Wild Hearts Preview: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

Recently announced by Electronic Arts, Wild Hearts is a Monster Hunter hunting game developed by Koei Tecmo and Omega Force, known for the Dynasty Warriors saga. An amazing project, therefore, that we have been able to play for several years and about which we give you our frankly positive impressions.

Summary

  • Did you say Toukiden? Well not really…
  • Better gameplay than Monster Hunter?
  • The Karakuri, a mechanism inspired by Fortnite?

In the video game industry, collaborations between the West and Japan are not that frequent. So when it was announced that the next title from Koei Tecmo, one of the oldest studios in the Japanese archipelago, would be produced by Electronic Arts, one of the most famous Western publishers in the world for licenses like FIFA, Battlefield, Need For Speed, The Sims, etc., there was something to be surprised about.

This collaboration is even more amazing as the resulting project is a Monster Hunter hunting game set in an atmosphere of feudal Japan that is obviously reminiscent of Monster Hunter Rise. Although this famous title was recently announced, we were able to play Wild Hearts for a few hours, the time to defeat some monstersand it sure looks like 2023 just won a new title to watch.

Did you say Toukiden? Well not really…

Wild Hearts is therefore a hunting game developed by Omega Force, a Koei Tecmo studio that we know especially for the Dynasty Warriors saga and for all these spin-offs such as Hyrule Warriors: Age of Plague, Persona 5 Strikers, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, One Piece: Pirate Warriors or Dragon Quest Heroes. If, therefore, this team is known for developing Muso-type games, that is, beat’em ups where you face armies on a battlefield that you manage to defeat very easily, Omega Force has also produced other genres of titles. This is particularly the case with Toukiden which is a hunting game franchise in the vein of Monster Hunter. and that it had the peculiarity of taking place in a setting reminiscent of feudal Japan.

Wild Hearts: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

Inevitably, when Wild Hearts was announced, people wondered if it might not be Toukiden 3 in disguise. Only for rights issues, this is not the case since Electronic Arts is behind this project with its EA Originals label that publishes the game. the title takes place in the country of Azuma, a kind of fantasized feudal Japan, which is plagued by disorder due to regular attacks by the Kemono, the name given to the giant creatures that represent the force of nature. and that they have powers related to the elements. In this context, the player embodies a hunter who has come from a distant land to settle this situation. Throughout the adventure we will therefore have to defeat monsters, either alone or with others up to a maximum of three players, to help the inhabitants of the region to rebuild what was destroyed. From what little we could see during our play session, the setting doesn’t seem to be the central element of the experience, as it often is in hunting games. However, the title makes an effort to offer dialogue options so that we feel involved.

Wild Hearts: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

From a graphic point of view, the game is obviously reminiscent of Monster Hunter Rise, which is itself a hunting game that takes place in a setting inspired by feudal Japan, but also in a way Ghost of Tsushima.. With its way of representing nature and its more minimalist interface than Capcom titles, Wild Hearts is very reminiscent of the aesthetics of the samurai game from Sony and Sucker Punch Productions. On the other hand, for the technical part, we are obviously not in front of such a beautiful representation, but the whole remains. And then, for a hunting game, more than the graphics, the most important thing is that the frame rate is high so that the hunt takes place in good conditions and the action remains fluid. And then, to wrap up the visuals, keep in mind that the title offers a pretty advanced character creation tool that should allow everyone to shape a hunter they like.

Wild Hearts: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

Better gameplay than Monster Hunter?

Wild Hearts: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

Far beyond the story and the graphics, the most important thing in a hunting game is above all its playability, and without too much surprise, Wild Hearts takes up many Monster Hunter codes, at least the basic ones, to develop them on their own elements. . Thus, at the gameplay level, we have a normal attack, a powerful one, and a special ability related to each type of weapon. Because yes, like in Capcom, there are several types of weapons here are eight in number. If we notice some duplicates with Monster Hunter like the katana, the greatsword, the bow or the club, Wild Hearts also offers original instruments like a kind of traditional Japanese umbrella. The latter is formidable and allows you to easily perform devastating aerial sequences, as well as having a powerful guard as a special ability.

Wild Hearts: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

Thus, to be as effective as possible, it is necessary to make the most of the different combos of each weapon according to each situation. If you can hit as many times as you want without fear of your character getting tired, the title still includes a stamina gauge but it only empties when you run, jump, or use a special ability. With this design choice, Wild Hearts fights are therefore particularly twitchy, with really impressive, spinning combos that push the player to strike from the air, which is not surprising coming from Omega Force. Where the title also has a lot of class is that once your target is defeated, you must complete it to end the mission and retrieve items on the beast, resulting in a stylized execution animation. But in general, the gameplay of the Omega Force title seems more dynamic than that of Monster Hunter thanks to the great agility of the character who can run, jump and slide in all directions, while the hunters of the Capcom license retain a certain heaviness. although things have improved a lot with World and Rise.

Wild Hearts: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

Like in Monster Hunter, and yes, you’ll often see this formula here, the goal is mostly to target the weak points of the monsters to defeat them quickly. The advantage is that these are most of the time obvious, like fangs or horns on the face, and it is easy to know if we have aimed correctly since the sum of the damage inflicted is shown. The more you hit the creature the more it will weaken and this can be seen in its body and the way it moves as it will look tired. Nevertheless, a vulnerable animal is still dangerous and the Kemono can become enraged, allowing them to use the powers bound to an element. Thus, some will be able to grow vines, a cherry tree in bloom or explode lava around them to defend themselves.. This is where Wild Hearts is particularly impressive, as entire structures can be thrown out of the ground in the middle of combat, making the hunt all the more epic. Regardless, the matchups aren’t without their flaws either because while the title allows you to lock on to your target, something Monster Hunter still doesn’t offer, the action is often confused due to the camera tending to easily get caught on the monster or on a stage element when the arena becomes too small.

The Karakuri, a mechanism inspired by Fortnite?

Wild Hearts: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

Reading the title of the article, one wonders what Fortnite, the star of battle royale in recent years, is doing here with its third-person shooter gameplay and free-to-play economic system. It is true that Wild Hearts seems to have a more dynamic gameplay than Monster Hunter, which should please those who do not know hunting games, but its great originality is above all else. his Karakuri system. Behind this name is a mechanic that allows you to build small structures in the middle of combat for different uses, like in Fortnite.. Thanks to this ancient technology, players can at any time create a kind of trampoline that propels them through the air, a slab that makes them slide or even a wall to stop a monster in its path. Therefore, these structures should be used as often as possible because stepping on them can trigger overpowered attacks, particularly on creature weak points. But even outside of combat, the Karakuri are very useful because they allow you to set up new camps in different places, as well as set up tools that make life easier, like a watchtower that detects monsters or a zipline to reach remote areas.

Wild Hearts: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

The other great originality of Wild Hearts is that its action takes place in a persistent world. To be clearer, remember that in Monster Hunter, the player is first in a hub from which they choose a quest before being transported to an area where they will engage their target. Here, the camp and the hunting place are located in the same area, which allows you to have certain spaces to serve as bases or traps for your future objectives. Thus, the Karakuri placed at a time remain from one mission to another as long as they are not destroyed by a monster, which makes long-term installations possible.

Wild Hearts: A True Fortnite-Inspired Monster Hunter Rise Competitor?

our impressions

At the end of this session, Wild Hearts seems to be a title to keep an eye on in early 2023. By taking up the codes of the hunting game introduced by Monster Hunter, the Omega Force project wants to stand out by offering dynamic gameplay. and nervous mixed with an efficient construction system. Beyond that, the experience also benefits from a successful feudal Japan-inspired aesthetic that also shines through in its monsters that represent the different seasons. While you wait to get your hands on the final version, we remind you that Wild Hearts is currently scheduled for February 17, 2023 on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series.

editorial review

Exciting

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