Monster Hunter Rise Gameplay Impressions: Weapons, Monsters & more from MHR Demo and Beta

In this Monster Hunter Rise Gameplay Impressions: Weapons, Monsters & more from MHR Demo, we will be sharing with you our experience with the Nintendo Switch game. We had the good fortune of being invited to play the Press Build, which happened shortly before the public Beta, so we can give you a heads up on what to expect from Monster Hunter Rise.

Monster Hunter Rise Gameplay Impressions: Weapons, Monsters & more from MHR Demo and Beta

  • Name: Monster Hunter Rise
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Release Date: March 26th 2021
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom

Story & Setting of Monster Hunter Rise

While the demo features only specific quests, the main plot of the game has been laid out during several developer discussions, and is available on the official Monster Hunter website. You will be based in Kamura Village, which unlike the new world features a very Japanese vibe. At Kamura Village, you will meet several unique characters that assist in your adventure, with the expected village chief, quest maiden, a blacksmith and a Tea Shop.

Kamura Village is a town that stands its ground in the face of an unexplained regular event: The Rampage.

“The Rampage is a catastrophic event where countless monsters attack the village all at once.
People have lived in fear of it since ancient times, but nobody knows why it occurs.
Kamura has fallen victim to this phenomenon numerous times as well, and especially the Rampage that happened 50 years ago came close to wiping out the entire village.

The villagers are training day in day out to prevent this tragedy from reoccurring, and they have built a sturdy Stronghold to prepare for the next invasion.”

As the newly arrived Hunter, you will be joining in these efforts, and possibly finding the cause and ending the threat. This kind of plot is not surprising to the Monster Hunter franchise, but it does provide some more ground than the exploration of the New World, as you are defending an established town rather than intruding into Monsters’ habitats to kill them.

Gameplay of Monster Hunter Rise

We had the opportunity to try all 14 Weapon Classes of Monster Hunter Rise in two main quests facing several Large Monsters. Whilst the official website revealed the main antagonist, Magnamalo, and several others, the demo let us face off against a Rathian, Great Izuchi, Arzuros and Mizutsune. We found several small monsters during our explorations, and got to try the new Endemic Life buffs and Wirebug features of the game.

The Wirebug and New Weapon Actions

All Weapons have some new actions that you can try out, so seasoned players can enjoy some fresh moves, but if you are a veteran of Monster Hunter World then you’ll feel right at home, as the combos and moves remain the same otherwise. The new moves are tied to the new “Wirebug”. Wirebugs are sort of like a limited Clutch Claw action, but have much more flexibility in what they can do. For example, you may perform special “Silkbind Actions” or traverse the map in unique ways. I have gotten so used to the Clutch Claw that I was worried about not having that “clutch” during combat (harhar). Fortunately the Wirebug does provide a great alternative, and one I think returning players will enjoy.

  • The Wiredash is a special grappling that lets you boost your character through the air, allowing you to close between gaps or do timely aerial dodges to avoid enemy AOEs.
  • The Wall Run is a wiredash that lands on a wall, and you just… keep running! This allows you to head up daunting slopes until your stamina runs out.
  • Wirefall is another use of the Wirebug that allows you to quickly bounce back from monster knockback. This can be incredibly useful against tail swipes, as you can recover from the pushback a lot quicker.
  • Silkbind attacks are the special Wirebug abilities for each weapon. They are listed below:


mhw_greatsword MHR Greatsword Silkbinds

Hunting Edge
Split the heavens with a giant blade
A forward leaping attack.
After landing a hit, you can follow up with a powerful Charged Slash or Charged Plunging Thrust in midair.
Power Sheathe
Charge for a devastating blow
A quick forwards maneuver performed as you sheathe your weapon.
Boosts your attack power for a short period of time.

mhw_longsword MHR Long Sword Silkbinds

Serene Pose
The calm before the storm
Taking a hit while your weapon is at the ready will swiftly lead into a counterattack.
Soaring Kick
What goes up must come down
Uses a Wirebug to launch you into a jump kick that, if connects, will trigger a Plunging Thrust. Landing the Thrust auto-fills your Spirit Gauge for a short period of time.
Press the corresponding button after landing the kick to perform a Spirit Helm Breaker at a cost of one level of Spirit Gauge.

mhw_sword-shield MHR Sword & Shield Silkbinds

Falling Shadow
Dance through the sky and shatter the earth
A forward leaping attack. A successful hit will lead into a Scaling Slash.
After that, you can follow up with a Falling Bash in midair.
A slicing gale that gives no quarter
Uses Ironsilk to swing your blade around.
Its initial swing nullifies any monster’s attack.

mhw_dual-blades MHR Dual Blades Silkbinds

Twin Vine
Bonds that tie
Jabs a kunai into the target to get its attention.
Pressing the corresponding buttons while the kunai is still lodged into the target will launch you towards it while guarding..
Piercing Bind
Death by a strand of silk
Pierces a target with a kunai that detonates after a certain amount of time.
Landing further hits where the kunai is lodged racks up extra damage that scales with each hit.


mhw_lance MHR Lance Silkbinds

Dancing blades of vengeance
Dance through the sky and shatter the earth
Hurls you forward in a designated direction. Getting hit while in motion triggers a spinning attack.
Anchor Rage
Let the anger flow
Attacks absorbed while your shield is up temporarily boost your attack power.
The strength of the boost depends on the power of the attack absorbed.

mhw_gunlance MHR GunLance Silkbinds

Guard Edge
Let claws and fangs hone your blade
A well-timed guard regenerates your weapon’s sharpness.
Can be followed up with various attacks.
Hail Cutter
Steel your lance, revive your cannon
Perform a Rising Slash and then an Overhead Smash.
Each usage reduces the cooldown time for Wyvern’s Fire.

mhw_hammer MHR Hammer Silkbinds

Impact Crater
Extinction event from the sky
A well-timed guard regenerates your weapon’s sharpness.
Can be followed up with various attacks.
Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon
Wheel of misfortune
Unleashes a spinning attack that deals multiple hits while leaping forward.
You can perform this attack from a charged state, or hold down the charge button when the move starts to charge it up and let rip anytime you want by releasing the button.

mhw_hunting-horn MHR Hunting Horn Silkbinds

Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon
Strings playing a dirge of the soul
Uses a Wirebug to propel you forward into a spinning attack.
The final performance grants a status boost, and you’ll be invulnerable to knockback effects while moving forward.
A head-pounding beat
An attack that drives an Ironsilk-bound blade into the target like a stake.
The vibrations of the weapon’s sonic blast explode inside the target.

mhw_switch-axe MHR Switch Axe Silkbinds

Switch Charger
Let the silk breathe life into your sword
Uses a Wirebug to launch you forward while quickly regenerating your Switch Gauge.
In addition, the Switch Gauge won’t decrease for a short period of time.
Invincible Gambit
Advance with a body of steel
A forward-moving spinning attack.
Fortifies the user, making them immune to flinching or being knocked back by even the fiercest of attacks.

mhw_charge-blade MHR Charge Blade Silkbinds

Morphing Advance
Unleash the moving force of a heavy axe
Uses a Wirebug to launch you forward while your charge blade switches to axe form.
While in motion, monster attacks won’t knock you back or stun you. Can be chained into a variety of attacks after moving.
Counter Peak Performance
Get ready to punish incoming attacks
Ready your shield while stretching silk to the ground.
Being hit while your shield is readied will fill your phials to maximum.

mhw_insect-glaive MHR Insect Glaive Silkbinds

Silkbind Vault
Fly freely through the sky
A leaping attack that spins forwards.
Follow up with a Jumping Slash, a Jumping Advancing Slash, or even a Midair Evade.
Recall Kinsect
The silk heals all
Calls back your Kinsect while dodging.
As it returns, it will perform spinning attacks that scatter healing extracts. Its stamina will fully recover once it gets back to its master.

mhw_light-bowgun MHR Light Bowgun Silkbinds

Silkbind Glide
Let your shots flow like water
Surge forward at lightning-fast speed. Pressing the corresponding button while moving unleashes a powerful close-range severing attack.
Fanning Vault
Rain down shots from above
Uses a Wirebug to vault you forwards.
Press the corresponding button to fire, to reload, or to fire a Wyvernblast directly below you, which will stick to the monster’s hide.

mhw_heavy-bowgun MHR Heavy Bowgun Silkbinds

Free Silkbind Glide
Move around like a gale of destruction
Push the stick to control the direction you go in.
Press the corresponding button to perform a close-range attack or quickly sheathe your weapon.
Counter Shot
A fierce counterattack
Stretch out a web of silk and take a stance to prepare for a powerful counterattack.
The attack is activated if you get hit while in this stance.

mhw_Bow MHR Bow Silkbinds

Herculean Draw
Use Ironsilk to strengthen your draw
Surge forward in a designated direction.
Your attack is also empowered for a short time.
Focus Shot
Energy through harmony with nature
Dodge while crouching. While crouching, your stamina rapidly regenerates.
If timed right, you can nullify a monster attack while evading. You can also use the Left Stick to change the direction in which you evade.

Buddies System

Also new to Monster Hunter Rise is the Buddies System, that introduces an additional, rideable companion: the Palamute. Palamutes are a lot nicer than the Hunter Ride of Monster Hunter World, as they provide you with full control over the pathing and feel a lot more fluid. You can use items and even attack while riding, and your Palico and Palamute companions will both join you in battle and with buffs.

This isn’t available in the demo, but the full game promises to allow you to customize your buddies during character creation, as well as take any two buddies with you on solo mode – so you could bring two Palico or two Palamute. In multiplayer, however, you’ll have to pick one or the other. A tough choice considering that riding a palamute means you won’t use any stamina exploring the field.

Design, Visual & Audio of Monster Hunter Rise

I was quite concerned that it would be very hard to return to a lower resolution after the gorgeous 4k of Monster Hunter World. And I must admit it is indeed a noticeable downgrade in performance, as you will notice framedrops on the 1080p version when connected to your TV, which is running somewhere between 25-30 FPS. This doesn’t mean the game’s performance is poor, but we were spoiled by the better hardware of more powerful consoles and PC. On the handheld version that runs at 720p, I noticed no drops in frames, so I think those who tend to play this way will have few complaints here.

The world design is very typical Monster Hunter, and I rather welcome the downsizing of the flora and fauna to fit the smaller screens. Everything in World seemed to be a few sizes bigger than life, or a world made for the giant dynos that roamed it. Rise is instead a world for humans, and the monsters are the intruders. I enjoyed roaming about and discovering the sublocations of the Ruined Shrine, and I think the map is well designed and will be right at home for veteran hunters.

The overall artistic direction is very Japanese, and I find myself really into the Armor and Weapon designs as well as the wonderful drawings for the monster icons on the UI. The game has a lot of personality and I think matching up your fashion will be a big part of the multiplayer scene.

Finally, the audio is on par with what you expect of other titles. I found the music to be a good tone, although the menu music got incredibly annoying after idling on it for a while. I was also quick to turn off the character voice commentary, as it got weird to hear myself repeat silly phrases. Good call from Capcom’s side in providing a way to turn it off or limit its frequency.

Final Thoughts on Monster Hunter Rise Demo

I went into the Demo excited but cautious as I wasn’t sure I would be ready to go back to a lower performance platform and I don’t normally play on Switch. I did have some troubles getting used to the controls, as you can likely tell from the gameplay, but overall I did get into it and it did make me want to get the full game as soon as possible.

The game’s setting is right on point with the Monster Hunter feel, the new buddies system gives a freshness to the Palicoes and assists in solo play, and the Wirebug opens up a world of possibilities not just for world traversal but also for combat encounters.

My favorite part of the demo was the opportunity to leash a monster to do my bidding and be part of small-scale Godzilla battles. It does feel great to be in control of a turf war, and there are special “Mounted Finisher” moves that feel amazing to execute.

I will be streaming Monster Hunter Rise on the Fextralife Twitch channel today and  during the beta, and we will be covering it via a MHR wiki and video content – so stay tuned if you’d like to know more about the final game!


MMO raider by day and guide writer by night, Fex enjoys multiplatform gaming, good books and animes, and streaming with a cold beer.

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