Wild Hearts review – The circle of life

If there’s anything that nature is more enthralled by than constantly turning things into crabs it’s the cycle. We can see it throughout all seasons when the fecundity of spring and summer eventually morphs into the slow waning of winter and autumn. We can see this in herbivores’ lives which feed on plants that they fertilize through their bodies after their death. We also can see it in human beings. We recognize patterns as well as our desire to find new ways to improve and develop their cycles of creativity and ingenuity that expand on what has come before. Wild Hearts is an example of a game that is about cycles and is a great illustration of how a proven formula can be transformed into something completely amazing and innovative.

Wild Hearts takes the classic game’s monster-hunting gameplay Find a stunning massive monster, then kill the monster with stunning film-like violence, then transform the hat into something new that you wear while killing its companions and then recreate it faithfully and also has plenty of room to explore something new and interesting.

The most accurate rendition of the formula can be found in the ‘Kemono’ the creatures that act as the primary antagonists and the central element of the game. The majority of the Kemono are well-known animal species that were created using the elements of nature. A massive stone ape that is filled with lava, a massive wild boar made of snow and ice, rats with a terrible fungal infection, and a flower stuck to its torso the Kemono have all been created from primordial creatures who dominate the landscape and act as natural agents in the battle between man and nature.

It’s an ongoing battle. Wild Hearts makes an effort to show the devastating effects that massive beasts can cause on humans living close to them in a way that typically humorous tonnes of other games that focus on hunting, such as Dauntless and Monster Hunter don’t completely capture, even when they are able to touch upon the theme.

A lot of its missions consist of locating the remains of a local townsperson who has fallen victim to the Kemono or stopping a natural catastrophe that is happening right in front of you in the hands of one of these ancient creatures. Monster Hunter might inform us that Fatalis destroyed all of the Kingdom of Schrade within a single night but we’re not able to see it happen. In the game Wild Hearts, you witness it happening.

The Kemono aren’t deliberately antagonistic, they’re just as destructive as an earthquake or tsunami, that is, devastating for humanity whenever our paths cross, yet gorgeous to be viewed from the safety of. For those who live in this world of Wild Hearts, safe distance is a nigh insignificant concept.

You as the Hunter are there to solve the issues of Minato the town and hub for Wild Hearts. In order to accomplish this, you’ll need the arsenal of weapons available that range from fairly reasonable (like the Nodachi, a heavy 2-handed blade) to extremely imperturbable (like that of the Bladed Wagasa, a lethal umbrella that is designed to parry). The weapons offered are incredibly brutal and there’s a wide selection of options that are simple and efficient and more intricate choices that require a skill.

Strangely enough, the guns aren’t always the star on the stage. Instead, the spotlight goes on the “Karakuri” mechanical tools that you can learn to build and use on the fly during the hunt. The integration of the “Karakuri into the hunting experience is almost seamless because hunting is a combination of traditional combat as well as an element of resource management where you use threads to construct items like single-use hammers to pound your adversaries as well as the harpoon launcher which brings down a flying Kemono.

Sometimes, you do not have enough time or resources to make an intricate combination Karakuri and instead use an arc to bounce yourself from an incoming blow or even a stack of crates into mid-air for a strike. When fighting the Karakuri are the perfect suitable for this kind of play and it’s obvious that weapons, as well as Kemono, were created to facilitate the integration of the Karakuri’s part of your arsenal of moves.

The only place Wild Heartsruns into certain fundamental issues is within its tutorials. In an interview on GamesHub interview with co-directors of the game Kotaro Hirata and Takuto Edagawa The pair talked about how they taught players in a different way than the typically detailed tutorials that are common in Japanese games and with a focus on learning by doing. This is a fantastic concept in theory, but in the real world, I noticed that there were a variety of crucial gameplay mechanics I didn’t even know existed throughout my game playthrough. It could have been helpful to have an in-game glossary or specific weapon instruction that was more than the basic ones that are included.

It should also be noted that as of the date of this review, a number of people have complained they have experienced Wild Heartshas exhibiting horrendous technical issues with performance, particularly on PC. The version I played with the EA launcher did not have any problems, however, I appear to be among the few who have experienced issues. However, the EA developers are aware of the issues and promised an update to fix the issue is on the way but this is something that needs to be taken into consideration.

Regardless, Wild Hearts is brilliant in so many ways – as an innovation on the monster hunting genre, in its beautiful mythologically-inspired feudal Japanese setting, and in just how good it feels to play moment-to-moment.

Perhaps the most important thing is that it achieves the concept at its heart by using gameplay. Growth and adaptation are the premises at the core of Wild Hearts. When your Hunter sets every Karakuri, they represent the creativity of humans adapting to the environment. Every time they clash with the Kemono human race, mankind confronts nature’s brutality in order to thrive and survive.

Wild Heartshas undeniably proved its worthiness to endure and has earned its place in the upper levels of the genre of monster hunting.

4 Stars:

Wild Hearts
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
Developer: Koei Tecmo, Omega Force
Publisher: Electronic Arts
The Release Date is16 February 2023

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