“Wild Hearts” advance preview. It’s exhilarating to hunt beautiful beasts with light action! Unique tactics and craft elements that make full use of Karakuri are a big attraction
The release date is scheduled for February 17, 2023, and the supported platforms are PlayStation 5 (PS5), Xbox Series X | S, and PC (Origin, Steam, Epic Games Store). Developed by ω-Force, known for the “ Musou ” series.
This time, Electronic Arts and Koei Tecmo Games held a media preview event. I was able to experience the demo version for the event freely, and although it was at the end, I was able to enjoy the detailed specifications and play feel of the game. In this article, I will share my impressions of what I was able to experience at the preview event. Since I was able to experience the English version, the official name of the system is partly unknown.
* Click here for the interview article based on the preceding play Related article”Wild Hearts” W director interview. The element of petting a cute little beast is the love of the staff. We heard production secrets and specifications for up to 3 people multiplayerAn interview with the director of the new Japanese-style hunting action “WILD HEARTS” presented by Electronic Arts and Koei Tecmo Games.
Wild Hearts Gameplay Trailer
Character creation is possible for the main character!
The stage is medieval Hinomoto, Azuma no Kuni. It was once inhabited by humans, but “beasts” that have evolved uniquely through fusion with nature have expanded their power, and now most of them are about to be swallowed up by the realm of beasts. One day, the main character obtains an ancient technology called “Karakuri”. The main character, who has become able to use Karakuri, makes full use of his power and throws himself into the battle to regain the life of the past in “Azuma no Kuni” where the threat of beasts is approaching.
The main character can create characters with a high degree of freedom, and you can change the hairstyle and body shape to your liking. I can’t show you the screen, but it feels like ” Nioh 2 “. The main character’s lines are chosen by choice, so the main character doesn’t intervene much in the story, and you can play a character that is unique to you.
A system to meet new beasts and people in the story
This work is a so-called hunting action game in which you hunt large enemies, acquire materials, and make equipment while progressing. Like the ” Toukiden ” series, there is one big base, and from there you go to subjugate the enemy.
From what I’ve experienced in ” Wild Hearts “, there don’t seem to be any large bases, and you can create your own bases on the map. Details will be given in the crafting section below, but the game system allows you to freely create your own base, hunt, and collect materials from there. Maybe a big base will appear later.
There is a main story quest, and by following it, the story and new elements are unlocked. Next to that, subquests can be ordered at any time as subquests. This can be ordered at any time from the map menu, whether it is a base, or rather, you can check the bonfire of craft items. In the experience, there were only quests related to hunting, such as an increased difficulty version and a quest to hunt 2 to 3 beasts (not fighting at the same time, but individual subjugation within the time limit).
Multiplayer where you can enjoy hunting with up to 3 people
At the start of each quest, you can become a host or join a multi-lobby in multiplayer. It is multiplayer with up to 3 people, and it is possible to participate in the middle of the quest. Except for the prologue, which also serves as a tutorial, you can play in full-length multiplayer. Of course, you can also enjoy single-play.
Gates are placed all over the field, and when they are lit, they seem to match with players seeking help. If you jump into the gate as it is, the multiplayer will start by joining in the middle.
“Karakuri” is a free crafting element. Active in various situations such as base, movement, hunting
As mentioned above, this work allows you to freely construct buildings (Karakuri) in the field. The places where you can’t build are limited to a few places, such as places where there is a large difference in elevation, but basically, you can build anywhere.
Buildings that can be crafted are divided into basic block-like contraptions and structures such as tents and signboards. When building the former Karakuri, resources (materials) can be easily obtained by simply cutting trees, and as long as the materials are available, they can be installed unlimitedly.
The latter building has a place where you can release the cost exclusively, and by putting materials there, the cost limit will increase. You can build as many as you want within the cost limit, so you don’t really need the material itself. Also, if you destroy it yourself, the cost used will be restored, and if it is destroyed by the enemy, it will be revived after a certain period of time, but there may be a resurrection condition (the basic mechanism is still destroyed).
The installed building will remain in the field forever unless it is destroyed. The host’s field is referenced during multiplayer. During multiplayer, you may enjoy watching other players’ fields and getting hints. Those elements are also unique.
In the media preview, I was able to use three basic contraptions. A box-like jumping platform can be climbed up to jump high. If you use it on cliffs, you will be able to climb high places.
A short-distance dash is possible for something like a jumping platform that flies sideways. It didn’t seem to be very useful in terms of movement, but if you put a lot of them on the field, you might be able to shorten your travel time.
The torch-like Karakuri was useful as a light when placed in a dark cave. However, the main specification used felt like an attack. I could only use three this time, but there were still many slots available, so there will probably be a lot more.
The tent is the basic building of the base, and it seems that you can adjust the in-game time by sleeping. In addition to being able to specify a fast travel destination from the map, it will also be a resurrection point when defeated. If you install it in the main place of the field, you can proceed with hunting and exploration smoothly.
Campfires can be used for online play, starting quests, and customizing the help character Tsukumo, which will be described later. Also, I can cook. There are also other tables used for blacksmithing, and there is no basic problem no matter where they are placed.
There was also a drying stand for making dried meat and vegetables, a signboard on which letters could be written, a radar that could detect the location of large beasts, and a lantern that seemed to be a simple light. The wire hook is unique, but I would like to explain it in the item of exploration.
Pure fun to explore!
The field was dotted with materials, crafting materials, accessory items, collectible items, etc., and it was a lot of fun to explore. The field is well-crafted, and if you go to a place where you think there might be something here, something will almost always be prepared, so you can’t help but search every nook and cranny.
Also, the scenery is wonderful. If you think it’s just a forest, an old private house suddenly appears, a graveyard, a vast landscape with rape blossoms, a town that would have once flourished, a gravel road along a cave and a river, and a tourist spot that has been turned into ruins. You can enjoy the expressive scenery while showing the Japaneseness.
The collection itself is almost motionless, and it is speedy that you can acquire it with no motion except for the collection of wood and stone used for basic Karakuri materials, or the stripping of small beasts and beast parts. Anyway, just hitting the collection button repeatedly while walking around will accumulate a lot of materials.
It is also a point where you can get caught on the wall by jumping, and you can climb most places that you can not climb. As long as you have the stamina, you can climb the wall unless it’s a setting that you can never climb, so the movement itself is quite free. It’s also a good idea to combine jumping platform tricks and wall climbing.
In addition, you can build a mechanism that drives a rope hook. If you use it, it becomes a zipline trick, and you can instantly slide to the point where you shot a lop, regardless of the slope of the elevation difference. This makes it possible to move from high speed on the ground to move that ignores ultra-height differences, making movement much easier.
Light attack action with Karakuri x unique weapon type
Attacking with weapons is a fairly light and speedy motion, and it is a very stress-free mechanism. The feel of operation differs greatly depending on the type of weapon, but various techniques can be produced by combining commands, such as connecting weak attacks to strong attacks and deriving from them into special attacks.
There are also stamina-like things, but they are only used when activating some special attacks, so if you handle them well, you can attack almost without interruption. There are also various jump attacks.
Evasion is also quite light, and if you dodge while running, it becomes sliding, and you can avoid enemy attacks while dodging below, which is a lot of fun. Even if you are knocked off after being attacked, it is possible to be passive and recover immediately.
There are many types of weapons available, and the swords that can be used this time are unique in that they are orthodox slashing swords, as well as bellows swords and gallian swords that become whip-like swords. In the case of Karakuri sword form, it was very pleasant to be able to continuously unleash attacks with a tremendous number of hits. An easy-to-use image without any peculiarities.
A bow is a long-range weapon, and when held vertically, it specializes in power. In addition to increasing power by charging shots, it was possible to set up enhanced arrows as a technique, and it was possible to shoot explosive arrows. It was relatively easy to fight even at close range because it was possible to dodge with good performance while holding a bow.
Umbrellas are capable of quick melee attacks and are more suited to aerial actions than swords. It was possible to open the umbrella and play a just card, and if it succeeded, he could bounce off himself and then release a powerful rush attack. It’s more technical than a katana, but it’s a weapon that combines offense and defense.
As you can see, each weapon has a wide variety of unique actions, and depending on which weapon you choose, your fighting style will change greatly.
The biggest feature is the strategic nature of the craft. The jumping platform, dash platform, and torch basic mechanism can be assembled instantly during battle if they can be constructed (normal constructions can also be built, but not instantaneously).
By jumping after climbing the jumping platform, you can unleash a powerful jump-only attack. If it is a sword, it feels like rushing directly under it (it is also possible to attack while pulling out a Karakuri sword). I felt that the higher the number, the higher the damage.
The dash platform is horizontal instead of vertical, so you can attack sideways. When touched by a torch, in the case of a katana, it could launch an attack that would envelop the weapon in flames while dashing sideways. It feels like a gimmick that enables fire attribute attacks.
What’s even more unique is that there are 3 jumping platforms: when you build a total of 6 jumping boards in a predetermined shape, the Karakuri transforms into a gate-like wall shape. Depending on how the Karakuri is built, it may change. The wall gimmick has the effect of blocking enemy attacks and rushes, and it can also be used as a jumping platform, so it was quite convenient. Perhaps there will be other placements as well.
Another unique thing is that by combining vertical Karakuri, you can attack while taking over the performance of Karakuri placed on the top or side. By combining a jumping platform and a torch at the end, it was possible to perform a fire-attribute jumping attack. I felt that there is a degree of freedom in how to use it.
By the way, I was also able to shoot enemies with a rope hook contraption. Aside from whether it’s effective or not, it’s a pretty cool move. I was also surprised at the degree of freedom around here.
Impressions of fighting a large beast
Basically, the main goal of this experience is to defeat large beasts. There were three enemies that I could fight: a large flowered mouse, a deer-like enemy that spewed magma, and a huge wild boar.
All of them have a common point of damage to parts, and there were effects such as increasing materials by destroying parts and weakening enemy attacks. Also, when the damage is increased to a certain extent, it becomes angry and unleashes more powerful attacks. If you weaken it, it will start escaping from the fighting area and try to recover in another area.
Also, the change in appearance from the enemy’s angered state was very impressive, and the BGM has modulated accordingly, so all of them had a strong feeling of “dangerous!”
The large mouse felt like a fast-moving medium-sized enemy, and because it was good at moving quickly, it was easy to defeat it at once if it was frightened. The escape destination is a mouse’s nest, and a small mouse appears. “Do you have children?” I hesitated to hunt.
A deer-like enemy spewing magma, to be precise, looked like a deer-like tree, just because it looked like magma. It felt like tree nectar or something, something sticky. Even though it doesn’t seem like he’s doing anything bad… I thought, but in the story he captured humans, so he might just be a bad beast.
A big boar is a wild boar’s enemy and specializes in charging. For that reason, the wall mechanism is quite effective, and I enjoyed the strategy of how to fight while taking it down. However, the body is too big, and it is often difficult to understand the situation of the character you are controlling during close combat.
Also, this work can cling to large enemies. If you reach the weak point while clinging to it, you can instantly get the material used for the basic Karakuri. Also, if you decide when you are angry, it seems to settle down. Its weak points glowed slightly when approached, and were often exposed after repeated attacks.
There is an indication that you can attack even if you are clinging, but the attack never came out. This is speculation, but I suspect that there is a cling attack only in multiplayer or depending on the weapon.
What was interesting was that when I clung to an enemy that weakened me and ran away, I was taken to where I could escape. It was an element that could be used simply as a hunting strategy because even stamina could be clung to.
Small companion, Tsukumo
During his adventures, he met a Karakuri robot-like Tsukumo. Tsukumo is a spherical being that helps the player. Sometimes he throws something like a square box to attract the attention of enemies and sometimes gives basic contraption materials. Also, by collecting tricks similar to Tsukumo, it was possible to strengthen Tsukumo itself.
Pet the animals!
Fields contain wild animals that look like deer, frogs, and rabbits. These are also targets for hunting, and of course, you can get materials if you defeat them. But it’s kind of cute when you look at it. I was able to pet most of the animals by crouching and approaching them.
If you stroke it, you can get materials that you can’t get when you defeat it, so it’s also useful as a game. I was able to pet the rats that attacked me just by getting close to them, so I guess a peaceful solution is possible. Animals such as poisonous lizards could not be stroked. Well…it seems to have poison…
By the way, some of the material items are small animals themselves, and squirrels and snake-like creatures can be captured as they are. This is cute too.
A hunting game full of unique charm!
Although it’s the end, this media preview version gives a good idea of what kind of game “Wild Hearts” is specifically aiming for. Although the pillars of the system follow the existing hunting action, it is light and has a high degree of freedom, and the unique action using Karakuri and the field customization element have a unique charm.
It was a trial version for the media, but it is unknown at the moment if there is a trial version for the general public. Stay tuned for further updates.