Monster hunting game Wild Hearts takes a unique approach to its monsters

Developer Omega Force is best known for its line of Warriors games (Dynasty Warriors, Hyrule Warriors, and others) but the Koei Tecmo-owned studio’s next project returns to the genre it flirted half a decade ago with Toukiden: monster hunting. wild heartswhich is published by Electronic Arts, takes the game style made famous by Capcom’s Monster Hunter and gives it a few twists, letting players take on massive creatures mutated by their natural environments and throwing in a bit of tower defense mechanics.

On Thursday, at the Game Awards, Omega Force and EA showed off more creatures called kimono that will be in attendance. wild hearts. There is an ice wolf named Deathstalker, a falcon named maple and sunbeam known as Amaterasu, and a tiger named Golden Tempest that is full of roots and gold dust.

creators of wild hearts He told Polygon in a Zoom interview earlier this week that their kimono monsters were designed to be both believable, despite their seemingly magical nature, and frightening, in terms of their aggression and will to survive.

The design of the kimono began with the game’s boar creature, a monster with giant fangs and an abundance of eyes that dotted the trees of its surroundings. These wild animals are affected by their environment, which in turn affects the environment around them. wild hearts Technical director Yu Obuchi told Polygon through an interpreter.

Photo: Omega Force / Koei Tecmo / Electronic Arts

“The pig was the first kobono we held,” said Marina Ayano, another art director on the game. “[Wild Hearts] It has many themes, such as the threat of nature and animals, and how they merge [together], And during the process of designing the pig, we took into account many ideas, including a yōkai or fantasy style. But we wanted to keep the boar cruelty and soak it in nature.

The original kimono [form] Shy, but as he mutates, he becomes more aggressive. We wanted to keep the original animal and nature elements, once we finished with the pig, other kimono followed. Ayano noted that the art team drew inspiration from ukiyo-e artwork, Hanafuda cards, and religious shrines and temples to create unique enemies.

Game director Takuto Idagawa said that in Realm wild heartsKimonos are natural creatures. “There is something about it that allowed them to evolve over time, and become imbued with nature,” said Idagawa. “That’s normal in their world—that was the point behind that design. They’re your enemy in the game, but they’re not an obvious villain. They’re fighting for survival, too; what they want is against the interests of the humans in the game.”

A giant porcupine filled with crystal spikes encounters a samurai in a golden forest in Wild Hearts

Photo: Omega Force / Koei Tecmo / Electronic Arts

Edagawa said so wild hearts It does not carry an ecological or ecological message” but there was the question “what is nature for us?” “Nature is unaware of humans, and what we do with it. We can have a positive or negative influence, but animals don’t. Nature is circular — things come and go — that’s part of our story.”

Players will need to pay close attention to their environment while fighting kimono. in wild heartsThe developers said, that a solo battle can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, with 15 minutes being the ideal point. A beast full of nearby tree growth may be relatively calm and green, reflecting the green environment, and may turn red, autumnal as it grows furious and nears death. Different environments may also alter the way kimono functions in battle; A monster filled with ice and snow will behave differently than the same monster affected by wind and heat.

Don’t worry, though, for arachnophobia. One thing gamers will not encounter wild hearts The developers said that they are giant bugs and insects. Instead, expect giant, grumpy, and snarky monkeys, porcupines, rats, wolves, and boars when you… wild hearts Hits PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X in February.

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