Monster Hunter Series has always been keeping the title of the best monter hunting Genre game since they practically started the genre. A few followed like Dauntless, which is still a solid game to its credit but never captured players’ attention. Now let us welcome Wild Hearts a new challenger that the developers in KOEI TECMO themselves know will be compared to Monster Hunter.
Welcome to Azuma
The game takes place in the fictional land of Azuma which by just a glance, is inspired by feudal Japan. The main city hub which players will frequently visit is a city called Minato where submissions, trading and most of the NPCs are.
The city was once a thriving community of hunters but now has seen better times since the constant struggle to fend off the Kemono. The region has various location which varies from jungle to sandy beach so players can explore around to create their camp.
The Familiarity is Uncanny
A few hours in, you can feel how the game is similar to Monster Hunter, with basic things like managing the stamina bar, dodging, and eating food before combat feeling like second nature if you played Monster Hunter. I felt the game did a good job streamlining the system because what they added to the game instead is interesting.
The Karakuri at first felt like a Fortnite building but as I played more, it felt like a solution to make certain gameplay easier. Not only for buildings, but the Karakuri can also be a helpful tool in combat.
The Power of the Karakuri
The Karakuri system feels to me like casting a Naruto Jutsu during combat. You require a certain amount of thread to create things on the battlefield. These items can be as simple as a box to jump on or a flare which shoots down flying enemies. Pressing the correct button on the controller to combine the Karakuri to react to the Kemono actions can be vital in a successful hunt.
This system technically replaces the combat items in Monster Hunter to have it be more dynamic. You will unlock more combinations slowly and mastering the Karakuri system is a must to survive some of the most brutal hunts in the game.
Choose Your Weapon
The game starts off with 5 types of weapons with more unlocks as you progress. There is the staple Sword, Greatsword, Hammer and Bow type but they have added an umbrella called Bladed Wagasa which basically feels like a fast attacking blade. So far each weapon feels unique on its own each of them having its own mechanic.
In total there will be 8 weapon types available in the game so there will be a playstyle for everyone either you like range or deal tons of damage, finding your favourite weapon won’t be an issue.
Land of the Kemono
Kemonos are the monsters in the land of Azuma. They can be hunted to gain materials to craft new weapons and armour or some special materials that you can sell for gold. Some of them have the ability to modify the environment to their favour so always be prepared which the correct elemental equipment to face some of these giants.
I do find the Kemono’s AI a little more aggressive with little gap between attacks at times. Even during the early game, it would be hard for the uninitiated to find gaps to attack with slower attack-speed weapons. The mechanic of cutting off Kemono parts is there so if you want more extra materials in a hunt, remember to aim for the area of the monster.
The Review So Far….
I am not going to lie, I feel like I am playing a streamlined version of Monster Hunter for better or worst. The game does away with a lot of things that some will feel like a hassle in Monster Hunter. The Karakuri system saves you the trouble of not worrying if you bring the correct item to the hunt as it can create them on the fly.
It will be hard to know whether Wild Hearts will manage to gain some players from the other community at this point but I for one am enjoying the game so far. Stick around as we will give our final review score for this game, in the few days to come.