Wild Hearts review: Wild potential unfulfilled

by Ben Kirby
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In my previous review-in-progress, I covered a lot of the core of Wild Hearts. I’m really pleased to say that nothing has changed since then. The game itself expands upon your weapons, armour and abilities and you’re always feeling the rush of the next hunt. It’s a great game, a fantastic take on the genre and honestly, well worth your time…….once the performance issues die off.

Wild Hearts - Big boi

Wild Hearts -What it does well

Wild Hearts does the unfathomable. It provides a tutorial that isn’t too dense with information, systems and mechanics. Unlike others in the genre…..Wild Hearts is much more accessible and open for a new set of players to join in the fun.

Honestly, all I’ve ever wanted is a few friends to play these games with, and whilst it’s been a blast playing as a duo with a good friend. A full squad in Discord voice, hunting big monsters is what seemed like an unachievable dream. Suddenly, it might be possible.

A 10-hour trial available for new players with EA Play (included in Gamepass) means nobody even has to buy it to try and get a feel for it.

A genre that can be obtuse and hard to get into has suddenly opened up a bit. Massive points for that!

Wild Hearts - NPCs


At the time of writing (and trust me, I’ve waited and waited to give Wild Hearts the benefit of the doubt)….we’re on version 1.1.0 ( and things haven’t really improved. Some tepid response initially from the developer and a rush patch which, honestly didn’t make much of a difference, and now we’re over a month in and stability/performance patches seem to have gone awry.

Now, to be clear, the performance issue with Wild Hearts isn’t game-breaking, in fact, if you’re ok with 25-30 frames per second for a lot of your experience (I am, generally), then it’s manageable. Wild Hearts stutters, especially when the action gets hectic. But it doesn’t stop, it doesn’t fall over and it does maintain a certain level of playability.

I’d be very reluctant to recommend the game to anyone, though. It’s tough because if you set the performance to one side, the game itself is a joy and a fantastic entry into a genre that needs more competition.

Textures are a bit iffy, but you could quite easily liken it to Monster Hunter Rise on the Switch, and it’s completely passable. But it stammers and slows its way through, and whilst it is ultimately playable, Wild Hearts performance drops are truly noticeable. Based on this alone, I can’t recommend it. However, it has a lot going for it.

Wild Hearts - Poser


Where Wild Hearts has significant issues, it is actually also a shining example of how well a game can enter an established genre. The Monster Hunting genre is one dominated by one series and to take it on with such aplomb is not only commendable, but it’s also impressive.

Removing the over-complicated menus and systems. Adding new Fortnite-style building elements, but then providing depth and discovery to enhance them as you go through the story. That’s incredible.

Wild Hearts comes into the fray with a pretty substantial world, characters and a story that whilst it doesn’t dominate my enjoyment time of the game, does add context and flavour.

Whereas Monster Hunter games are dense (with good reason) with options to build a variety of weapons and build. Wild Hearts slims everything down. You still have a choice, and options to enhance your build for maximum damage, perhaps survivability or even poisoning. But those choices a fewer, and more manageable. Everything here is obviously the first pass at what has the potential to be a long series, but it takes everything back to basics and makes it work in an uncomplicated and functional way.

I’m not sure I need the cannon as my main weapon, but the simplicity of each weapon option and the ability to pull off cool attacks cannot be overstated.

That’s Wild Hearts all over. Solid, new and modern fundamentals across the board. A new world, fantastic beasts and a chance to pound them, too. A variety of styles of play, and opportunities to create your build without being overcomplicated.

Take away the performance problems, and you’d have a really great 8.5/10. Alas, several content updates and no more fixes, mean that we’re looking at a lesser experience.

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