Hey, there fellow gamers! Have you been searching for a game that will take you on a wild adventure, filled with massive monsters and an incredible fantasy world? Well, look no further because Wild Hearts is here to give you all that and more! Developed by Omega Force and published by Electronic Arts under its EA Originals label for PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S. So, grab your controller, get ready to don your samurai armour, and let's dive right into the world of Azuma, where the hunt for the biggest beasts is on!
This AAA title is perfect for next-generation consoles and high-end PCs, but we have to be honest with you - some moments left us feeling a little disappointed. During the game's introduction and some of the later boss battles, we encountered questionable visuals that worried us about what was to come. I mean, have you ever tried fighting a monster when it's pouring rain and you can barely see? Talk about a challenge! But don't worry, we managed to power through those stuttering moments and found that the fights and movement were pretty smooth overall. While the visuals may not be jaw-dropping, they do a good job of bringing the world of Azuma to life. Sure, there were a few glitches and framerate drops, but isn't that just par for the course with any new game release?
Wild Hearts offers exciting combat that will surely get you hyped up, but there were some moments when the camera and targeting were a bit wonky, which can happen when dealing with big and agile creatures in games. Nevertheless, this adds to the game's overall fun, and with some practice, you'll become an expert at manoeuvring through these challenges. However, it would be nice if the feedback was a bit more satisfying, but this is just a minor issue.
In Wild Hearts, you can do more than just swing huge weapons at massive creatures to make new pants. The game's unique Karakuri mechanic lets you build structures on the fly during combat. With this, you can build crates to jump off of and deliver devastating attacks or springs to dash away when your stamina is low. Building Karakuri in specific ways can also lead to new structures, like a Bulwark that can stop the biggest beasts in their tracks. The only drawback is that building Karakuri requires thread, which can be challenging to find in some areas. But don't worry, you can climb on the Kemono to attack their weak points and replenish your materials. Overall, Wild Hearts offers a thrilling combat system that is unique and enjoyable, despite some minor issues.
Minato is home to a cast of charming and eccentric characters, even if they don't play a practical role in your adventures. Seeing how much these locals adore you is amusing, and placing you on a pedestal as if you were a superhero is amusing. Their likable personalities make for a good breather between hunts. While being a typical customisable silent hero, your protagonist still has a distinctive character that becomes more apparent as you uncover their backstory. As I've reached the middle of the main story, I'm eager to unravel more about their mysterious past.
The game's story isn't ground-breaking, but it has its own quiet appeal. It's a survival tale that focuses on the struggle of an entire town to survive in a harsh environment, not just a particular group of individuals. Additionally, there are subtle indications that something fishy is going on in Minato. The shadowy shopkeeper Kōgyoku and the smooth-talking bathhouse operator Tamakazura are two of the most intriguing characters in the game, both with their enigmatic secrets. It's not hard to imagine that hunting and frontier life might not be the most morally upstanding pursuits.
Wild Hearts' gameplay is often considered its biggest asset or downfall when compared to the immensely popular Monster Hunter series. However, Wild Hearts manages to carve out its own unique identity by incorporating nature-inspired monsters and blending familiar gameplay with innovative elements such as the Karakuri-style building reminiscent of Fortnite. The combination of these features sets Wild Hearts apart and, although it can be challenging to fight monsters while building structures, it presents a thrilling and strategic experience once mastered.
The pace of gear progression in Wild Hearts is disappointingly slow and lacks a sense of satisfaction. Instead of offering gradual improvements, upgrades only provide "affinity" for human or kemono armour, which feels underdeveloped. Even after investing over 20 hours of gameplay, only 22 out of the 60 unlocked armor pieces were eligible for upgrades, but none of the additional skills have been of any benefit so far. The game does provide occasional perks like "3% fire resistance," but there are limited chances to stack these effects, which is hardly exciting for most players.
Despite the simpler equipment systems in Wild Hearts compared to Monster Hunter, I'm still excited to continue playing and see how it progresses. While it remains to be seen if it's worth delving into more deeply, I have yet to become bored with the game and look forward to exploring its potential. Additionally, I hope that the monster variety becomes more significant as I progress further.
Wild Hearts is commonly known as a co-op game that's best enjoyed with friends. Having a few companions to help you distract the Kemono can be very beneficial. Although playing Wild Hearts alone is possible, it's considerably more challenging than playing with others. Solo play can be time-consuming, overwhelming, and doesn't quite fit the game's mechanics. To fully appreciate Wild Hearts, playing with friends or online seems to be the way to go.
The price of the game is around £59.99/$69.99. Despite being an enjoyable experience, the game seems to lack certain aspects and tries too hard to stand out instead of embracing the beloved style of Monster Hunter fans.
In conclusion, Wild Hearts is a fantastic game centred on hunting monsters, but it often suffers from being unfavourably compared to the well-established Monster Hunter franchise. The game's developers have announced that new downloadable content featuring additional kemono and karakuri will be released in the coming months, and the best part is that all updates will be free of charge - at least for now. This means that even after finishing the base game, players will have plenty of reasons to return to the world of Azuma. Overall, Wild Hearts is an impressive game with a captivating world that keeps players coming back for more. Get ready to gear up because the hunt is about to begin!