Dry your eyes Switch fans sad about the lack of Monster Hunter World on Nintendo's platform; Capcom has announced Monster Hunter Rise, a brand-new entry in the long-running series that's heading to Switch next March.
Revealed during today's Nintendo Direct Mini, Monster Hunter Rise builds on the open-world style of exploration introduced in Monster Hunter World, with each environment existing as a seamless, single locale. According to Capcom, verticality is a key focus in Rise (as its name hints at), and players will have access to a new Clutch-Claw-like tool known as the Wirebug, a sort of hookshot enabling hunters to climb and swing up to places normally out of reach.
One of these places is the Shrine Ruins, a rather gloomy map filled with dilapidated shrines and ruins, bamboo thickets, and waterlogged fields, punctuated by towering, mist-shrouded rocks. Capcom promises plenty of secrets to uncover here, encouraging thorough exploration, which should be a whole lot easier thanks to Rise's new Palamutes, dog companions that can carry hunters across large expanses without depleting stamina.
That's not their only role though, and they also serve as fearless, attacker-type fighting companions. Single-player hunters are able to have two sidekicks with them during a hunt, and can mix and match between Palamutes or returning cat-like Palicoes (which serve as support types here) as they choose. One companion is available to each hunter in multiplayer mode.
Between quests, players can catch their breath at Kamura Village, the new base of operations, and the expressive cut-scenes found in Rise's announcement trailer suggest it will have the same kind of story focus as Monster Hunter World. As you'd assume though, the core experience is still monster battling and Capcom has revealed a handful of the creatures, both large and small, that hunters will need to confront during their latest adventure.
The Magnamala is Rise's flagship monster, and is a fearsome fanged wyvern "with strong air or menace". Capcom also teased the bird wyvern Aknosom, which can use its crest as a weapon, the Great Izuchi which moves around the world in groups of three, plus the hulking amphibian Tetranadon, able to swallow gravel to swell its body, changing its attacks in the process. Capcom says to expect more new monsters as well as familiar favourites, such as Arzuros.
New gameplay elements will apparently arise from fights between monsters (presumably somewhat similar to turf wars in Monster Hunter World) and hunters will be able to make use of new combat moves based around the Wirebug. Here, the grapple hook combines with weapons for an increased range of attacks that make for "vertical, fast-paced combat".
Monster Hunter Rise is coming to Switch on 26th March next year, and will be available in standard, deluxe and collector's editions.
It'll be joined by three new amiibo at launch - based on the Palamute, Palico, and Magnamalo - that unlock special layered armour and provide access to a daily lottery for useful items. Rise will also feature some form of compatibility with the newly announced Monster Hunter Stories 2.