Wild Hearts is a fresh take on Monster Hunter with a dash of Fortnite
About a year ago, Fortnite introduced a new way to play, with a mode that eschewed its building gameplay for something more like a regular shooter. Now that style of building has appeared in the most unlikely of places: Wild Hearts, a new take on the hunting genre that Monster Hunter has firmly established.
Wild Hearts — which is developed by Dynasty Warriors studio Omega Force and published by EA — is, at its core, a riff on Monster Hunter World. Like that game, it takes place in a vast wilderness that’s not an open world, per se, but rather a series of connected spaces. In this case, they’re large islands, each with its own ecosystem and, naturally, different creatures to hunt and battle. There’s also a sprawling human city where you can go to get quests, meet people, and use the bits you cut off of animals to improve your weapons and armor.
There’s a whole story about the animals getting aggressive and encroaching on human land, but it’s not particularly compelling and really just serves as an excuse for the meat of the experience: the hunting. Like MonHun, Wild Hearts is a game built around a very particular cycle. You take on a hunt, go out and fight that particular creature to the death, and — if successful — take your spoils back to base to upgrade your gear so that you can take on even bigger hunts.
It’s a satisfying cycle that works especially because the hunts are so much fun. Again, it plays out a lot like MonHun. You have a range of different weapon types to choose from and upgrade — I’ve settled on a kind of bladed umbrella that makes my hunter particularly dangerous in the air — and the battles themselves require both planning and patience. You need to make sure you have the right gear and a fully stocked cupboard of healing items before heading into battle. And once you make contact with the beast, you need to carefully follow its patterns, finding the right time to strike.