Wild Hearts, an action role-playing video game, is being developed by Omega Force and published under Electronic Arts’ EA Originals label. The game is set to be released on February 17, 2023, for PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S, and it takes place in Azuma, a fantasy world inspired by feudal Japan. The player assumes the role of a nameless hunter who must complete quests to hunt down massive monsters called Kemono in Azuma’s several large areas.
Wild Hearts will feature eight different weapon types, including wagasa and katana, and players can also construct items through the Karakuri mechanic to assist in combat. For example, players can build crates to leap off of and deal massive damage to enemies or ignite enemies with a torch. Additionally, these building blocks can be combined to form larger machines, such as a bulwark that blocks an enemy’s path. The constructed items are permanent until they are destroyed by Kemono. Building Karakuri consumes thread, which can be obtained by simply attacking enemies. As players progress through the game, they will unlock new weapons and armors, enabling them to hunt more challenging monsters. Players can also build Karakuri to aid transversal.
The team behind Wild Hearts began developing the game in 2018. Kotaro Hirata, the game’s director, explained that the team learned from their experience developing the Toukiden series and intended to create a modern Japanese monster-hunting game. The team designed monsters and creatures to be threatening and challenging so that players would not feel guilty about killing them. The game world is based on feudal Japan and features four different biomes, each inspired by one of the four seasons.
In an interview with The Verge, Hirata stated that Dynasty Warriors had become a pillar franchise for Omega Force and that they hoped Wild Hearts would become another strong pillar franchise. Electronic Arts announced its partnership with Omega Force and its parent company Koei Tecmo on September 14, 2022, to publish Wild Hearts under its EA Originals label. The game was officially announced on September 23, 2022, with support for cross-platform play.