Update: Koei Tecmo and EA hosted an AMA on Reddit on February 1, 2023, so we’ve updated our article with more information that was provided during that session.
Thanks to EA Original and Koei Tecmo, The Outerhaven was invited to a Wild Hearts digital event where we learned all sorts of things regarding the upcoming hunting title. The session was handled by EA Origin’s Senior PR Manager, Cristian Delgado, and Executive Producer, Lewis Harvey.
The pair were happy to answer the mountain of questions tossed at them and remained immensely positive about the event and the hype behind the game.
Below is everything we know about Wild Hearts so far, and while we couldn’t have all of our questions answered, there’s quite a bit of information about the game that we didn’t know about before.
How did Wild Hearts come to be?
Will many assume that EA Originals had approached Koei Tecmo, but it was the other way around. The goal for EA Originals is for developers to approach them with titles or ideas that are seemingly high risks. Now that the title is getting closer to its release date, both companies are excited to discuss it.
Will Wild Hearts feature a character creation tool?
Yes, Wild Hearts will feature a character creation tool, and a Transmog system that is in place. Players will be able to create both male and female characters.
Wild Hearts is another hunting game that features monsters. What will make this game unique from those games?
Then there’s the Karakuri, the craftable items that players will utilize throughout the game. Some will be offensive-based, others defensive-based, and others will provide support, such as being able to traverse the world. No other monster-hunting title features anything such as the Karakuri, and they are unique and will change how people play Wild Hearts.
There seems to be no end to what the Karakuri can do. They even mentioned that the Karakuri could assist players with farming tasks and collecting materials.
The Karakuri will also be upgradable, as you’ll find blueprints throughout the game, but the pair weren’t ready to discuss this particular topic yet.
What are those monsters or creatures we’ve seen in the gameplay trailers, and how do they differ from monsters or creatures we’ve seen in other monster-hunting games?
These are called “Kemono,” which are the names of the creatures that will be hunted in the game, will be more down to earth. While games such as Monster Hunter feature creatures that lend themselves to fantasy, such as dragons and dinosaur-related creatures. The ones in Wild Hearts Kemono’s will be similar to creatures that still exist or are more reality-based. They’ll also use nature-related abilities that will also affect the areas around them. Which will add to the danger that they pose.
While we’ve seen some of the Kemono in the gameplay trailer, there will be many more. Some big, some small, some massive. Some of the creatures will also have ties to the Feudal Japan period. These Kemono will also interact with each other, and there will be multiple of them in the game world. So there’s a chance you may see Kemono act with other Kemonos while you’re engaged in a battle. As the story advances, you’ll also see different variants of Kemono, offering new challenges.
It was also mentioned that the Kemono would also enrage, though I’m not sure if that was by accident. After doing a specific amount of damage or via time, the Kemono will ramp up its difficulty during battles. When they are enraged, they will exhibit a bright-red color, and will do more damaging attacks.
There are several Kemono that we know about; Earthbraker, Deathstalker, Kingtusk, Lavaback, Ragetail, and Sapscourage. There’s a hawk-like Kemono, but the name wasn’t given. There will also be higher ranked Kemono’s called Mighty Kemonos, that can be encountered. As the name implies, they’re tougher but will provide better loot if they can be taken down.
Lastly, the large Kemono will feature breakable parts that can be curved.
How many Kemono will be available in the game?
There will be 20+ Kemono available to hurt at the start of Wild Hearts. More will be added after the launch of the game.
How long will the game be from start to end?
For those looking at only completing the main experience, it should take around 30 hours to complete. However, there will be side quests, and other things to do that will extend the completion time greatly.
What sort of story can we expect?
Koei Tecmo has been known to create some interesting stories in their games, as seen in Dead or Alive, Nioh, Ninja Gaiden, and its various titles focusing on Feudal Japan. Wild Hearts will be no expectation, and as such, they aren’t willing to talk about this due to possibly dropping a spoiler or ruining the narrative surprise.
Will there be a main city or a hub?
Yes, there will be a central city called Minato, where players can upgrade weapons, craft gear, and more. There seems to be more to it, but as it is tied to the story, not much was said about it. You don’t need to head back to Minato often, as players will have items that will allow them to upgrade/craft gear in the open world.
How many weapons will be available in the game?
While there will be eight different types of weapons, there will be 200 different variants. The weapons can be upgraded to function differently and have many different variants that will fit the player’s playstyle.
What’s the deal with co-0p, and how will it affect the game?
Players can jump into sessions that are already underway or leave. The game will dynamically adjust the difficulty whenever a player joins a session. It should also lessen the challenge whenever players leave a session. In terms of the story, this can also be played either as a solo-player affair or co-op, all the way to the end. If a higher-level player joins a session started by a lower-level character, they will be adjusted or scaled down to the lower-level characters.
In addition, whenever a Kemono is beaten, and players are rewarded, the rewards will be available to everyone who is currently in the session. That way, there’s no fighting over who should get what. If you join someone’s session, which is further along in the story than you are, you’ll be only helping progress their story. While if you are at the same point, both will continue their stories.
Will there be Microtransactions?
Nope. There won’t be able microtransactions in Wild Hearts whatsoever, and there aren’t any plans to add any.
How many players are supported in a co-op session?
It was decided that it would be easier to get three players in a group or session than it would be for the traditional four players.
Will the game support cross-play?
Yes, cross-play will be supported across the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
Will the game support any quality or performance modes for the consoles?
Yes. The PS5 and Xbox Series X|S will support a quality mode (4K/30FPS) and a performance mode (1080p/60FPS).
Will Wild Hearts use a well-known game engine like Unreal Engine or Frostbite?
No, Koei Tecmo has been developing the title on a proprietary game engine called the Katana Engine. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this game engine, but I am not sure if this is the same game engine that was used in Dead or Alive 6. However, the time tracks, and it was mentioned several times that Dead or Alive 6 did not use Koei Tecmo’s prior game engine, the Soft Engine.
Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster internet connection
Hard-drive space: 80GB
Will Ray Tracing, Nvidia’s DLSS, or AMD’s FSR be available in the PC or console versions?
While Ray Tracing will be available in the PC version and likely the console versions, the presenters weren’t sure if DLSS or FSR would be available, but they will check and let us know later.
What is the future of Wild Hearts?
The team alluded that both EA Originals and Koei Tecmo currently do not have any plans they are willing to discuss. However, they are counting on Wild Hearts to be an evolving franchise, just as any developer and publisher would hope for. We’ll have to see what happens once the game is released.
Thank you very much, Cristian Delgado and Lewis Harvey, for hosting this digital event. I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing more of Wild Hearts as we get closer to the release date. Wild Hearts will be released on February 17th, 2023, for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC (EA’s App, Steam, and Epic Game Store).