When Koei Tecmo and EA announced that they were teaming up for what they aimed to be the greatest hunting game yet, gamers had a lot to wonder. What would make this game unique? What was Wild Hearts even about? Then the first trailer laid it all out by showing us the magical world and enormous beasts. Today, a seven-minute gameplay trailer was released that focused on what hunting a beast would be like.
Flashy, arduous, and aesthetically pleasing all come to mind. The trailer begins by showing the powerful target: a large, tusked boar called Kingtusk. He roars and throws back his enormous tusks, and we can see the way the animal is infused with vines and wood. The aesthetics of the beast and the world are soft with lovely greens, yellows, and pinks used to create an idyllic natural look. It’s jarring when the action ensues as the player attacks Kingtusk, who roars and stomps in return. The boar runs over the player early on, killing him in the field before flashing forward to a rematch in the forest. Even when two new players are introduced, it takes quite some time and repeated blows to take him down.
The inventions aspect was interesting as well. From the start of the trailer, we see the player pick up a wooden box that suddenly turns into a little helicopter. Then in the middle of a grassy field, a wooden contraption appears and shoots a rope zipline high up on a distant cliff. The methods for traveling across the world are an odd mix of ancient and magical science then. Many of the weapons are like that too. One player sets up a wooden puzzle bomb that he sets off with his transforming weapon at one point, and boxy ladders are erected with a hand wave several times during the hunt. The wooden hammer catapult thing is odd but effective for a single, powerful hit.
The premise of the game is unlike most hunting games. In a magical world inspired by feudal Japan, enormous nature-infused beasts roam the land for food and territory. You must hunt them using your swords and the ability to magically invent weapons in order to tame them. In fact, the marketing catch phrase is “Tame a world gone wild.” Samurai track down large animals in their habitat and use their inventions to kill them. The gameplay trailer is below.
Wild Hearts currently has a release date of February 17, 2023, and it will be released on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. You can add it to your wishlist on Steam for updates. If you’re interested in some of the upcoming action-adventure games coming your way in 2023, here are twelve of them!