One of the rules of nature is that things must evolve or die, and this franchise has shattered the limits of the popular adventure games with vast improvement on its hunting formula. Monster Hunter Rise is the next step in the evolution of the Monster Hunter series, taking everything fans have loved, stripping away some troublesome aspects, and even somehow finding room to cram in some brand-new tricks to keep things fresh. Make no mistake, though, while Rise streamlines some complexity of previous games and is more friendly to newcomers, it's still a game that requires a lot of practice and patience to excel at. Thankfully, the initial difficulty has been dialed back, and players start off well-prepared for battle. This eases new players into the overall experience while offering returning hunters the opportunity to adapt to the new gameplay tweaks.
A noticeable addition is the debut of Palamute companions. Monster Hunter games have long made use of feline Palicos as trusty sidekicks for your hunter. Now, with the introduction of Palamutes, dogs are finally getting their day. Not only do these companions add an extra fighter to the hunting party, but players can ride the back of the Palamute for extra mobility. Another major addition: the new Wirebug utility. This acts as a sort of grappling hook constantly at the player's disposal that can launch players vertically or horizontally a short distance and even enable them to hang in a stationary position above the ground. This doesn't just help with movement, it also adds a whole new layer of tactics when it comes to hunting creatures. It can also be used in combination with weapons to perform new Silkbind moves, which can be used to bind monsters and use them as temporary mounts, able to charge and attack under the player's control. Finally, while the PC version of the game came a bit late to the party, ten months after the release of the Switch version, it does come with some great additions over its Switch counterpart. For starters, the game looks amazing and smooth when freed from the technical limitations of the Switch, and yet it manages to do so without players needing to meet top of the line specs. Best of all, the PC version includes a sorely missed online voice chat option for multiplayer hunting parties. While the basic communication options on the Switch can get the job done, nothing beats actually being able to discuss and plan detailed strategies in real time. These features, along with all the game's other tweaks, adjustments, and yes, evolutions, come together to make Monster Hunter Rise one of the best entries in the game's history.