EA and Koei Tecmo's co-op beastie-botherer Wild Hearts will mix katanas, massive animals, and wacky crafted weapons when it launches in February. The Dynasty Warriors studio revealed their collaboration as part of the EA Originals label today, and it’s certainly channelling some of that there Monster Hunter energy. Watch the first trailer below and tell me you don’t want a handheld helicopter.
Wild Hearts is set in a fantasy-tinged version of feudal Japan. Your samurai-ish character can team up with two others for three-player co-op. They’ll need to use a crafting technology called Karakuri to thwack monsters that resemble colossal versions of regular animals, such as warthogs, birds, and wolves. These cheeky overgrown scamps have been infused with the power of nature to become beasts known as Kemono, and you don’t want to mess with that unless you've got some handy ancient tech up your sleeve. Good job there’s all sorts of wooden doohickeys kicking about that can help, such as one-person helicopters, giant comedy hammers, and rope traps.
Koei Tecmo directors Kotaro Hirata and Takuto Edagawa told IGN that Wild Hearts isn’t an open-world game per se, but has a similar zoning system to Capcom’s Monster Hunter series. Some Karakuri tech can be built instantly during battle, according to the directors, while others can be combined to create new Karakuri. They can also be used to build entire hunting grounds if you've got enough materials. Combat in Wild Hearts won’t be like Omega Force’s Dynasty Warriors series or Monster Hunter, though, they said, but will feature jumping, grappling, sliding and other "highly flexible actions," Hirata told IGN.
We first reported on Wild Hearts a few weeks ago when EA and Koei Tecmo cryptically announced they were collaborating under what had been considered an indie label, up to that point. Toukiden devs Omega Force have been working on the game for four years, and the project should be in pretty capable hands given their experience with that series of action RPGs. It’s still a bit odd that an experienced studio that’s part of a large publisher is benefitting from a deal set up to foster smaller studios, although now EA say the label is supposedly "for those who dare to explore," in their most recent press release, and "a home for studio partners - like Omega Force - forging new ways to play from bold creative visions". To each their own, I guess.
Wild Hearts hits PC on Steam, Origin and the Epic Games Store on February 17th 2023, and will cost $70 (UK pricing TBC). Quite hard too, I’d imagine. You can find out more about the game at the official site here.