Wild Hearts Definitely Deserves More Attention From You In 2023

Wild Hearts is more than just another Monster Hunter, and here's why you should be excited about it going forward in 2023.

Posted By | On 11th, Jan. 2023

Wild Hearts Definitely Deserves More Attention From You In 2023

Looking back at 2022, it’s clear that the pandemic that disrupted the entire games industry for a long period of time continues to have an impact today – with delays and pushbacks still being commonplace across news headlines. But we cannot excuse the fact that 2022 has also been a wonderful year for the medium at large, and games like Horizon Forbidden West provide strong evidence for this sentiment.

That said, 2023 is here and plenty of interesting experiences await us on the other side – including but not limited to Wild Hearts. The newest game under the EA Originals publishing banner, Wild Hearts has plenty of similarities to Monster Hunter – but reducing a game to its inspirations rarely does it justice. Omega Force’s latest has plenty of neat tricks up its sleeve, and it’s highly likely that it might end up as one of this year’s finest releases.

But before diving into the why, let’s first talk about the game itself. Omega Force is a developer within the larger Koei Tecmo conglomerate, and this division is best known for its work on Dynasty Warriors. Apart from that, the studio also has plenty of experience with monster hunting games thanks to its work on Toukiden series – and Wild Hearts looks like the evolution of that formula.

Wild Hearts shares the same backdrop as Toukiden in that it borrows elements from Feudal Japan, though both have different storylines. The former takes players to the magical land of Azuma, where humongous beasts used to live in unison with human denizens a long time ago. However, it seems that these beasts broke that truce, and naturally, violence rampages across these lands. As a member of the warrior tribe, it’s your job to hunt them down and restore peace to these lands. Sure, it’s a rather simplistic framework for a story – and most of the details will probably revolve around the history of the place and lore elements associated with the many beasts that roam these lands. But when your game is about smashing giant monsters with swords, a barebones story is rarely the biggest criticism.

And when it comes to the actual gameplay, Wild Hearts is looking really impressive in that regard as well. Karakuri was an ancient technology that was used by hunter ancestors of these lands, and you must use your knowledge of that technology to hunt down beasts of all shapes and forms. The developers have stated that crafting will be the central pillar of gameplay, and Karakuri helps in crafting all kinds of helpful traps and structures that will prove to be of paramount importance in your adventures.

For instance, you can craft traps to stop a giant monster in its tracks, or you could place a mechanical hammer on the battlefield and lure the target to get stomped by it on a regular basis. Or you could even build out a grenade that explodes for massive damage during the battle. Karakuri will not just be useful in combat, it will play an important role in exploration as well. You can build out structures that generate wind currents, and use that to gain some height to reach previously unreachable areas.

And similarly, you could also build out radars that guide you to a nearby monster and save you the frustration of following its tracks manually and then getting down to fight. Hell, you can even build out a unicycle using this technology to explore these lands quickly. Apart from crafting, the moment-to-moment gameplay involves learning about the beast that you are going to hunt down and using the appropriate gear to prepare for the fight. Much like other monster-hunting games, success in Wild Hearts will depend upon the intensity of your preparations as much as your mechanical prowess with a weapon.

That’s not to say that the fights are going to be a cakewalk either; the creatures in Wild Hearts are looking absolutely ferocious. There are giant porcupines that are slow but hit hard, giant trolls that have the perfect blend of strength and agility, and wild boars that rapidly pounce on the player at every chance. It seems fair to expect dozens upon dozens of monsters roaming these lands, and each having differing movesets that call for different strategies.

As the hunter, you will have access to plenty of weapons and armor ranging from swords to maces and bows – and each of these weapons will have its advantages and disadvantages. You will have to choose your playstyle accordingly and hunt down monsters and resource materials to craft better gear that will allow you to face even tougher challenges. When implemented with care and attention, it can create a pretty addictive gameplay loop – and we hope that Omega Force does exactly that.

Wild Hearts

In terms of world design, Wild Hearts will be following the Monster Hunter rulebook pretty closely. Instead of an open-world where you can explore the entire map without any hassles, Azuma will be split into different open zones that will house beasts of different kinds. The absence of an open world feels like a missed opportunity, but hopefully these zones have some geographical variety and compelling exploration within them.

But when it comes to why Wild Hearts could end up becoming one of the most discussed and played games of the year, there are two very strong factors that could contribute to this being the case. The first is a rather unconventional one, that Wild Hearts has a short marketing cycle. Having been revealed just last year, the game will be released next month. The developers believe that the shorter marketing cycle would mean that players don’t have to wait for long to play the game, and the excitement surrounding Wild Hearts’ imminent release definitely suggests that this gamble has largely paid off.

And the second reason is the sheer void of any co-op games coming out early this year. Sure, Wild Hearts might be out in February which is packed with releases like Hogwarts Legacy – but none of those games have co-op support – more so, as fleshed out as this game. And from what we have seen up until now, co-op might be the perfect way to experience Wild Hearts – and that could lead to the game becoming a huge hit amongst friend groups.

In conclusion, it seems that the stars have perfectly aligned and the stage has been set for Wild Hearts. All that remains is for Omega Force to deliver a game that’s mechanically sound and has an engaging gameplay loop that could keep gamers hooked on for hours on end. Hopefully, it will do just that – and in doing so, break the Monster Hunter monopoly for this niche. Fingers crossed, until then.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


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