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Wild Hearts Review

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Overall – 80%

80%

While Monster Hunter still reigns supreme, Wild Hearts still holds its own in the hunting arena. Those on Xbox Game Pass shouldn’t hesitate to give it a go.


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Making its debut just a few months ago, Omega Force and Electronic Arts’ Wild Hearts enters the right to compete in the hunting genre. Can the game stand up to Monster Hunter? Check out our review to find out.

Wild Hearts Review

As the game begins, you find yourself as a nameless hunter wandering through the world of Azuma. The people of this land are at odds with giant beasts known as Kemono. You don’t take long to run into your first Kemono, and a brief fight ensues. It’s not a fight you can win, but it gives you a glimpse into your future hunting the beasts.

Eventually, you make it to a town called Minato and are told what has happened in Azuma. The humans tried to fight the Kemono but failed, and now very few are left. Unfortunately, the hunters have also lost knowledge of weapons and gadgets to help beat the creatures. As the new hunter in town, you set out on an adventure to slay many Kemono and help out the people of Azuma along the way.

The most important aspect of a hunting game is the combat. Wild Hearts feels quicker to me and slightly easier. The basic combos are simple attacks followed by a trigger, making them much more accessible. You can get some advanced weapons later that require more skill, such as the Umbrella or Staff, but the base weapons are simple to use. More importantly, the hits feel good, like they have weight behind them.

The weapons and combo don’t do much to differentiate it from Monster Hunter, but the Katakuri system does. It’s a quick-build system that lets you build in the middle of combat. You can build walls, launcher pads, gliders, and many other things. At first, it is as clunky as it sounds, but you will fly when you get the hang of it. It is a good feeling the first time you put up a wall to stop a charging Kemono.

Wild Hearts Honest Game Review

Each weapon also has a meter to fill up for a special attack or ability. I mostly used the basic katana, which turns into an electric whip when you use the special. You do more damage, attack faster, and have more range like this. The greatsword, however, is a charge meter, and the more you charge, the more damage you do when you release the special move. There are also ranged weapons like bows and canons, but I didn’t care for them.

Where Monster Hunter has this beat is the monster selection. Unfortunately, Wild Hearts doesn’t have an impressive roster of over more than 20 years like its inspiration. Instead, you start to see slightly reskinned or retextured boss monsters fairly early. That’s not to say you won’t run into fabulous creatures, like a giant lava monkey or a massive forest chicken, but expect some repeats as well.

Repeats of monsters aren’t really that bad when you think about the amount of grinding you are doing in the game. The equipment system is just like Monster Hunter; you go out, kill a beast, collect some parts, come back, and craft. Typically, you must hunt a monster multiple times to get all the weapons and armor pieces. While you still need to loot broken body parts of the Kemono, you don’t have to loot them after the fight. This means if you die and are back at camp, you still get the materials.

The zones themselves are rather large. Therefore, you are encouraged to build up camps in various spots so you can fast travel between locations quickly. You can’t build unlimited camps; rather, you need to place materials into the Dragon Well, which will let you make more camps and Katakuri. There are also multiple Wells in each zone, allowing you to build up several bases.

Wild Hearts game review

The most significant improvement from Monster Hunter is that you can co-operatively play the entire story. As long as you two are on the same main mission, progress counts for all players involved. You can only play with two others in this game, but all facilities in town and building Karakuri in the field are open to all players. The only downside is that you can’t skip cut scenes while you are with others.

As far as technical problems, I had some frame drops in a couple of fights, but nothing that got me killed. I crashed twice in town, but I thankfully didn’t lose progress. Connection issues with others also proved to be a problem; while I’m sure patches can address this, the game currently has issues.

While Monster Hunter still reigns supreme, Wild Hearts still holds its own in the hunting arena. Those on Xbox Game Pass shouldn’t hesitate to give it a go.

This review of Wild Hearts was done on the PC. A digital code was provided by the publisher.

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