Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Review (PS5) – Here we are again. This will make four, yes, four, reviews for Monster Hunter Rise I have written. I reviewed Rise and Sunbreak on the Switch, then Rise and now Sunbreak on the PlayStation 5.
I just adore Monster Hunter, I have poured thousands upon thousands of hours into this series and it’s very dear to me.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is the full-game-sized expansion for Monster Hunter Rise. First released on the Switch, this PlayStation 5 version is fully up to date with the Switch version bringing all the event quests and updates with it that the Switch version has had.
I am very happy with how Capcom has treated Monster Hunter it has come a long way since the little niche game I first played on the PSP back in 2005.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Review (PS5) – Absolutely Roarsome
More Of Everything
Sunbreak adds new quests, new monsters, new locales and a few new things to make even the most bloodthirsty hunter feel fulfilled. I mean I found the story very weak but then again, the story in Monster Hunter always is.
New monsters terrorising, need your help, some sort of calamity, some sort of thing is riling up other monsters, yada yada yada. I do wish it was better but to be honest I am here to cut up monsters and make new gear.
I don’t really need to know why, just point me at the nearest Rathalos and I will dice it up!
You can jump into Sunbreak as long as you have finished the main storyline of Monster Hunter RIse, which is quite substantial. Not only that but you may as well forget everything you have earned and crafted thus far.
You will be starting Master Rank, which is like the reset in any other title when you move between ranks. All monsters have new parts, armour and weapons and everything hits harder, its time to hunt once more.
The Meat and Potatoes
Talking about Monsters, this is the only other, along with the lack of story, negative thing I have to say about Sunbreak. There are only four (including the always-present secret last boss) brand-new monsters.
Monsters are the meat and potatoes of Monster Hunter and while the roster for Sunbreak adds quite a large number of monsters, a lot of them are returnees from previous games or new variants of old ones.
Don’t get me wrong, these monsters are beautifully designed and realized as always but a few more new ones would have been great.
Capcom has also been releasing regular updates bringing back monsters and creating new events for players to create weird and wacky new gear, so even with my slight moaning, there is a shedload of content here.
Sunbreak also includes three new maps to fight on, one is a re-imagined classic from the old days, the Jungle, which has been revamped with Rise’s more vertical, wire-bug traversal in mind.
We also have the CItadel which may be one of my favourite maps so far, with poison pools, caverns and crumbling castles everywhere. It’s so detailed and great to explore. More maps like this please Capcom.
A great new feature for Sunbreak is the follower system, where, depending on your friendship status with NPCs you can take them out on quests with you. It’s a great little system if you like to play alone, these NPCs really stand their ground and know how to fight.
It’s like having a constant co-op partner who actually knows what they are doing. This is also slightly baked into the very light story of Sunbreak and it works very well. You can even play online quests with NPCs in tow.
Switch skills have also been added to and had their system changed slightly. Now, instead of having set Switch skills to take into a quest you can swap freely, at any time, between two load-outs.
I love this, it enables me to take so many more fantastic moves into the field with me and basically have two different builds to mess around with when on a quest. The skills do pay the bills you know.
Your animal companions have also had a few upgrades, you can unlock secret skills, increase their memory blocks and they also have a few new tricks for you to try.
Like creating new spawn points, being able to carry materials and all-in-all, they are just a tad more effective than they were in the base game. Animal companions for the win!
We are In the End Game Now
We should talk a bit about the endgame in Sunbreak, with players sinking hours upon hours into these games, the endgame is quite important and I have noticed from playing this for a while longer on the Switch that Capcom have been tweaking the endgame grind with each update.
I will not spoil things too much but the endgame for Sunbreak follows the same template as many Monster Hunter games that have come before it with Afflicted monsters and Anomaly investigations.
These quests level up as you do them and give you access to the best gear in the game. Not only that but allow you to also customize your gear to its peak.
Your Master Rank will also continue to unlock until you get to some of the hardest quests in the game, similar to how it worked in the base game.
The Best Place to Play
From a presentation standpoint, Monster Hunter’s music is still on point and for a game that has been ported from the Switch, it does look very crisp and very attractive.
While not hitting the high points of other PlayStation games, especially the exclusives, Sunbreak is by no means an ugly game. Not only that, it’s so fluid, smooth as butter and plays beautifully.
I also have to touch on the online part of the game. Monster Hunter Rise and therefore Sunbreak is the easiest and most intuitive online experience I have had with a Monster Hunter title.
I remember playing on PSP when you either had to play locally or trick your PC into playing online using a USB dongle.
This iteration of Monster Hunter is a breeze and you can jump into any quest you like, with random players in seconds. It’s a pure joy and you young ‘uns don’t know how good you have it. Haha.
In comparison to the Switch version, playing on PlayStation 5 with its built-in chat and online functionality only elevates it even more. Playing online was good on the Switch but a lack of a native chat function and invite system did hold it back a touch.
I love my Switch but the PlayStation 5 is definitely the best place to play Rise and Sunbreak.
An Amazing, If Pricey Expansion
As you can probably tell, even with a few minor things holding it back I think Sunbreak is fabulous. More Monsters and maps are a given but the way Capcom constantly add new content, outside of these large expansions is amazing.
Constantly giving players new things to do with each patch is so appreciated. Hunters are hungry and Capcom keeps providing a fulfilling buffet.
The online functionality on the PS5 is great as is the presentation and performance. Yes, I think it’s a bit expensive but if you like Monster Hunter there is more content here than in most full-price titles.
I would have liked more new monsters but the ones we have are beautifully designed and a blast to take on. Right, I am off to chop up some gargantuan beasts and make some new pants. Laters hunters!
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is now available on PS5 and PS4.
Review code kindly provided by the publisher.