt, or really dig into the Japanese theme with a filter that mimics the classic film grain of eastern islands. With everything turned on, Monster Hunter Rise on PC looks like a different game.
On the other end of the spectrum, Monster Hunter Rise is capable of being tuned to run on a much lower spec platform, with processing reduction options via model swap, as well as the ability to tune various things like image quality less than 100%. Minimum specs only call for a GeForce 1030, 4th gen Intel i3, and 8GB of RAM, leaving plenty of leeway for those who haven’t upgraded in a few years. It will be really interesting to see what level of performance we can get from a Steam Deck when they arrive later this year, but we can assume that it will be the new king of handhelds.
The benefit of the Monster Hunter Rise PC release sometime after the original release is the inclusion of all previous free updates, and by the end of February 2022, the game is expected to be fully release-compliant. Switch, in preparation for release. of the Sunbreak DLC in the summer. Unfortunately, there is no cross-save or cross-play between the two versions, which would have thrilled hunters on both platforms. It’s a feature that may still pop up, but there is currently no official word.
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