Capcom have unveiled more deets about their upcoming beast-laden expansion Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, including a closer look at its new big bad Elder Dragon Malzeno. Monster Hunter series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and Sunbreak director Yoshitake Suzuki also debuted three more monsters you'll be meeting in the expansion during their latest digital broadcast, along with its new Switch Skill Swap ability and Follower Quests.
As a Monster Hunter greenhorn, I have to say that Malzeno does not look like a dragon I'd like to idly tussle with. Capcom say the Elder Dragon has “the capacity to bring entire kingdoms crumbling down” and I can easily believe that. Malzeno has a more vampiric theme than other signature beasties, see, and can inflict the ‘Bloodblight’ status on prey to suck away their lifeforce. It also uses parasites to pinch your strength and stamina, and if your hunter’s lifeforce dwindles to nothing then Malzeno will evolve into a bigger, badder form. One to tackle carefully, methinks.
The other three monsters announced are a mix of returning big bads from other games in the series, as well as new evolutions of other, more familiar ones. First up is the Flying Wyvern Seregios, introduced in Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate for the Nintendo 3DS, which sports bladescales that can also inflict a bleed status on hunters when it sheds them. The other two are new subspecies of the monsters you'll have fought in Rise: the Aurora Somnacanth and Magma Almudron. Your hunter will get a frosty reception from Aurora Somnacanth, which emits a freezing mist, while Magma Almudron is a lava-lad who “augments its attacks with molten stone”. Maybe introduce them over drinks and they’ll cancel each other out?
Outside of the new batch of monsters, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak introduces the new Switch Skills Swap function. This lets your hunter switch – or swap, I guess – between two different loadouts of skills while out on a hunt. If hunters are attacked while fiddling with their loadouts then they can employ the Swap Evade in any direction to dodge from attacks. Sunbreak will also let your hunters bond with the game’s NPCs in the new single-player Follower Quests, so people hanging around Elgado Outpost and Kamura Village can lend hunters a helping hand. Sounds like a dangerous way to make new friends, but Capcom say there’s some “exclusive rewards” in it for you.
Hey, Capcom also touted a tasty looking Malzeno-themed Nintendo Switch Pro Controller that’s out on the same day as the game. Switch Pro Controllers have been supported natively on Steam for a while now, so if you really like hunting monstrous dragon creatures then they’re always an option for some extra desktop flair. I just rock the bog standard one, but that Malzeno art is very tempting.
Katharine awarded a Bestest Bests to the base game in her Monster Hunter Rise review, calling it a “more than worthy successor to Monster Hunter: World”. “There's a generous and playful sense of freedom here that keeps combat and exploration feeling fresh,” she added, “and the momentum of its hunting-led missions means you're rarely spinning your wheels as you seek out that last elusive armour part."
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak bursts forth onto Steam on June 30th for £33/$40/€40. You’ll need the base game to play Sunbreak and have completed the hub quest ‘Serpent Goddess of Thunder’ before you can start, though. Hit up Capcom’s Sunbreak site for more info.