Monster Hunter Rise doesn’t feel complete at launch

Monster Hunter Rise is a stellar entry in the long-running franchise, and its fabulous Wirebug system changes the way players move in and out of combat. But Rise also has a problem: The campaign doesn’t feel done.

While the game will get a major update at the end of April, it’s hard not to be disappointed by the abrupt end that feels like it comes one hunt before the story can be wrapped up.

Let’s dive into some spoilers for where Monster Hunter Rise ends, and why it’s such a bummer — we’ll keep the story descriptions low on details.

[Warning: The rest of this article contains light spoilers for the ending of Monster Hunter Rise.]

Playing the waiting game

Image: Capcom via Polygon

The central conflict in Monster Hunter Rise is that monsters occasionally go into a “Rampage,” causing them to get too close to your Hunter’s village of Kamura. It’s been happening on and off for decades, and nobody quite understands why. You and your friends discover some potential sources for the Rampage near the end of the game, and a way to stop it.

You’ll go on two boss fight-like adventures — not entirely dissimilar to the end of World, if players remember battling Xeno’jiiva. This final fight leads into a party scene, ala Return of the Jedi. I wondered if this was the end, a bit disappointed that Rise didn’t seem to offer World’s extensive endgame of Tempered monsters and elder dragons. But when an NPC interrupts the party to announce a new problem while some creepy stuff goes down with the village twins, it’s clear there’s more ahead.

But I didn’t get a new quest after the party. I went on a few random hunts, hoping I’d trigger the next mission. Nothing happened. After a brief journey to a special Discord provided by Capcom, I learned that I’d finished the game, and that I could experience the conclusion to the story after the game’s first major update, coming this April.

Which means Rise doesn’t have an endgame at launch, but this isn’t going to be a problem for many players. Not only did I get the game early, I absolutely devoured it over about 10 days. Aside from hardcore players who purchase the game at launch — March 26 — and also marathon it, most Hunters won’t reach the end fights before the end of April. But it’s a frustrating limbo for those of us who like to monster hunt hard.

Before it “ends,” Rise doesn’t introduce elder dragons to fight or super difficult versions of previous monsters. There are “Apex” monsters you can battle, but they’re only in the Rampage mode. There aren’t targeted hunts asking for quicker kill times but promising bonus rewards. The Hunter Rank can’t go above seven.

This was genuinely baffling to me, as the game clearly sets up an upcoming threat, hasn’t introduced its endgame yet, and did nothing to signal I was done. Moreover, NPCs in-game suggest that something big is coming. One NPC asked me to find this new threat and defeat it before the party food spoils.

This limbo doesn’t ruin my time with Monster Hunter Rise; I still wholeheartedly recommend Rise to both veteran Monster Hunter fans and new players. The end of Rise did leave me wanting more, which isn’t always a bad thing. But after an extensive endgame offering for Monster Hunter World at launch, I was hoping I could make my own fun hunting super-hard monsters and making incredible gear sets for another 40 hours. It sounds like I’ll get that chance with Rise, but I’ll need to wait another month before I can do it.

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