It isn’t often that a series or game has me hooked enough to replay it all when it releases on PC. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a great example of me revisiting a beloved series purely because it rereleased on my preferred platform. Monster Hunter is no different, proving that its addictive gameplay loop was more than enough for me to revisit upon its PC release, both for Monster Hunter: World, and Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. Sinking hundreds of hours in those releases both on console and PC. Monster Hunter Rise has of course charmed me similarly. Originally debuting on the Nintendo Switch on March 26, 2021, this stellar action RPG title has finally made its way to the flexible PC platform, and it bears the fruits of Capcom’s labour, and represents lessons learned from the previous endeavour of bringing Monster Hunter to PC.
I am going to keep things relatively brief as I already have an extensive review of Monster Hunter Rise here on WellPlayed. If you would like to read that to learn about Monster Hunter Rise as a game, head on over there.
First up we will talk about how the game handles the general niceties of a PC port. Being a port of a (previously) Nintendo Switch exclusive, it comes as no surprise to hear that the game’s visuals perhaps aren’t as detailed as MH world’s were, but that is completely okay. World’s visual set presented its own challenges, due in part to the engine that was used, but also due in part to the rendering techniques used that were largely inefficient. No one really expects a Monster Hunter game to be the benchmark of technical performance and visual fidelity – that is better left to the big guns like the Forza Horizon series. Where Monster Hunter is better off allocating its resources is to a nicer art style/direction, which is exactly what MH Rise has opted for. However, this does not mean that the game does not have options for those with higher end rigs, it just means that the game will be far less taxing on your system than World ever was, while still striking a wonderful visual balance.
Monster Hunter World was a bit of an average PC port at launch. Even ignoring its performance woes, it lacked some critical PC features like ultrawide support, and bloated its settings with options that made no difference and often confused people as to what they were supposed to do. MH Rise is very different in this regard. It has a wide variety of options to customise the visual fidelity of the game, tailoring it to ensure that you can have as many or as little frames as you want. The aforementioned ultrawide support sees its inclusion on day one, rather than a year after release. Stuff like high resolution textures, texture filtering, shadow quality, and the ability to turn off motion blur (I refuse to ever leave motion blur on) are also here. The game also features the three standard display formats in Windowed, Borderless Windowed, and Fullscreen. Another nice touch, and one that a lot of games don’t dabble in, is modifying your HUD anchoring. This is something that only really is a problem for ultrawide displays, but a lot of games will anchor the HUD to the bounds of the display which can be quite annoying if games are reliant on their UI. MH Rise allows you to align the HUD as if you were still on a 16:9 display, meaning you still get the benefits of ultrawide but not injure your neck when trying to take in all the critical information.
Most games will have a separation option or toggle for HDR which can be turned on or off. MH Rise technically has this too, but rather than it be a separate toggle, it is instead bound to a display mode. I mentioned the three display modes, but there is actually a fourth mode which is entirely for HDR – Fullscreen HDR. I’m not sure why exactly the option is separated like this rather than just being a normal toggle. I do wish I had a HDR monitor so I could see if MH Rise’s implementation was as bad as MH World’s, but I do think this game’s colour palette lends itself to benefit more from a proper HDR treatment than MH World’s.
One very minor detail that MH Rise features on PC is its controller support. Controller support is nothing new, but Capcom has also gone the extra mile here and opted to tailor the icons for each controller type. This means that you won’t have conflicting icons, no matter what controller you choose. As someone who often gets confused by the different button orientations between the Switch controllers and the Xbox controllers (because it’s more or less impossible not to), it’s incredible how much the Switch button layout throws me for a loop, and the addition of accurate prompts is welcome.
One big misstep that the Monster Hunter team took with the delayed PC release of MH World was its insistence on its content cycle being delayed too. There were entire chunks of content that I waited months to do purely because I wanted to do them on PC. Some of these monsters included the Final Fantasy XIV crossover Behemoth, the Iceborne siege Safi’jiva, and Alatreon (who would come to be one of my favourite fights in all of MHW). MH Rise sees the inclusion of all the post-launch content up to version 3.6.1, meaning that there are a few Apex monsters available as well as a few new monsters like the Crimson Valstrax – a variation of the mascot monster for Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. Not only does this mean that the whole package features a lot more on release than when it initially released on the Switch, but it also means the PC community will now have the opportunity to experience the Sunbreak DLC at the same time as Switch players when that expansion releases later this year, a first for the series on PC.
The only real oddity I noticed was a weird visual bug when displaying the game on Fullscreen mode using 1440p display. For some reason the game would shrink into the middle of the screen, and then the remaining screen space was entirely black. This issue only existed in Fullscreen mode, running in Borderless Windowed would alleviate this issue entirely. I’m not sure if this is only for 1440p, but I had no issue with my 1080p displays, even my 1080p Ultrawide display.
Monster Hunter Rise truly is the product of Capcom’s ardent labour. The MH team learned a lot when they first brought the series to PC back in 2019 and they brought that forward when porting this Switch game to the flexible PC platform. It’s far from perfect, with some especially bizarre issues in its fullscreen display method, but it does a pretty solid job of bringing this fantastic game to a wider audience on another platform, with the benefits of already being caught up on content and free multiplayer. It is a shame that there is no crossplay or crosssave support, but perhaps this was a bridge too far. Now to count down the days until Sunbreak!
Reviewed on PC // Review code supplied by publisher
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX X570-F Gaming
- CPU: Ryzen 7 2700X
- GPU: GIGABYTE GTX 1080 Ti
- Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4 16GB 3000MHz (2x8GB)
- Storage: Kingston A4 128GB SSD (OS), Crucial MX500 250GB M.2 SSD (Game install)
- OS: Windows 11
- Driver version: 497.29
- January 13, 2021