Almost a year after its launch on Nintendo Switch, the PC port of Monster Hunter Rise has finally arrived on Steam, finally allowing us to push the limits of the already excellent Switch version. The port offers higher resolutions, smoother frame rates and a range of graphics options to take advantage of PC power points, as well as compatibility with ultrawide monitors and voice chat. All the basics are there, but does the PC port fix the technical sacrifices of the original Switch, especially if Monster Hunter Rise was taken to a more demanding open world design? And, similarly, what other benefits are offered on PC?
To be fair, the Switch version is extraordinary in its own terms. It’s a vision of the franchise that was first created for Nintendo hardware and continues to be exclusively for Switch consoles. Monster Hunter Rise is also the first saga game created with the RE Engine, the same engine used in Resident Evil VII and Resident Evil Village, allowing the Capcom team to produce more open scenes with less load times, eliminating the zone division which we have seen so far in France. The Nintendo console’s Tegra X1 moves well, although in some respects it still lags behind 2018’s Monster Hunter World, such as no animation in tree shadows or speeding fifty for hundred among lejanos enemies.
And how much lighter is the PC version compared to the Switch? Simply with the switch to 4K resolution on PC screens such as the Forgotten Temple, they are more pleasing to the eye, and the small details in the main hub area are also more attractive to compare with more definition. When it comes to frame rate, there’s obviously also a direct benefit to having 60FPS combat; attack timing, jumping or using the cordopter to jump large spaces is also more accurate at 60FPS. Going back to the Switch version afterwards is complicated, but the truth is that the Nintendo console must take credit for moving the game so well with a fija resolution of 1344×756. In Switch, the frame rate is stuck at 30fps with occasional framerate issues, but the framerate graph rarely drops below 30fps in initial missions.
Obviously, a simple jump to 4K is not enough to impress users. Increase the number of pixels pressed to Capcom to ensure that the world of Rise survives the type of a more detailed script, and that’s why a series of extras have been added to the PC graphics menu. To optimize gaming with the “High” global preset, we have a quality option of 150% in image quality. It oversamples a larger base resolution to achieve a sharper image, in addition to using existing FXAA and TAA techniques. High-resolution textures are also enabled, along with ambient lighting, dynamic shading, and an option for movement in vegetation. The distance from malls – which reflects the distance drawn from trees and objects in the lejanía – also increases in height, as well as the quality of shadows. In motion, all of this translates into a satisfying improvement. Even with our Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor – a fairly old processor – there’s no problem hitting 60FPS. In this case, our Titan RTX – a card that’s a faster card than an RTX 2080 Ti – has no problem delivering a 4K image, which you can see in the video that accompanies this article.
One of the great promises of the PC version is the best in texture quality. Without hesitation, in practice, the best is not as great as expected, except that the results are still evident at times. The general option of high resolution textures affects the modeling materials of characters, creations and objects spaced by the hub area. In Switch its quality was already respectable, but the PC has a clear advantage in the early shots of the Maestro Hojo mount, for example. As far as options go, VRAM usage rarely peaks in modern GPUs, but compared to Capcom’s Switch’s 4GB of RAM, it has more room to boost quality. Textures are more specific in most cinemas, but sometimes the best isn’t universal. If we look at the details in Fugen, we see an inconsistent result: his skin’s shaders are much better in resolution, but other elements, like the mallet, use the same Switch low-res texture map in PC. Similarly, floor textures in the Forgotten Temple generally use the same resources as in Switch. At least on PC the presentation is better thanks to an option to filter high quality textures, except that the resource used is the same.
One of the main improvements in the PC version concerns the level of detail. The Forgotten Temple shows this very well: below the initial field, the PC version displays a much greater drawing distance in the vegetation. Plants and trees reveal themselves much faster, accompanied by a cascade of shadows. In general, most areas have enough content that this shouldn’t be an issue in Switch, but it’s a nice addition to PC in the larger scenes. It is also very popular to eliminate animations by 50% in Switch; in the distance, on Nintendo’s hybrid console, enemy animations are reduced to 15FPS, but on PC this figure is not fixed and is displayed at 60FPS. All graphics run at the same refresh – 60Hz in our recording – which is a plus point for the PC port.
The last pillar of the PC version is best in the shadows. Setting your quality to maximum is worth the trouble and expense of forcing the GPU a bit more, to get thicker, more abundant shadow under plants. Definition is better anchored in character shadows, as well as those cast from tree frames, a noticeable improvement over the original Switch. And, what’s more, now tree shadows are animated, moving with the wind, whereas in Switch they’re kept static at all times. Unsurprisingly, environmental clearance, like in Switch, continues to show a very pronounced dithering effect when the camera is very close, creating some artifacts in the image. This is particularly evident in the characters’ collars, or in the shadow under the beard of his face. The PC version improves the accuracy of Capcom’s environmental clustering method, but it’s not perfect. Additionally, in some situations, setting Shadow Quality to maximum may cause additional artifacts that will not appear on Switch, although this rarely occurs.
Logically, the game runs perfectly on a card like the Titan RTX, and it promises to see that 4K and maximum detail are no problem hitting 60FPS. There is a pega, that is; in the main menu and in some movies, the PC version reverts to the 30FPS limit regardless of the frame rate you have chosen for gameplay. This 30FPS blockchain is activated in the first cinemas with Maestro Fugen, and in the panoramic shots of the hub. It’s also unfortunate that, as happens in Swtich, on PC, these moments show an inconsistent frame rate, making it feel like there are moving shots. It’s a small miss in the sense that, after all, it’s a pretty round title, and of course most newer cinemas play at 60FPS:
In general, it is fantastic to see Monster Hunter Rise without any hacks on PC. The improvement in resolution and frame rate is clearly more noticeable, although much more than was possible with Switch. Improvements to textures, shadows, and level of detail don’t have much of an impact, no embargo, but at least sharpen the presentation. Without a doubt, Monster Hunter has never looked better. That said, there are some milestones that point to the PC version: cinemas are stuck at 30FPS and the occasional glitches in shadows.
Monster Hunter Rise translates well to PC, including if there are things we would have liked to see there. Pastel Window could have cross-played between the Switch and PC versions with a type of cloud storage similar to Steam Cloud. This idea proved successful in ports for Switch like The Witcher 3 or Divinity Original Sin 2, allowing players to repeat their game at home with the computer after playing outside with the laptop. . The surprising results are also the lack of high range PC features such as ray tracing, which the RE engine is capable of and we have to comply with reflections in screen space. Either way, Monster Hunter Rise is a solid PC conversion and worth recommending. It’s a satisfying port, but also with a few extras to excite high-end PC users.
Translated by Josep Maria Sempere.