Action,  Adventure,  Co-op,  Game,  Gaming,  Rapid Reviews,  Reviews,  Series X,  Xbox,  Xbox Series X


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Fast Facts

Wild Hearts

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre(s): Action, Adventure
Platform: Xbox Series X (also available on PS5 and PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 17/02/2023
Price: £69.99+

A code was provided for review purposes

I really wanted to get my hands on Wild Hearts since it was first shown. For several days I had the opportunity to try it on Xbox Series X, thanks to Electronic Arts. Truthfully, I have a strange feeling about Wild Hearts. On one hand, I love the concept. I’m also excited about the proposal for cooperative action and massive crafting. However, I think that the game falls a bit short graphically. Although, it solves this with good gameplay and a solid design. Wild Hearts also boasts many co-op options and enemies.

Comparisons are hateful, so I don’t want to go too far into comparing the good or bad between games of the same genre (Monster Hunter), but I do want to explain what you’ll find in Wild Hearts if you decide to get hold of it.

two characters stand on a higher part of a green and rocky cliff looking down at two more characters lower down on the other side of the cliff
You will be able to explore a huge world with many things to do

A Technical Section with a Bittersweet Flavor

Wild Hearts presents a graphical and technical finish with many ups and downs. I have played it on Xbox Series X, and the feeling is very bittersweet. I am the type of player who doesn’t get carried away only by the packaging, but in this case, it’s something that, from the first bars of the game, calls the attention of Wild Hearts. It seems an outdated game in terms of graphics. With next-gen consoles on the market, I would have expected that companies such as Koei and Electronic Arts would create new IPs to suit this standard. However, this has not been the case with Wild Hearts. It feels like a game with very interesting things on a visual level but delivered with a somewhat poor technical finish.

The mode I have chosen to play is the performance mode. In this mode, you keep the frame rate stable at 60 FPS. I feel this rate is necessary for a game requiring you to move fast, dodge, climb or hop. Performance mode is the best way to enjoy Wild Hearts. However, it makes some brutal concessions. The main one is resolution, which is low or variable. Additionally, due to the viewing distance and the textures and finishes of the map, the whole set is insufficient and doesn’t feel current.

a wooden catapult gadget is set ready to spring at an enemy in the background
Gadgets are a fundamental part of the colossal fights

A Day One Patch Incoming?

Wild Hearts also makes strange use of HDR. If you play with monitors or televisions that support HDR, strange things are noticed both in brightness and in lighting, making the finish either too bright or with little contrast. That being said, it’s expected that the game will receive a patch on launch day that corrects part of the problems that I have compiled in this section. None of these issues prevents you from playing or having fun with the game. It’s a lot of fun. However, it will leave you with a somewhat bittersweet feeling if you play expecting a polished graphics experience.

Captivating Gameplay

Gameplay is the most interesting part of Wild Hearts, and it captivates from the opening scene. Wild Hearts boasts a large world packed with missions. I was impressed that despite the high number of main and secondary missions, they never lost sight of the game’s central story. You won’t miss anything in the plot and, what’s more, you can decide when you want to advance.

The first part of the game defines the main character. Later the game gets down to business. In Wild Hearts, in addition to hunting huge Kemonos, you also collect materials as you explore. Crafting allows you to use your collected material to improve your weapons and equipment.

an enormous beast resembling a porcupine with sharp teeth faces a character poised ready to fight
The design of the enemies is very well done

Combat is the cornerstone of Wild Hearts. At first glance, it seems that it is a “block crusher”, but nothing is further from the truth. The combat is much more intricate than just mashing buttons.

The hunts are divided into several phases. Firstly the mission sees you explore the map, searching for the Kemono’s location. Each mission offers several ways to locate the Kemono using various gadgets in your inventory. Once located, combat really begins. Each encounter shows the Kemono in its natural form. However, once the appropriate level of damage has been dealt , the Kemono disappears. Once you relocate the creature, it is in its second phase form. This version of the Kemno is more aggressive and powerful.

Many Ways to Approach Each Hunt

The best thing about Wild Hearts is the possibility of playing it alone or cooperatively. All missions can be played alone or in co-op mode. Co-op is played either with friends or other players. The choice you make changes how you play the game. It’s fun to be able to combine attacks with another combat partner. Using Karakuris is also a big bonus of co-op play. Karakuris are a series of objects that are created during combat. For example, leaving traps for the Kemonos, the ability to jump with platforms, or protecting yourself.

Wild Hearts also offers a variety of weapons that offer greater depth when it comes to combat. The approach to combat changes depending on weapon selection. Some weapons are light and fast to use, while others are more forceful but heavier and, therefore, slower. This allows you to prepare for combat in a way that suits your playstyle preferences. With all this, the game begins to become more and more attractive, pulling you in with its simplicity in launching missions and starting the hunts. While its depth grows gradually, sucking you in deeper. I feel it rivals a saga as attractive as Monster Hunter, and I am excited about what this could lead to, should it receive the same level of support as it currently boasts.

In the foreground a character faces off against an enormous beast approaching from the back of the image
An advantage of Wild Hearts is that you can enjoy it with friends

Many Hours Guaranteed

You can spend hours and hours playing Wild Hearts, either alone or cooperatively. There are plenty of missions and content within the base game. There is also a replayability factor considering the vast weapon array. That’s not even counting that you can repeat missions and gather more materials for further weapon and armour upgrades. It’s safe to say I feel this game will maintain its depth and longevity.

Final Thoughts

I like Wild Hearts because it’s a new IP. The simple thing would be not to risk it and release a new continuation of a well-known game. The mere fact of wanting to offer us a new Monster Hunter is worthy of praise. Wild Hearts is far from perfect. There are numerous things to improve, starting with its graphics. Despite the positive, which, although it may have a good artistic design, graphically the game falls short.

Wild Hearts doesn’t entertain the eyes, but it works correctly in its performance mode. You can enjoy 60 FPS easily, something very welcome in the game genre.

A character stands with a bow and arrow poised to shoot a snarling wolf in front of them in a snowy scene
Taste my arrow!

On the other hand, the whole thing of hunting Kemonos and fighting is very successful, as well as its cooperative mode, although it will depend on what you want to get out of it. If you manage to get hooked from the first moment, you will be able to get the most out of this title; if you are one of those players who doesn’t care too much about graphics and what interests you is enjoying the fighting, the crafting and the history of the game, you’re going to have a great time with this. In addition, we know that the game will be updated with improvements on both consoles and PC, so it’s very likely that it will improve with new and future updates.

In summary, we have a game with many possibilities that will go from less to more, and once we get into it, we will be able to get hooked and enjoy everything it offers. It’s one of those games that can fool you at first, but as time goes on it will become one of those special games worth playing.

You can buy Wild Hearts from the Microsoft Store

Rapid Reviews Rating

4 out of 5


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