Tuesday, 28 Mar 2023

Wild Hearts is a new Monster Hunter rival from EA and Koei Tecmo

Koei Tecmo and EA are partnering for a new take on Monster Hunter called Wild Hearts, one made by the studio behind Dynasty Warriors.

EA isn’t exactly known for publishing Japanese made games. The studio’s bread and butter come from predominately Western titles, be they sports sims like FIFA or shooters like Battlefield.

The newly announced Wild Hearts is very much outside its wheelhouse, but that’s no bad thing, even if the developer they’ve chosen to partner with is Koei Tecmo’s Omega Force – the studio behind Dynasty Warriors.

Set in a feudal Japan inspired fantasy world called Azuma, Wild Hearts sees players (either on their own or with up to two others) ‘restore balance across the region’ by hunting Kemono – magical monsters that range from stony golems to giant boars that can summon vines from the ground.

It’s very easy to draw comparisons with Capcom’s own Monster Hunter, though it seems Wild Hearts has a heavy emphasis on traps. Rather than just relying on strong weaponry, you’ll need to make use of various devices called Karakuri to help slay the beasts.

A couple of examples from the trailer include some kind of rotating fan to help you glide above an enemy and what looks like a big wooden mallet to bonk monsters on the head.

From the sound of it, you’ll need to gather materials to craft these special mechanisms, which Koei Tecmo’s executive vice president, Yosuke Hayashi, says are at the ‘core of the experience.’

‘With Wild Hearts, not only did we want to showcase the evolution, infusion and real threat caused by Kemono, but we also wanted to create a game where crafting was at the core of the experience, redefining what can be possible in a beast hunting game,’ he explains.’

‘We have placed great care in designing our Karakuri to fit within the combat, and we’re excited for players to use these powerful mechanisms to fight giant beasts and traverse the world.’

Although Dynasty Warriors has few fans in the West, one of Omega Force’s few unrelated games is Monster Hunter clone Toukiden: The Age Of Demons and its sequel, which was actually quite good.

The game is also being published under the EA Originals label. It’s so far been used for much smaller projects like It Takes Two and Lost In Random, making Wild Hearts the label’s first real triple-A project.

This means it’s much more expensive than other EA Originals titles, with EA already pricing it at $70, which means it’ll cost £70 here in the UK.

An extended gameplay trailer is scheduled for next week, on October 5, with the game to launch in February as a PC and next gen console exclusive. Full cross-play will be available at launch as well.

Wild Hearts launches for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC on February 17.

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