While Capcom’s Monster Hunter may have laid claim to the genre, there’s a new rival on the block – and its name is Wild Hearts from developer Omega Force. It’s easy to draw many comparisons between the two franchises, especially in their gameplay and overall purpose; however, Wild Hearts is hot on the heels of its competitor by taking wild swings and calculated risks.
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A piece of paradise known as Azuma
Set in an alternate version of feudal Japan, Wild Hearts takes place in a place known as Azuma. This world is mixture of both the real world and fantasy, glistening with a kaleidoscope of bright, vivid colours. There are various creatures on this plane – some are harmless and merely going about their business, while there are others that are threats to Azuma’s existence. These monsters are known as Kemono. These beasts share similarities to real-life creatures such as boars and rats; however, they are bigger and far more dangerous than Pumbaa or Mickey Mouse could ever be.
Despite the danger lurking around every bend, traversing Azuma is a breath-taking and beautiful experience. It might not be entirely open world, but it is vast enough with high mountain peaks, flowing waterfalls, and groves of trees to explore and get lost in. It’s easy to see why people would try to protect this land from the Kemono rather than move on elsewhere.
A different kind of monster hunter
A player shapes the hero of this journey. By choosing their basic appearance, attire, and weapons, there’s the ability to tailor the experience. As with all action RPGs, there’s the ability to upgrade the skill tree, weapons, and gear throughout the game. So, the more that someone does, the more they unlock and are able to use.
What makes Wild Hearts so addictive is the ability to utilise something known as Karakuri. Like Fortnite, this is a building mechanic that allows players to build crates, camps, towers, and gliders to get around. Smart players will learn how to use the likes of jumping crates to assist them in battle, while keeping various constructions set up at key points around Azuma for future encounters and getting around. That being said, these constructions aren’t immune to the Kemono. So, if they rush at the crates or towers, they will likely destroy them.
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Wild Hearts captures hearts
Considering all the high-profile video games that have already been released in 2023, it’s tough to grab the attention of gamers. However, Wild Hearts isn’t screaming from the rooftops or drawing out elaborate promotional campaigns. It’s letting the game speak for itself here. And frankly, it might be the best tactic in the long run. There’s a fantastical quality to it, as it offers the triple threat of a gorgeous setting, outstanding character designs, and a compelling gameplay system that combines for a riveting experience.
Omega Force’s Wild Hearts may not be the same household name as Monster Hunter, but it sure is announcing itself as a serious contender. For a debut title, it hits all the right notes and lays a more-than-solid foundation for current and future success.
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Tell us, will you be playing Omega Force’s Wild Hearts?