Nobody’s Ready To Put A Score On Wild Hearts Just Yet, But Everyone Seems To Like It

Nobody’s Ready To Put A Score On Wild Hearts Just Yet, But Everyone Seems To Like It

Early impressions pieces around Wild Hearts are beginning to filter through. As EA only got codes out to critics late last week, there hasn’t been much time to build out deep dives or analyses. As such, and with press embargoes expiring, no one currently reviewing the game has been able to put a final score on it but are still keen to get a few early thoughts out. Most are running review-in-progress yarns and, with a game as large as Wild Hearts, that seems wise.

For those that may not have heard about Wild Hearts, it is a new action-adventure RPG by Koei Tecmo and published under the EA Originals imprint. Though it bears a number of differences, the adopted shorthand around the game has been a Monster Hunter-like because of its proximity to Capcom’s popular RPGS. You’re treading a lot of the same ground — arming yourself with technical weaponry, gathering information on large beasts stalking the local area, tracking them down, moving in for the kill and using the rewards gleaned to upgrade your character for the next hunt.

Destructoid likes the game world in particular, with reviewer Chris Carter mentioning how unique it feels among other games in the monster-hunting genre. There’s a degree of changeability in conditions that pleases Carter as well. “An ice wolf can drop by and change the arena into an arctic setting. A creature can breathe fire and wreck havoc in an idyllic forest,” he says, noting that this changeability is often tied to boss fights, but is pleasing within the context of a first playthrough.

IGN’s review by Tom Marks highlights the touches of modernity that Wild Hearts makes over Monster Hunter. Dreary downtime tasks like weapon sharpening and overwrought inventory juggling are gone, and simplifying stat-boosting food and support items gets you back on patrol that much faster.

Polygon’s  liked the game’s spirit of practicality, allowing the player to construct in-world items like boxes, fans, and jumps to help get them around. That these items persist in-world after you’ve created them is the icing on the cake, and allows you to create efficient traps and pathing through the world. Further, players that join your game can build and leave their own constructions in your world and you can do the same in theirs. Diego is one of a handful of critics I’ve seen connect the strategic dots between Wild Hearts and Koei Tecmo’s other attempt to capitalise on a popular genre trend, Nioh. Diego’s right — they’re getting pretty good at it.

PC Gamer’s Wes Fenlon is all about the weapons, and the pleasure of sticking the game’s aggressive beasties with the pointy end of a spear. Though Wild Hearts can only boast eight weapons, it does an awful lot with each of them, wringing every last ounce of technicality out of every encounter that it can. It’s not all beer and skittles, however, as Fenlon also highlights his struggles with poor performance on the PC version.

Dexerto’s Jessica Filby was less impressed overall, enjoying the co-op multiplayer but wishing the game wasn’t so heavily reliant on the presence of other players. According to Filby, going it alone is a direct path to frustration, saying solo fighting is “long-winded, challenging, often overwhelming, and just feels unnatural for the game’s mechanics.”

Our own Ruby Innes has had Wild Hearts code in hand since last week and we’ll bring you her thoughts later this week on the site and on the podcast.

Wild Hearts launches February 16 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC.

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