Wild Hearts, developed by Koei Tecmo’s Omega Force and printed by EA, tries its greatest to take the monster-hunting style crown from Capcom’s long-running franchise, Monster Hunter. The drawback is it copies Capcom’s homework a bit an excessive amount of. 

Despite quick motion and a stacked number of enemies, Wild Hearts is a carbon copy so blatant that followers of the Capcom collection might discover it laborious to disregard. Those new to the style, nevertheless, ought to discover battling large monsters to be a enjoyable, if considerably shallow, expertise. 

Hunting down monsters

In Wild Hearts, you play the function of a anonymous hunter in Azuma, a world that intently resembles feudal Japan. You’ll hunt down large monsters, generally known as Kemonos, improve tools and full quests for characters. At your disposal is a stockpile of weapons with distinctive strikes, such because the outlandish Bladed Wagasa, an umbrella-looking weapon that makes the hunter right into a lethal Mary Poppins as they float whereas slicing away at monsters. 

Weapon choices are just like Monster Hunter, however the toolsets really feel barely completely different. Called Karakuri, gamers can create completely different objects that assist in traversal however can be utilized in battle. The first Karakuri accessible to gamers is a field that can be utilized to achieve increased ledges or as a platform to deal additional injury when doing plunging assaults. Later, gamers will study to mix six of those bins collectively to create a bulwark, a fortified wall that may cease a charging monster, inflicting them to fall on their again leaving them open to assaults. The Karakuri is actually a Swiss Army knife-like device that unlocks extra choices as gamers progress. 

a karakuri takes the shape of a giant mallet and is about to strike a giant rat-like monster

The Karakuri can create some whacky instruments like this contraption.


Combat in Wild Hearts feels extra frantic than in Monster Hunter, however there is a sluggishness to the controls. Attacks, therapeutic, dodging, utilizing Karakuri and different actions include a touch of enter lag, resulting in some frustration whereas taking part in. 

Enemies vary from smaller monsters which can be just a few sizes bigger than the hunter to massive behemoths that tower over the participant. Fights are available in phases. When an enemy’s well being is taken down sufficient, the monster will roar and escape to a different a part of the map. Players should discover them once more and begin the second part, which has the monsters unleashing new and extra highly effective assaults making them way more harmful. 

This coronary heart is simply too acquainted 

I can not stress this sufficient: Wild Hearts performs so very like Monster Hunter. It’s nearly distracting. And sadly, Wild Hearts copies a number of the most monotonous elements of Monster Hunter wholesale.

Like in Monster Hunter, enemies have roars that point out the beginning and finish of a battle, which is a lame mechanic that should not have been copied. Then there’s the tedious and pointless motion of the monster working away after dropping a certain quantity of well being. There’s even the incorporation of a 30-second timer after looking down quest-related monsters to take you again to camp as a substitute of letting you proceed to hunt different monsters or instantly begin one other quest.

The world of Azuma is break up into islands the place there’s quite a lot of terrain, however solely so many places are literally supposed for preventing. The relaxation means that you can collect gadgets for crafting or therapeutic, in addition to present a protected area to arrange camp. This additionally feels precisely like Monster Hunter. 

Even the tone of the sport is comparable. Wild Hearts’ feudal Japan setting is not that a lot completely different from Monster Hunter, though the latter is a little more playful with its characters and setting. 

Wild Hearts is not going to take the monster-hunting crown. Fans of the Capcom collection will not discover a lot new to discover within the recreation, whereas these new to the style will see the identical notes repeated many times. Who might get pleasure from Wild Hearts probably the most are these new to the style and by no means had the expertise of beating up on large beasts with ridiculous weapons. 

Wild Hearts launches on the PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC for $70 on Feb. 17. 

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