The new trailer offered a pretty extensive look at Wild Hearts‘ setting, as well as showing off multiple encounters with mythical beasts. But how do all of these elements come together in the game?
We’re here to breakdown the details and offer our insight into what to expect from EA’s new Monster Hunter rival.
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EA and Koei Tecmo premiered the reveal trailer for Wild Hearts on the game’s official YouTube channel. Since the initial announcement in September, we have been aware that further details would be released later this month, but this didn’t state whether this would include footage. Thankfully, we did get to see the game in action – well, at least the development footage.
In the first look, the are plenty of shots highlighting the landscape, characters, and monsters found in the world of Azuma. Inspired by feudal Japan, Azuma is a vast land filled with a variety of environments such as snowy mountains, overgrown settlements, and flowery meadows. Whilst this may sound and look rather beautiful, this world is infested with beasts that have fused with the various areas called the Kemono.
These elemental beasts roam around Azuma, destroying anything in their path. The Kemono will appear in all shapes and sizes, resembling species from our own world like Wolves and Gorillas. According to the Wild Hearts lore, the Kemono were once peaceful creatures, but have gradually become the hostile beasts that appear in the game.
Players will be given the task of saving the Azuma from the grasp of the epic beasts and restoring the lands to their former glory. As a stranger to the game’s location, you will have to explore Azuma to uncover secrets and battle the hostile creatures.
There appears to be a number of weapons to choose from in the fight against the Kemono. But that’s not all, players will be able to call upon the ancient Karakuri technology to craft magical devices that will aid in battle. Some examples of the Karakuri from the trailer included a propelling glider, a modified sword, and platforms for leaping attacks.
The footage shown in the trailer did live up to the expectations we had after hearing the intitial announcement from EA and Koei Tecmo. However, the use of development footage makes it hard to know which parts of the trailer offered the most accurate representation of the game. Also, the lack of menus or game play from outside of the Kemono encounters left us with plenty of unanswered questions about the structure and story of Wild Hearts.
What To Expect?
Ever since the Wild Hearts project was first announced, the similarities to the Monster Hunter series has been mentioned a lot. And after watching the new trailer, this seems to be a fair comparison. Azuma appears to possess a similar aesthetic to Capcom’s popular action RPG games – and yes, they both have supernatural monsters. Anyone watching this trailer without context would not have been surprised if this reveal was for the next Monster Hunter game.
Whilst the inspiration of Monster Hunter is clear, there were plenty of features revealed that provide a unique twist to the famous hunting based RPG. The elemental nature of the Kemono will provide these mythical beasts with some magical enhancements that will allow them to manipulate the surrounding environment.
But perhaps the most intriguing modification is the inclusion of crafting to combat. This feature looks to work in a similar fashion to the crafting seen in Fortnite in which players can build structures in the midst of battle. It would be great to see this system incorporated into the exploration side of Wild Hearts, with players having to unlock new technologies by finding blueprints or gathering resources. From what was shown off in the trailer, this ancient technology will play a big role in the Wild Hearts adventure.
Unfortunately, the trailer failed to include all aspects of the upcoming title, with details on big features such as menus, exploration, and progression missing from the presentation. The previous work from studio Omega Force could offer some insight, but they are more known for their linear, mission based approach. However, the Wild Hearts combat looks to draw from the hack and slack, over the top style found within the Warriors franchise. This suggests that Omega Force could transfer other aspects of these games, such as breaking items for loot and merchant trading, into Wild Hearts.
In terms of ways to play, Wild Hearts will let you pay through the story alone or with up to two friends. Co-op will be available online and includes crossplay for all platforms. The game is also a next-gen exclusive that is set to release on Xbox Series X and S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
The trailer concluded with the unveiling of the game’s release date, stating that Wild Hearts would release on all eligible platforms on February 17, 2023. EA and Koei Tecmo have also revealed that an extended look at gameplay will be coming out on October 5th, meaning we won’t have to wait long for more details.