When Capcom's Monster Hunter World rocked the gaming landscape in 2018, it introduced a whole generation of players to the action-hunting genre. This is a sub-genre of action games where the main gameplay loop revolves around a group of hunters fighting monsters and using their body parts to craft powerful gear to hunt more giant predators.
The Monster Hunter franchise is the most famous example of this, but there are other action-hunting games out there that spin their own take on the genre, like Epic Games' Dauntless or Bandai Namco's God Eater series. And now, we have a newcomer stepping into the gaming hunting grounds called Wild Hearts, brought to you by the unlikely duo of Electronic Arts and Koei Tecmo.
Wild Hearts aims to take players on a bold, next-gen hunting adventure where they will defend a rich fantasy world from being destroyed by gigantic monsters infused with the power to control nature itself. This game is scheduled to release next year on Feb. 17, 2023, on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC. So, while you are preparing for the hunt, here's everything you need to know about Wild Hearts.
Wild Hearts: What is Wild Hearts?
Wild Hearts is an action-hunting game set in Azuma, a vibrant and colorful fantasy land inspired by Japan’s feudal era. The land of Azuma is currently the stage of a brutal conflict between humanity and the Kemono. The Kemono were once peaceful animals but have mysteriously undergone rapid evolutions that caused their bodies to fuse with the environment and turning them into violent, rampaging beasts.
These creatures threaten all life in Azuma, as their evolutions have granted them the ability to bend nature to their will and destroy any lifeform they encounter. The only one capable of stopping the Kemono is you, a visitor from faraway lands trained in the art of combat and capable of activating ancient technology called Karakuri. With your arsenal of weapons and aided by fellow hunters, it is up to you to slay the Kemono and restore the balance of nature in Azuma.
Wild Hearts: What are the known gameplay features of Wild Hearts?
While not much information is currently known about Wild Hearts' gameplay, we do know that, according to an interview with IGN, the combat system will involve many features commonly associated with action games. These include dashing, grappling, jumping, sliding, and many more mechanics to compliment your character’s fighting skills.
One of Wild Heart’s unique features is the Karakuri: special devices of unknown origin that can create structures that will assist you in battle. These can range from building giant ballistae that shoot harpoons to immobilize monsters, platforms for players to climb and jump off to perform aerial attacks, and even bombs that can severely damage the Kemono if they get caught in the blast radius.
Wild Hearts: What kind of monsters will we hunt?
There are multiple species of Kemono to contend with in Wild Hearts, and they can range from small critters to gargantuan behemoths the size of skyscrapers. Here are a few examples of the many Kemono you will be expected to hunt in Wild Hearts:
The Deathstalker is a giant wolf-like creature with dead trees growing off its shoulders. It is fast, agile, and can perform ice-based attacks to freeze its prey before biting them in half.
Kingtusks are mammoth-sized wild boars covered head to hooves in shrubbery and vines. They use their enormous weight as a weapon to crush their foes, gore them with their tusks, and even conjure up massive vines to ensnare them.
The Lavaback is a towering gorilla monster fused with lava, effectively turning them into a literal, walking volcano. Not only does the Lavaback possess incredible strength, but it can also spew lava from its body when it goes berserk.
Little is known about the Earthbreaker; other than that, it's so big and covered in so many rocks and trees you can mistake it for a mountain. Taking down this turtle-like titan will be no easy task, to say the least.
Wild Hearts: Does it support multiplayer?
Wild Hearts will allow players to hunt solo or with their friends in three-player co-op groups through online multiplayer. Wild Hearts will also have cross-play support across all platforms so everyone can join in on the hunt.
Wild Hearts: What are the PC specs?
There are currently no details announced on the PC specifications for the PC version of Wild Hearts at this time. However, with the game set to release on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, skipping older consoles, expect the minimum and recommended requirements to reflect a higher baseline for performance.
Wild Hearts: Will the Xbox version come to Xbox Game Pass?
There has been no confirmation yet whether or not the Xbox version of Wild Hearts will come to Xbox Game Pass.
Wild Hearts: Are there any pre-order bonuses or special editions?
There are no pre-order bonuses or special editions of Wild Hearts announced as of yet.
Wild Hearts: What platforms will it launch on and when is the release date?
Are you ready to tame the savage world of Wild Hearts?
Considering Koei Tecmo's pedigree, it will be interesting to see how this new IP takes shape in the coming months. Its previous venture into the action-hunting genre was Toukiden, a series of action games where you hunted demons and spirits based on Japanese folklore. Even more curious is that Koei Tecmo's sub-division, Omega Force, will be developing this upcoming Xbox title. For those unaware, Omega Force is the studio behind Koei Tecmo's long-running, hack n' slash franchise, Dynasty Warriors.
With many years of action game experience under their belt and with the backing of EA, Wild Hearts may have a chance to compete with the likes of Capcom's Monster Hunter series or even become one of the best games on Xbox. We will have to wait to find out when the hunt begins on Feb. 17, 2023.
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Alexander Cope is a writer for Windows Central and iMore that has been gaming since the 16-bit era.