We need to see more Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak and here are four things we learned

Monster Hunter Rise has been out for just over a year now and is set to receive its first major expansion; Sunbreak, much like Monster Hunter World did with Iceborne. Promising a plethora of new monsters, systems, Switch Skills, and the addition of Master Rank, Sunbreak is set to be an expansion that bolsters Rise’s content offering even further. We got a chance to preview two unique hunts to see it all in action, here’s what we took away.

There are all new switch skills and switch skill exchange

Introduced as a new feature in Monster Hunter Rise, Switch Skills make their return to Sunbreak in a gloriously flexible way. Not only are there all-new Switch Skills for every weapon to play with in Sunbreak, there’s also the addition of Switch Skill Swapping.

Before each hunt, you can choose two Switch skill sets to bring with you, assigning each set to either the Red Exchange Scroll or the Blue Exchange Scroll. You can then perform a switch skill swap, allowing you to move seamlessly between the two scrolls, allowing you to mix and match switch skills as you see fit to create your own combos. If you left yourself exposed after the swap, you can also perform an evasive move called Swap Evade after a Switch Skill Swap at the cost of stamina. It appears to be a system that adds new depth to Monster Hunter: Rise’s overall combat loop and weapon abilities.

The monster roster is about to expand with new monsters, variants, and returning classics

A release of Monster Hunter just isn’t a release of Monster Hunter without an array of new and returning monsters, and Sunbreak is clearly not looking to disappoint. In the preview alone, we saw the intimidating Lunagaron, the enormous Garangolm, and the razor-sharp Seregios. Within these three monsters alone, there’s a fair amount of variation here, and sets the tone for what we can expect for the full roster.

Lunagaron is a fanged wyvern that harnesses the power of ice to arm itself and freeze hunters, while Garangolm is a massive, rigid monster that uses a sap-like liquid to harden its body, strengthening both its attack and defense. Last but not least, there’s the return of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate’s flagship monster – the Seregios. Large flying wyverns with bladed scales all over their bodies that sport adept flight abilities and the potential to inflict bleeds on hunters.

MHR Sunbreak Body 02

That’s just a small portion of what’s been officially revealed so far, with Astalos, Shogun Cenataur, and Sunbreak flagship Malzeno also confirmed to join the roster. I’m sure there are more CAPCOMs sticking close to the chest, so expect the list to expand even further ahead of launch.

There is new endemic life to be found in every hunt

With the introduction of Master Rank quests, the difficulty should increase a bit in Sunbreak, putting more emphasis on the beneficial effects of endemic life in each hunt. We took a closer look at some of the new endemic lives coming with Sunbreak, namely the Marionette Spider and the Morphed Wirebugs.

Morphed Wirebugs are divided into two types; Ruby Wirebugs and Gold Wirebugs. Picking up one of these Wirebugs will make it easier to learn Wyvern Riding and increase your Wirebug Gauge recovery rate, with each type also having a unique bonus effect. Ruby Wirebugs increase the damage of your Mounted Punishers, while Gold Wirebugs increase the frequency of drops from Wyvern Riding attacks.

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The Puppet Spider is a much more unique endemic life form and can only be used once. It allows hunters to attach a Silkbind Strand to a monster and pull it in any direction it wants, knocking it into walls for a knockdown or even other monsters. This is undoubtedly a small slice of the rampant new life that Sunbreak is bringing to Monster Hunter Rise to make hunters more powerful against the usual challenge of Master Rank.

Follow-up quests aim to delve deeper into the narrative and its characters

While it’s clear that Monster Hunter’s priorities rarely lie in its narrative, Sunbreak seems to be paying renewed attention to the cast of supporting characters this time around with Followers and Follower Quests. Followers are what they hear – NPC characters who will accompany hunters on their quests through Kamura and the new location, the Citadel. Follow-up quests are solo quests that deepen bonds with allies who are the querier. In the preview we saw, the hunter teams up with a new character Arlow, as they take on a fan-favorite monster Seregios.

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What wider impact Follower Quests and Ally Bonds will have on story and gameplay remains to be seen, but there are clear similarities to be drawn from games like Persona and Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak will be released on June 30, 2022 on Nintendo Switch and PC. Monster Hunter Sunbreak is available physically along with the original game for $74 on Amazon.

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