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Monster Hunter Rise’s dog companion will be the player’s best friend

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Finally, a Monster Hunter for dog lovers

A hunter rides on his dog Palamute through a wooded trail in Monster Hunter Rise. Image: Capcom

Monster Hunter has always been a little biased towards cat people. The games have always had Felynes: walking, talking cats who integrate into your camp doing various jobs, including the invaluable support roles they perform accompanying your character on hunts. But Monster Hunter Rise has gone to the dogs, giving players a new dog friend: the Palamute.

While Capcom already revealed the Palamute in the Monster Hunter Rise reveal trailer two weeks ago, we’ve now learned a bit more from talking to the development team and from deeper gameplay previews during this year’s virtual Tokyo Game Show. The Palamute looks to be a completely indispensable companionn that will help push forward the new gameplay evolutions included in Rise.

While the Palamute is a companion just like the Felyne Palico helpers, its role focuses primarily on attacking, said Rise director Yasunori Ichinose. The Palico is now fully a support role, helping to heal and buff the hunter and place traps. Players can bring one of each, or two of one type, depending on their play style. “If you’re someone who gets hurt a lot, you can take two Palicoes with you,” said Ichinose. “Or you can decide to take two Palamutes with you because you’re a dog person.”

Pahamutes will get the full suite of craftable armor from monster parts, the developers confirmed, continuing the tradition of amazing animal armor sets. This includes weapons, which gameplay videos showed them welding in their mouths.

But beyond attacking, it seems like Palamutes are hugely advantageous as a player’s mount. They can perform many of the same actions as a hunter can, including climbing vines. Also, riding one doesn’t deplete your stamina like running does, and you can even sharpen your weapons and do other tasks that would normally require standing still while on your Palamute’s back.

The monster hunter asking the palamute for its paw in a wooded clearing.
Yes, you can pet the dog in Monster Hunter Rise, but you can also do tricks with them.
Image: Capcom

Palamutes make up only half of the major pivots in movement mechanics coming to Rise. Hunters can zip up cliffs or across chasms using the wirebugs, an insectoid take on a grappling hook that can also ensnare monsters and extend combos in combat. Ichinose, who previously worked on Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, said the game’s verticality and freedom of movement was something he had wanted to add as soon as he started working on Rise, which was before Monster Hunter World was announced.

World had abolished map zones, thanks to the available processing power of current-generation consoles versus handheld systems. Some players have been concerned the franchise’s return to handheld would bring them back. (Zones were frustrating because it meant chasing a monster into another zone and having to wait for everything to load in to continue.) The map remains seamless in Rise, and while Ichinose said it was “difficult” to achieve that on the Nintendo Switch, he promised the game was able to run at 30 FPS, even with the expanded maps. (The game is running on the Resident Evil engine.)

Monster Hunter Rise will launch exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, and Capcom said the game was designed with portability in mind, meaning it may not make its way to other platforms. Rise supports online and local multiplayer, and producer Ryoto Tsujimoto confirmed there will be additional free event content after the game’s release. Rise is due out March 26, 2021.