Review | Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

It’s been only a few months since Monster Hunter Rise came out on Xbox but it’s already time for the game’s major expansion, Sunbreak, to release. Filled with new monsters, abilities, features, locales, and more, Sunbreak certainly isn’t lacking on the content front. But is that enough to bring back lapsed players, or to convince current ones to purchase the expansion? Keep reading the Xbox Era review of Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, to find out.

Welcome to Elgado Outpost

Fancy new start screen!

So before I start talking about Sunbreak, it’s important to know that to even play the DLC, you have to be pretty far into Monster Hunter Rise. Specifically, you have to have completed the 7 Star hub quest, Serpent Goddess of Thunder. This will take likely dozens of hours of gameplay in the base game, meaning that this expansion is only accessible to those who are already deeply familiar with MHR. For that reason, this review will focus primarily on new additions or changes and won’t be diving into basic game mechanics.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak sets you up with a new base of operations called Elgado Outpost, a western-themed kingdom that contrasts the Japanese village style of Kamura. Over here you meet a new set of NPCs to interact with, accept quests from, and basically anything you could do in Kamura, you can do here. There’s another overlying story as well regarding certain monsters causing trouble that you need to eventually take care of. Story isn’t really the focus of Monster Hunter, but the premise here is almost identical to that of the base game, for better or worse.

So, What’s New?

Oooh, a beach!

Let’s move on to the meat of the expansion and see if Sunbreak has enough changes or updates to be worth buying. The moment you start playing you’ll notice some new features, such as the red or gold wirebugs to alter Wyvern Riding, or markings on some walls that lead to special effects when a monster is knocked into them. Sunbreak also brings with it two new locales to fight and meet enemies, which makes things feel fresh and helps reduce the monotony that can build up when chain hunting. You also won’t be playing long before obtaining new Switch Skills for all fourteen weapons as well as a way to quickly swap between two skill loadouts, even in the middle of battle.

Monster Hunter games are already full of depth when it comes to combat, with each and every weapon having a high skill ceiling. These new Switch Skills add even more to this, especially when you don’t need to hard commit to just one type for an entire hunt. An easy example here is the Greatsword, a traditionally very slow weapon that relies on predicting the monster’s actions in order to set up big hits. Sunbreak introduces the “Surge Slash Combo”, three quick hits that don’t require you to charge up for an hour. While I’m sure there’s an optimum build to use, I had fun switching through the skills mid-combat and really experimenting with what worked best on what monster. Every other weapon also has changes to explore and potentially change the way you fight.

In terms of progression, Sunbreak introduces the “Master Rank”, to the game. Another tier of quests alongside low and high rank. This means every monster in the game, even weaker ones, have new materials to drop, new weapons and armor to build, and thankfully some new move sets or variations in their attacks. There are also new variant monsters that have more drastic changes, such as completely different weaknesses and element attacks than their base versions. I learned this the hard way when I brought along a fire element sword on a variation that had its weakness changed to water. Though of course getting better and better at hunting the same monster is a core tenet of the franchise, so I didn’t mind.

So I Heard You Liked Tutorials

You get a tutorial, everyone gets a tutorial!

Alongside the new Switch Skills, Sunbreak brings with it an absolute deluge of new features. Seriously, I couldn’t go ten minutes without a new tutorial popping up on my screen. This was actually one of the few complaints I had about the base game, that there were simply too many features introduced too quickly, and at first glance it feels similar here. A new way to eat dango, new skills to unlock for your buddies, new wildlife to pick up and utilize while hunting, new environmental interactions, new additions to the lottery system and more. It just kept coming and I’m sure there’s still a lot more I have yet to see.

This sounds like a lot, (and it is!), but just like the base game, most of these additions can be ignored or only interacted with when you feel ready. The meat of the game is in the hunt itself and I slowly interacted with more and more features at my own pace. Sure, that’s probably not the most efficient way to go about it, but this is a game with dozens and dozens of hours. It’s okay to take your time.

There’s still a lot more to talk about here, but the last thing I’ll mention is that Sunbreak introduces the “Follower” system. A way to make soloing quests a little easier/interactive, especially when you can’t find others to play with. Speaking of, I did try to play with others but was sadly unable to get it working. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of people to group up with once the game officially releases.

Going back to followers, this is a new mechanic that allows NPCs to join you on your hunts after you complete certain “Follower Quests”. These NPCs behave like real players, helping you hunt, using wildlife, and being more directly impactful than just a Palico. They also have various voice lines, so you’re never bored even if it’s about as painful as the rest of the dialogue in the game. While MHR is still best when playing with others, the follower system is a welcome change for those that would rather keep to themselves.

Looking Good


While still not as good looking as the previous entry, Monster Hunter World, Rise’s Sunbreak looks crisp and performs essentially without any frame drops, even on “graphics” mode. Though I do have a VRR enabled tv, meaning any small frame drops may not have affected me. The new hub Elgado, the new monsters, and the new locales all look good, though not great. Essentially if you liked the visuals in the base game, you’ll like them here too.

Soundtrack wise, Sunbreak doesn’t disappoint. With a stellar main theme and new renditions of various tracks from the base game, the music was one of the areas I thought this expansion added on to the most. After dozens of hours of hunting to the same BGM, it was refreshing to have a different, but similar, track playing instead.

I didn’t run into any bugs in my playtime and the game felt very polished. Which makes sense considering that while this update is only now making its way to Xbox, it’s been out and playable on a couple of other platforms for a while now. Even a major gripe I had with the first game is at least temporarily alleviated at the start of the expansion, the money grind. By the end of MHR, I simply didn’t have enough money to make everything I wanted to, especially if I wanted to focus on more than one weapon type. With Sunbreak, the new Master Rank weapons start off with a low base cost while the hunts still give a good amount of currency. This may sound small but when the cost goes from 80,000 to 12,000, it’s a very nice change.

Is Simply More Enough?

A screen you’re sure to see many times

I’ve already gone on longer than I had assumed but if there’s one thing I’d say about Sunbreak, it would be that this expansion gives you more of most things in the base game. The rampage system is entirely ignored, but other than that you get more weapon and gem skills, more monsters, more quests, more gear, more builds, more features, more locations, more music, more nonsensical story, more bad dialogue, more NPCs, and more reasons to hunt down a limping creature just trying to get away and sleep.

So, if you’re wondering if this expansion is worth buying, ask yourself if you want more to do in this game. To be completely fair the base game is already loaded with content, so I wouldn’t fault anyone for waiting to buy Sunbreak. That being said, with the Master Rank quests also increasing your regular Hunter Rank, this expansion can be played together with the end-game grind of the base release, making it easier to get to Hunter Rank 100.

I look pretty

At the end of the day, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is loaded with even more content and more ways to play said content. The changes to the weapons, to the gear and the added variety in both monsters and locale, make this an easy recommendation for anyone who enjoys the game and wants reasons to either keep playing or to come back. If you haven’t gotten your fill of hunting monsters yet, Elgado Outpost could surely use your help.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

Played on
Xbox Series X
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak


  • Great soundtack
  • More variety in combat
  • More locations, more monsters
  • More content
  • More


  • Very little brand new to the game
  • Visuals are still a little bland
8.0 out of 10
XboxEra Scoring Policy

Aarsal "Soulblazerz" Masoodi

Like many, I started my Xbox journey with Halo CE and I've been a pretty big fan ever since. I don't know too much about the technical mumbo jumbo but I know that the future of Xbox looks bright and I'm happy to be along for the ride.

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