After years of dominating the narrow genre of RPGs where you go and kill big creatures, Monster Hunter finally has some serious competition. Omega Force’s Wild Hearts has all the large weapons and giant critters you would expect, but it has something else going for it: buildable tools.
Set to drop February 17 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S; it won’t be long before we can get our hands on the title ourselves. Developed by the folks behind Dynasty Warriors, it’s clear that Wild Hearts places a strong emphasis on spectacle. In a new gameplay trailer, we see a hunter trying to take down the Golden Tempest, a giant vicious tiger who looks keen to make you its next meal However, the footage also shows us that there might be substance behind the game’s impressive style.
We see three players tackle the beast, using various weapons and techniques. Though, what sets Wild Hearts apart is the focus on mobility and base building. Rather than sprinting around and hoping for the best, the cannon-wielding player constructs their own cover and uses it to screen their advance. We also see players using wooden handheld helicopters to zip around the battlefield.
I’m a big fan of Wild Hearts’ competition, having spent dozens of hours in Monster Hunter Rise for Nintendo Switch. However, even though Rise offers impressive verticality courtesy of its grappling hook-like Wirebug mechanic, it looks like Wild Hearts is poised to go the extra mile, fostering greater mobility creativity by giving us all sorts of weird and wacky tools.
We’re going on a monster hunt
In addition to the mobility and creativity displayed in the trailer, we’re also introduced to three of the game’s weapon types. The Claw Blades look like the paired daggers in Monster Hunter Rise. Though exciting, they don’t seem like anything to write home about – while, yes, I’ve just written about them, I shall not be sending this news article to my home. The cannon, however, is a different story. A slow but powerful source of ranged damage, you can fire it while dangling from one of Wild Hearts’ wooden helicopters – effectively turning the mini-gyrocopter into a gunship.
The Karakuri Staff was, perhaps, the most interesting and seemed to offer a variable weapon type. One moment, it’s an agile glaive, the next, it transforms into a painfully large greatsword. Though none of these three weapon types indicate a massive departure from Monster Hunter’s own armory, the context of Wild Hearts’ increased emphasis on movement and building creates a range of tantalizing new possibilities.
Wild Hearts’ trailer left me with an aftertaste of optimism and excitement. As a fan of the Monster Hunter formula, I’m always excited to see new entries in the genre. It seems unlikely that Omega Force’s own title will shake the genre to its core, but the mechanics on display in this latest gameplay trailer promise a breath of fresh air.