Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Review - Sunrise Over The Kingdom
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Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Review - Sunrise Over The Kingdom

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak sees your intrepid hunter leave Kamura Village behind to venture across the sea to the outpost of Elgado. It functions almost like a brand new game, introducing a new HUB and cast of characters, locales to explore, monsters to fight, and weapons and armor to craft from their parts. Yet there's very little about Sunbreak that feels truly new or surprising. More Monster Hunter is never a bad thing, and Sunbreak is an excellent expansion with some smart additions that reinforce just how good Rise already is, but it's difficult not to feel a little disappointed by its formulaic nature.

For starters, the story is typically boilerplate, revolving around a brand-new threat that's making all of the monsters overly aggressive. It's as predictable and easy to ignore as any previous Monster Hunter tale, although the new cast of characters are at least more defined and interesting than those found in Rise, partly because you spend a lot more time with them.

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New Follower Quests give you a chance to embark on hunts in the company of various non-player characters, allowing their personalities to surface more than the series usually allows. These are single-player-only quests, but the intricacy of your allies' artificial intelligence makes them almost indistinguishable from multiplayer hunts. Your companions fight like other players, using lifepowder at opportune times, laying down traps, drawing the monster's attention for prolonged periods, and sometimes disappearing before emerging on the back of another reluctant beast. You'll notice them when they're actively helping you, and they're smart enough not to frustrate you by doing something boneheaded. These quests might be optional, but each one rewards you with unique items, and they make it much more enjoyable to grind for monster parts on your own.

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