Every passing year brings new additions to my gaming library, many that are left untouched until I further dwindle my library of played games or my friends decide to also join me in my adventures, and I have someone I can share these moments with. Monster Hunter Rise has continued my love of the series and allow me to play at my speed whenever and quite frankly, however I want, with its build diversity. Developed and published by Capcom Co, Sunbreak continues the story established in Rise with the emergence of a new threat for us to hunt, skin and craft new armor and weapons from their bodies. What could be more enjoyable than that?
Let’s get down to business; what does Sunbreak give us that wasn’t in the base game? The major addition in my opinion is the addition of Master Rank. If you have played any Monster Hunter games you know that you start at Low Rank, move to High Rank and depending on the game you unlocked Master or G rank to fight the most powerful monsters around. Master rank monsters have more health, have rarer components and also are given more powerful moves to fight you with. Sunbreak also gives us the switch skill system and probably the most technical part of the DLC. This allows you to set two sets of skills for your loadout and swap them as you need during combat. Some players will use this, some wont, but it gives everyone a way to change their playstyle on the fly and that’s always welcome to be able to add variety to any game.
It also wouldn’t be a Monster Hunter game without the introduction of new Monsters and Sunbreak does that with the addition of 17 new monsters. The 17 is made up of 7 returning monsters from previous Monster Hunter games, six new subspecies and four new original monsters made just for Sunbreak. Anytime existing monsters from previous games are added to a newer game in the series it’s a fun bit of nostalgia to see if you remember their patterns and how to take them down. The new monsters are always interesting because it’s an eventful and surprising moment when they do something cool that is specific to them, and you have to learn their movements and patterns.
Sunbreak also gives us a change of scenery with a new hub with the Elgado Outpost. Personally, I prefer it over the base village as there is less walking to get to what you need in regard to shops like the smithy, quest hub and melding. The two new explorable venues are a jungle and an old castle in a typical swampy moor. The jungle area is pretty standard across the Monster Hunter series and one I was surprised I didn’t see in the base game. As always, locations like these seem to have the most terrain advantages for you as the player with how many ways there are to help you damage. Along with all the traps and creatures that you can utilize to your advantage, none are better than the new wirebugs introduced with the Gold and Ruby variations. The Ruby wirebug allows you to deal bonus damage to monster during a wyvern riding attack, the Gold wirebug is better for farming monster materials as it increases monster drop materials. Both are welcome additions that help in different ways.
The final addition with Sunbreak and my personal favorite due to my solo player style is the addition of Follower Quests which are solo adventures that you can take NPCs with you as your party. These NPCs are from the game such as the sisters from the village and are not pushovers in any way. They will attack monsters, ride them, stun them, heal you and the best part? If they get knocked out, they do not count towards your cart count so you can feel safe knowing that unless you faint, you won’t fail. With so many missions in the game already, it’s a nice addition to get something different to run, though unfortunately it is limited to only certain missions that you can do this new mechanic on. A good and welcome addition but one that could use a bit more padding.
To start the Sunbreak DLC you must progress through the Rise story far enough and you’ll have the opportunity to travel to the new Outpost where the story kicks off. I won’t go spoiling anything, but I will say that if you have been playing Rise for some time you can still expect a challenge from the continuing story and new players may want to hang back a bit in the base game until they are ready for the challenge. The game does not hold back and when you get hit in the DLC, you’ll notice it much more than fighting a monster from the base game as your health will drop down significantly more, everything is tougher, hits harder and much more aggressive.
The Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak DLC released on June 30th, 2022 on PC and Steam.