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Wild Hearts release date, gameplay details, and everything we know

Will Wild Hearts knock Monster Hunter off the monster-hunting throne?

When will Wild Hearts release, and what do we know about it so far? If the idea of carefully tracking and hunting down massive behemoth-like monsters in gorgeous environments tickles your fancy, then you may want to keep a close eye on Wild Hearts - a soon-to-be-released action RPG with a strong taste of feudal-era Japan.

Wild Hearts will task its players with defeating massive elemental monsters called Kemono with the help of oversized weaponry and special ancient technology called Karakuri. If you're interested to know what all this means in practice - or perhaps you want to know what this monster-hunting game does differently from the venerable and much-beloved Monster Hunter series, then you've come to the right place. Read on to discover everything we know about Wild Hearts, from its release date and editions to the story, setting, and major gameplay features.

Cover image for YouTube videoWILD HEARTS | 7 Minutes of Gameplay

What is the Wild Hearts release date?

The Wild Hearts release date is February 16 2023. A Thursday, in case you were wondering. We'll have more concrete information on the exact release time closer to this date!

Wild Hearts platforms

When Wild Hearts comes out, it'll be available on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. Typically these sorts of games have always been designed with controller in mind, so it's no surprise that Wild Hearts is coming out on console as well as PC.

If you want to play Wild Hearts on PC, you can purchase it either on Steam, the Epic Games Store, or the EA app.

A big pig roars under a cherry blossom tree in Wild Hearts.

Is Wild Hearts free to play?

Wild Hearts is not free to play. It's a fully-priced game, and will cost £60 / $70 / €70 on release for the Standard Edition.

Meanwhile, the Karakuri Edition will cost players £80 / $90 / €90, but comes with the following cosmetics extras:

  • Karakuri Samurai armor set
  • Karakuri Ninja armor set
  • Decorative Tsukumo Lantern
  • "Fighting Spirit" emote
  • "Grovel" emote
  • "Conch" emote

Can you pre-order Wild Hearts?

Wild Hearts is available to pre-order right now on whichever platform you want it on. By pre-ordering either the Standard Edition or the Karakuri Edition, you'll gain the following cosmetic extras:

  • "Ferocious Kemono" emote
  • "Poker Face" chat stamp
  • "Just Woke Up" chat stamp
  • "Praying" chat stamp
  • "Besties" chat stamp
  • "Sleepy" chat stamp

Wild Hearts trailer archive

Cover image for YouTube videoWILD HEARTS | Game Awards Trailer: The Mighty Kemono

Above is the latest Wild Hearts trailer, which gives players a quick look at three of the mightiest and most awe-inspiring beasts you'll hunt in-game: the Deathstalker, Amaterasu, and Golden Tempest.

Check out the other Wild Hearts trailers over on the Wild Hearts YouTube channel!

Wild Hearts gameplay: How does it differ from Monster Hunter?

Wild Hearts is obviously going to be compared to Monster Hunter in many ways. Both games involve preparing for, tracking and hunting down numerous complex and oversized monstrous beasts that roam the wild lands that humans are attempting to tame. These lands will comprise multiple open-world biomes which you can explore with the aid of your Karakuri (more on this below). So the overall formula of Wild Hearts is likely to be very familiar to anyone who is even remotely aware of how Monster Hunter works. But there are a few key differences that Wild Hearts throws into the mix.

An explosive Karakuri trap in Wild Hearts.
In Wild Hearts you can deploy Karakuri - essentially self-building platforms and traps - to help defeat the beasts you hunt.

As Ed said after his hands-on playtest, one of the big differences between the two series is that in Wild Hearts your progression is linked to growing your hub-village over time. So rather than being presented with a colossal town filled with characters to speak to and places to memorise the positions of, Wild Hearts features much less of an on-boarding process.

Another big selling point of Wild Hearts' combat is the Karakuri, which are items you can deploy to quickly construct Fortnite-esque builds, traps, barriers, traversal equipment, and more. Aside from your weapons, Karakuri are among the most powerful tools in your arsenal when it comes to hunting down your prey.

What is the Wild Hearts story and setting?

Wild Hearts is set in the land of Azuma, a fictional world heavily inspired by feudal Japan. Prior to the start of Wild Hearts, Azuma suddenly began to be overrun by massive beasts known as Kemono, creatures which have fused with certain of the elements and can now control aspects of the landscape.

The player assumes the role of a deadly hunter with the unique ability to wield ancient Karakuri technology, who has seemingly come to combat the threat posed by the Kemono.

According to the game's Steam page, Azuma is split into four regions, each of which is based on a different season. So expect plenty of diversity in the temperatures of each region, as well as further diversity in biomes within every region.

Is Wild Hearts co-op multiplayer?

A massive fire-gorilla screams at three warriors in Wild Hearts.
Co-op multiplayer is possible but not necessary in Wild Hearts.

Wild Hearts can be played either singleplayer or in co-op multiplayer. If you'd prefer not to hunt alone, then you can team up with up to two other players for each expedition. You can choose for these two players to be either friends or strangers, much like in Monster Hunter.

Of course, if you'd prefer to go it alone, then you can completely ignore Wild Hearts' multiplayer functionality. The game won't force you to play with other people if you don't want to do so.

That wraps up our round-up on all the latest Wild Hearts news and details. But keep an eye on this page as we get closer to release in mid-February, because we'll keep updating it with all the latest info! In the meantime, why not have a read of Liam's games of the year post, which happens to contain what is likely Wild Hearts' closest competitor, Monster Hunter Rise.

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Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.