Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak reveals NPC companions, combat twists, more

With the arrival of Monster Hunter Rise’s Sunbreak expansion looming, Capcom has returned with a new livestream showcasing more of the features players can expect if they decide to make a purchase on 30th June.

Previous reveals have confirmed the likes of a new, more challenging Master Rank, new monsters, a new area in the form of The Citadel – which promises diverse biomes, including lush forests, icy mountains, and foggy swampland, with a huge ruined castle as its centrepiece – and a new hub area in the bustling port town of Elgado Outpost.

That, though, isn’t the end of the additions arriving in Monster Hunter Rise’s “massive” Sunbreak expansion. As part of its latest reveal, Capcom has showcased three new monsters and discussed Sunbreak’s flagship addition, Malzeno, in more detail.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak – The Mystery of Malzeno.

We now know, for instance, that Malzeno is a fearsome elder dragon that’s brought the kingdom to the brink of ruin many times in the past, and is a vampire-inspired creation able to absorb the energy of living creatures as part of its bag of tricks. This manifests as a new Bloodblight attack in-game which sees players attempting to overcome a battle for their life-force – and if Malzeno succeeds during battle, he’ll evolve into a much more powerful form.

Other monsters newly confirmed to be making an appearance in Sunbreak include Seregios, the flagship monster of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, who is able to shower hunters with sharp scales, causing bleed attack. Additionally, players can expect new subspecies, including the Aurora Somnacanth – which has freezing breath and can slide around on ice, differentiating it from its sleep-based original – and the Magma Almudron, which lives in lava caverns and can dig into ground, putting it in an especially deadly heated state.

Alongside the newcomers and subspecies variants, monsters that debuted in Rise are also getting a bit of a rework for the tougher Master Rank, with Capcom highlighting bird wyvern Aknosom by way of example, noting it’ll gain new back-step and somersault attacks to give it more combo potential for those hunters looking for a greater challenge.

In order to handle these more dangerous beasts, Capcom is introducing a new lifeline for solo players in Sunbreak, taking the form of NPC characters that can be invited into battle as companions. Referred to as Followers, these all have their own weapon specialisations and can recover a player’s health, place traps, and sometimes even ride monsters – and there are exclusive rewards to be gained by taking them out into the field.

Fiorayne, Luchika, Jae, Admiral Galleus, and Master Arlow will all be available as Followers in the new Elgado hub, while the likes of Hinoa and Minoto can serve as companions from Rise’s original Kamura Village area.

Rounding off today’s big Sunbreak reveals, Capcom also gave an early taste of the expansion’s new Switch Skills Swap function, enabling players to register two attack loadouts to use during a quest, giving them the option of deploying synergised attacks if the two are deployed at the right moment. These’ll be complemented by a new Swap Evade ability, enabling players to quickly change position while switching sets.

Alongside all of the above, Capcom will be introducing a range of quality of life tweaks as part of Sunbreak, including adjustable control options, the ability to go into wall-runs without needing to deploy a wire dash first, and giving players the option to pick whether to attack or mount monster when it enters a rideable state.

Monster Hunter Rise’s Sunbreak expansion will be available to purchase digitally for both Switch and PC on 30th June, and Capcom is releasing a combined Monster Hunter Rise + Sunbreak bundle at the same time. Those that own Monster Hunter Stories 2 will also be able to unlock the Navirou Costume palico layered armoured for use in Sunbreak. And beyond release? Capcom says it’ll be launching “several” free updates for those that purchase the new expansion, with more details on those due at a later date.

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