Monster Hunter Rise has been out for a little 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 up to be an expansion that bolsters Rise’s content offering even further. We were lucky enough to get a preview of two unique hunts to see everything in action, here’s what we took away from it.
There’s All New Switch Skills and Switch Skill Swapping
Introduced as a new feature in Monster Hunter Rise, Switch Skills make their return to Sunbreak in a gloriously flexible fashion. Not only are there brand new Switch Skills for each weapon to play around with in Sunbreak, but there’s also the addition of Switch Skill Swapping.
Before each hunt, you can choose two sets of Switch Skills to bring with you, assigning each set to either the Red Swap Scroll or Blue Swap Scroll. You can then perform a Switch Skill Swap, allowing you to move seamlessly between either Scroll, allowing you to mix and match Switch Skills as you see fit to create your own combos. If you’ve left yourself exposed after swapping, you can also perform an evasion move called Swap Evade after a Switch Skill Swap at the cost of stamina. It looks to be a system that adds new depth to the overall combat loop and weapon capabilities within Monster Hunter: Rise.
The Monster Roster is Set to Expand with New Monsters, Variants, and Returning Classics
A Monster Hunter release simply isn’t a Monster Hunter release without an array of new and returning monsters, and Sunbreak clearly isn’t 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 good amount of variation on display 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 armor themselves and to freeze hunters, whereas Garangolm is a hulking and rigid monster that uses sap-like fluid to harden their bodies, bolstering both their offense 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 body that sport adept flying abilities, and the potential to inflict bleeds on hunters.
This is just a small slice of what has been officially revealed so far, with the likes of Astalos, Shogun Cenataur, and Sunbreak’s flagship, Malzeno, also confirmed to join the roster. I’m sure there’s more CAPCOM are keeping close to the chest, so expect the roster to be expanded further in the leadup to launch.
There’s New Endemic Life to Find in Each Hunt
With the introduction of Master Rank quests, difficulty is set to jump up quite a bit in Sunbreak, placing more emphasis on the beneficial effects Endemic Life has within each hunt. We got a closer look at some of the new Endemic Life coming with Sunbreak, namely the Marionette Spider, and the Morphed Wirebugs.
Morphed Wirebugs are split into two types; Ruby Wirebugs, and Gold Wirebugs. Picking up either of these Wirebugs will make it easier to initiate Wyvern Riding, and will increase the recovery rate of your Wirebug Gauge, with each type having a unique bonus effect as well. Ruby Wirebugs boost the damage of your Mounted Punishers, while Gold Wirebugs increase the frequency of drops caused by Wyvern Riding attacks.
The Marionette Spider is a much more unique form of Endemic Life, and can only be used once. It allows hunters to attach a Silkbind Strand to a monster, and pull it in the desired direction, knocking them into walls for a topple or even other monsters. This is no doubt a small slice of the new Endemic Life that Sunbreak brings to Monster Hunter Rise to make hunters more powerful in the face of Master Rank’s usual challenge.
Follower Quests Aim To Deepen The Narrative and its Characters
While it’s clear that Monster Hunter’s priorities rarely lie within its narrative, Sunbreak looks to be bringing a renewed focus on the supporting cast of characters this time around with Followers and Follower Quests. Followers are as they sound – NPC characters who will accompany hunters on quests throughout Kamura and the new locale, the Citadel. Follower Quests are single-player-only quests that deepen the bonds with allies who are the requester. In the preview we saw, the hunter teams up with a new character Arlow, as they take on a Seregios, a returning fan-favorite monster.
The broader impact Follower Quests and ally bonds will have on the story and gameplay is yet to be seen, but there’s clear similarities to be drawn from games like Persona and Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak launches on the 30th of June 2022 for Nintendo Switch and PC. Monster Hunter Sunbreak is physically available with the original game for $74 on Amazon.