Despite obvious inspiration, Wild Hearts hasn't won over Monster Hunter fans just yet

Wild Hearts
(Image credit: EA)

Now that we've gotten a few minutes of actual gameplay for Wild Hearts, Koei Tecmo's upcoming EA-published Toukiden successor and Monster Hunter competitor, fans of Capcom's iconic action RPG are weighing in on the latest take on the genre. 

The Monster Hunter Reddit community has seen quite a few discussions on Wild Hearts, with two (opens in new tab) of the largest threads (opens in new tab) collecting thoughts on its big trailers. Its gameplay trailer is also faring decently on YouTube (opens in new tab) with a nearly 10-to-1 like to dislike ratio, and while this kind of feedback paints a limited picture of player reactions, it is interesting to see outspoken Monster Hunter fans respond to a new game that's obviously hoping to get their attention. Recurring and widely supported critiques can also shed some light on what the game may need to prove at launch. 

A few common sentiments could be chalked up to the game being unfinished, with Koei Tecmo still working toward Wild Hearts' February 17 release date. Many players, like Reddit user moddy123 (opens in new tab), have remarked that "the biggest negative about the gameplay is the lack of weight from the weapons." 

"The players' weapons seemed so floaty and light?" adds SuperSemesterer (opens in new tab). "Maybe it’s just one weapon class but… idk. Too light and floaty. Even longsword/dual blades give way more ‘oomph’." 

"I heard some people mention the absence of hitstop and that’s something I’d like to see implemented to give the combat more heft to it," echoes Haru17 (opens in new tab)

The carefully choreographed nature of Wild Hearts' gameplay trailer may also be to blame for observations like the "monster just standing around getting whooped by the player, very occasionally going for an attack," as Azzell93 (opens in new tab) put it. That said, there's no arguing that the giant boar featured in the trailer is less agile and active than Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak's reinvigorated creatures. 

The building and crafting elements of Wild Hearts, which allow players to assemble usable or automated constructs and placements mid-fight, have also raised some eyebrows. Crafting games have a huge following, but limited crossover with hunting diehards, so responses here seem mixed. "The building disgusts me," Wicked_Folie (opens in new tab) says bluntly. "I thought they focused on the towers and contraptions too much," echoes lordinsanityiii (opens in new tab). "The building mechanic looks fun, I'd just hope it doesn't become too commonplace to the point where it would get boring doing it repeatedly," Rajangalala (opens in new tab) says in compromise. 

Unsurprisingly, many fans have also made direct comparisons between Wild Hearts and Monster Hunter, drawing parallels to monster designs and weapon animations. Koei Tecmo has described the game as a standalone way to build on its Toukiden series, but Toukiden itself was heavily based on Monster Hunter, and there's no getting away from the series' influence. 

The game's less Monster Hunter-like qualities, especially its building mechanic, seem to have sparked more curiosity-driven discussion, so it'll be interesting to see how they feel come February. MetalCellist (opens in new tab) may have said it best a week ago: "Need to see more. Currently neutral on it." 

With Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak riding high on a fiery new title update and Capcom planning more free content for early 2023 and beyond, Wild Hearts will face stiff competition at and after launch.  

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.