Monster Hunter Rise is the latest blockbuster title launching for the Nintendo Switch, and one of the flagship games of the year. Whether you've dived into the franchise before or Rise is your very first experience, there's plenty of reasons to be excited about the latest monster-filled adventure.
Here's everything you need to know about Monster Hunter Rise before it launches next month.
Monster Hunter Rise: Release Date
Monster Hunter Rise is set to release for Nintendo Switch on March 26 in Australia.
Wily collectors will be able to nab the special edition of the game, complete with an art card set, sticker pack, Deluxe Kit DLC and the unique Magnamalo amiibo, on the same date.
So, what's the story?
The premise of Monster Hunter Rise is fairly simple. You're a hunter, and you're hunting monsters. Simple. You'll have a massive arsenal at your disposal, and an entire village to defend.
Like other games, you'll be required to exercise patience and skill during your monster hunts, collecting various power-ups along the way as your track your prey and try to survive.
With your village being overwhelmed by monsters, you'll need every trick and tool up your sleeve to survive and keep everyone safe.
Do I need to play other Monster Hunter games first? © Provided by Kotaku AustraliaImage: Capcom / Nintendo
Every Monster Hunter game features its own self-contained story, and you won't need any prior knowledge before you tackle this adventure.
You might want to check out Monster Hunter World (PS4, XBO, PC) for an idea of how the game plays, but experience isn't necessary. Newcomers can dive right in with no trouble at all and like World, the game aims to be accessible for everyone.
Monster Hunter Rise: Gameplay
Thanks to our pals over at GameSpot (and everyone else who managed to get their hands on the limited time demo) we already have a great first look at Monster Hunter Rise's brilliant hack-and-slash exploration gameplay.
Unlike past handheld Monster Hunter games (and the cutesy Monster Hunter Stories), Rise will feature gameplay more in line with Monster Hunter World. This game was a massive hit for Capcom because it streamlined combat and expanded the ability to explore a wide, open world. It also stripped back a lot of the dense lore and complexity of earlier games.
Rise features similar gameplay to World and also leans into the 'open world' direction of that game. Early trailers and gameplay showed a bunch of wild and beautiful locales you can visit, each populated with their own species of monster. You can even ride some of them, and open up the world by using them to fight for you.
The rest of the monsters in the game will need to be tracked through through wild landscapes, trapped with tools and exploited for their weaknesses. There's a bunch of new monsters this go around including the Magnamalo, the Great Izuchi and the Tetranadon. Each has special characteristics that make them more difficult and unpredictable during a hunt.
Going off gameplay footage, Monster Hunter Rise looks set to feature quicker and smoother combat, making battles far more stressful and frantic than ever before.
Monster Hunter Rise: New Features © Provided by Kotaku AustraliaImage: Capcom / Nintendo
While Rise is directly inspired by the success of World, we will see a bunch of new features designed to improve on the formula.
In addition to the new monsters introduced for this game, players will also be getting a brand new companion, the Palamute. This fox-like creature can be ridden for easier transport, and it makes for a very adorable companion.
You'll also get access to a new tool called the Wirebug. This is a fancy grapple hook that lets you swing across gaps and ride certain creatures - you can see it in action in the above game trailer.
It's all shaping up to be another exciting romp in the Monster Hunter universe. Even if you don't know your Palicoes from your Palamutes, you should definitely pay attention to this adventure.
Monster Hunter Rise launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on March 26, 2021.
Stay tuned to Kotaku Australia for the latest news from the game, and everything else coming out in 2021.