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After playing Wild Hearts, it is hard not to compare it to the popular Monster Hunter franchise. Fighting giant menacing monsters, dismembering their body parts to craft weapons and armor while exploring a vast land as a hunter. The comparison is fair, but after experiencing the unique mechanics, gamers will find that Wild Hearts adds to the genre while simplifying the process for newbies to the game style.

At first glance, it’s great to have new additions to a genre with only one well-known game franchise. The action is fast, and the boss battles are epically fun. Mostly everything here is excellent; however, the gaming experience is negatively affected by issues, especially on PC. Even with the existing problems, there is much to like about this new IP, and I will share my unbiased impression throughout this review.

Wild Hearts
Wild Hearts

A Similar Story

Wild Hearts Trailer

In a game like Wild Hearts, the story is naturally simple. Become a hunter and hunt massive beasts across the land before they hunt you. The plot here is not complex at all. As a new hunter, your task is to save the village of Minato from Kemono, massively large creatures. In Azuma, Kemono roams the land and terrorizes towns and people. It would be best if you hunted these creatures and eliminated the threat. Missions range from boss battles and assignments from people you meet. The storyline lacks originality, but it works in this genre of gaming.

Monster-ish Gameplay

The gameplay is the best part of Wild Hearts. The character creation suite is top-notch, giving players many creative options. Hunting Kemono is a fun and taxing experience. My first encounter with a boss-level Kemono was lengthy and took me on a wild chase that played out like mini-battles until the final leg of the fight, which brought out the most robust versions of the Kemono creatures. The hunter attack style fairly hacks and slashes, but the difficulty curve is fun, fair, and reminiscent of older Koei Tecmo games. Defeating the monsters not only rid the environment of their presence but also grants rare materials to craft armor and weapons. The best mechanic in the game is Karakuri,  the ability to build structures. Build walls and towers, and use springs to assist in defensive and offensive strategies in battle. Conjuring dragon Karakuri enables players to create lanterns, campfires, and hunters’ tents.

  • Wild Hearts

Hunter vision allows the player to scan the area for interactive prompts and threads that access resources. Unblocking dragon pits can increase the capacity of a dragon pit in the surrounding area. Conjuring dragon Karakuri drains energy from the dragon pit in the area, so once you have unblocked them, It’s important to enlarge dragon pits using crystals to increase the capacity of the dragon pit further. Players can expect help from Tsukumo, mysterious creatures designed to help hunters in many ways. They can be a practical part of a strategy, and with 50 scattered throughout the game, it makes scavenging important. Tsukumo can be modifiable at a campfire.

I found the gameplay addictive; however, the gameplay mechanics suffered from bugs and glitches that made the game a drag at some points. Overall, the action is worth the hassle when gathering resources, exploring new areas, and collecting weapons and unique collectibles.

Visuals & Audio – Wild Hearts Review

The visuals in Wild Hearts are a mixed bag. The hunter, Kemono, and the world around you have beautiful aesthetics; however, there is no photo mode, and the framerate issues are glaring, especially on PC. During my playthrough, graphically, I consistently noticed pop-ins and stutter, which drained the experience. The developer acknowledged the problems, and while the bug fixes are promised, it desperately needs to eliminate the CPU bottleneck. Until a patch can fix the issues, I recommend the console versions of Wild Hearts. Audio elements are good in Wild Hearts. The in-game music fits the different settings, drawing me into the game rhythm. Action-packed sequences like 20-minute boss battles have the best soundtrack, comparable to Monster Hunter.

The Final Verdict – Wild Hearts Review

Wild Hearts has all the elements to rival Monster Hunter, but the framerate issues, horrible motion blur, and noticeable pop-in hold this title back from competing head-to-head. If you are a Monster Hunter veteran, the gameplay resemblance will provide expected fun, especially with the new mechanics like Karakuri. New players to this game genre will appreciate the simplified direction of monster hunter-type games and will most likely make new fans of the game style. The flaws can sometimes make the game unplayable, but there is so much good here for a gamer who likes to collect loot, craft awesome weapons and armor, create visually stunning characters, and hunt larger-than-life creatures. Wild Hearts from Koei Tecmo/Omega Force is an excellent addition to the monster-hunter gaming genre, earning a 7.9 out of 10.

We thank the developer and publisher for a code to review their art. Wild Hearts is available on the Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC.

Have you tried out any new gaming IPs lately? Are you one of the many fans of Monster Hunter-style games? Also, have you tried out the all-new PSVR2? Leave a comment!! Don’t forget to follow the team on Twitter at @Lv1Gaming and our Facebook page. Check out our YouTube channel and Twitch for more content, and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter @DaStoNerD to engage in unique and unbiased gaming conversations.

Wild Hearts

69.99
7.9

Story

6.3/10

Gameplay

8.9/10

Visuals

8.7/10

Audio

7.5/10

Pros

  • Epic Monster Battles
  • Unique Genre Mechanics
  • Art Design

Cons

  • Framerate Issues
  • Forgettable Story
  • Monster Hunter Downgrade
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