Wild Hearts is the latest from EA Originals and Koei Tecmo that’s set to challenge the hunting game throne currently occupied by Capcom’s Monster Hunter. This AAA effort is showing promise and will be touting a couple of key differences to distinguish itself from the pack.
EA Originals executive producer Lewis Harvey spoke to the media at a recent hands-on preview event, talking to us about how the game plans to differentiate itself from Monster Hunter, apart from having cross-play.
“One of the things that we love about Wild Hearts is the faster pace and the more action RPG elements of this game,” says Harvey. “Also, the Karakuri System is the real innovation and game changer for Wild Hearts that adds such a layer of depth and experimentation and freeform creativity for players to not only take on these giant beasts but also explore the world around them.”
The Karakuri System will allow players to create contraptions that will serve a number of purposes in the game. From offensive structures such as a giant hammer to tactical machinations like a flare that will stun opponents, these tools will surely add a new layer of interaction between hunter and monster.
In fact, the Karakuri system is such a big part of the game that battles with the Kemono are balanced around the use of these tools.
“We certainly balanced the game for the Karakuri to be a core part of how you deal with the Kemono. There are certain Kemono in the game where specific Karakuri will almost be vital for you to take them down effectively,” says Harvey.
Higher-skilled slayers will always look to push the limits, and while the team at Koei Tecmo knows full well about that tendency, the hope is that players will experiment with impressive and great ways of taking down these beasts using the Karakuri.
The Karakuri created by these players in Wild Hearts will even be persistent in their world unless destroyed by the players or by a rampaging Kemono.
“Those things will stay in your world, and you can visit other players’ worlds and see how they’ve set up their Karakuri – shortcuts and traps and weapons and all that kind of stuff is permanent and persistent in your world,” exclaims Harvey.
Despite the addition of this key component to the game, Wild Hearts is also aiming to be a much more welcoming experience, guiding players through a well-crafted onboarding experience that will introduce the game properly to players.
“We’ve tried to maintain the depth that I think players expect from a hunting game to make sure that there is enough challenge and depth to all of the gameplay systems and difficulty,” Says Harvey. “But at the same time, and part of the great relationship and partnership that we’ve had with Koei Tecmo, is creating an onboarding to this game and a tutorial experience as you go through the early stages that really helps establish the weapons, the character theory, the player in this world, and how all of these systems work together.“
“So we feel that we’ve accomplished something that is more welcoming and easier to jump into and, again, calls back to that faster pace.”
Wild Hearts is scheduled to be released on February 17, 2023 for the PS5, Xbox Series, and PC for $69.99.