I’ve been playing a fair bit of Monster Hunter Rise this week, and I can’t get over how good it looks. The game is using the RE Engine, which is the same engine Capcom used to build Resident Evil 7, and presumably Resident Evil Village. The engine is so good, but I thought all of its magic was locked away for PC and major consoles, not Nintendo’s handheld hybrid. However, when I load up the game to go out on a hunt, I’m consistently surprised by the fact that the monsters look as good as they do in Monster Hunter World. All of this is without even playing in docked mode, I’m playing on a Nintendo Switch Lite.
Capcom has shown with this game just how far the boundaries of the Switch can be pushed with the right tools. Of course, not all developers have access to these tools, but it’s a new benchmark for what to aim for at the very least. Games like The Witcher 3 and The Outer Worlds didn’t look the best when they first launched. It took post-launch patches to bring the graphics up a level or two, but they still don’t look as good as Monster Hunter Rise. The developers could definitely learn from Capcom and what they’ve achieved here, even if that requires more delays in the future.
Monster Hunter Rise isn’t exactly a game that needs to look good. There’s a big enemy on the screen, and you need to hit it. The graphics could stand to be a lot worse without compromising the gameplay experience. This much has been proven with PSP and 3DS entries into the franchise. No one is complaining that Monster Hunter Rise looks this good though, it gives all Switch players a chance to experience what Monster Hunter world players have.
From here on, Capcom is only bringing more content to Monster Hunter Rise. I reckon this game will be the Animal Crossing: New Horizons of 2021, but it’ll take consistent support to make that happen. As lockdowns lift around the world, having a game this good that you can take out with you will only make it more popular.