Elsewhere, here's what the critics think of Wild Hearts so far:
"Wild Hearts has proved to be an immense surprise. It navigates the line between well-worn ground and exciting new innovation immensely well. It’s the best non-Capcom hunting game we’ve ever had, and a hugely enjoyable action RPG in its own right."
"If the developers were hoping to launch an IP that could stand side-by-side with other monster-hunting games, they can rest easy. Wild Hearts shares some mechanics with other titles in the genre, but it’s best when staking out unique territory. Hunting Kemono alone and with others, using the Karakuri, and just enjoying the game’s satisfying loop are all a lot of fun. Best of all, Wild Hearts has the mechanical foundation and potential for endless DLC and sequels. If they can live with its slightly disappointing visuals, fans of that “other” monster-hunting game have a viable and addictive alternative in Wild Hearts."
"Wild Hearts is, at times, an utterly thrilling game. It's a game that will leave you kicking yourself for a poorly timed dodge or a missed opportunity, and jumping out of your chair when you finally topple a troublesome foe with a last-ditch, go-for-broke attack. There's a handful of technical issues, a mite too much repetition, and some quibbles about the difficulty, but the core monster hunting experience is spectacular enough that the joys far outweigh the frustrations."
"The core gameplay loop of Wild Hearts doesn't deviate too far from the formula established by Monster Hunter, yet the surprising decision to center it all around a fast-paced building mechanic is a stroke of ingenuity. The Karakuri system elevates each individual part of Wild Hearts. Combat, traversal, and co-op are all improved by its presence and the way Karakuri is weaved into each component. There are some notable shortcomings that hold it back, especially when it comes to technical performance, but Wild Hearts is a welcome entry in a genre that's otherwise dominated by a single series."
"If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Koei Tecmo’s Omega Force is using Wild Hearts to flirt hard with Capcom right now. But using a beloved game as the template for a new one isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and Wild Hearts manages to introduce plenty of fun new ideas to the Monster Hunter formula while recapturing it well enough to stand proudly alongside the series that so clearly inspired it. The way it simplifies and streamlines things makes for a slightly shallower package, but its karakuri building adds a fresh new way to interact with the map in its place. And while its lower monster variety is certainly disappointing, I’m still having enough fun that I’m excited to party up with some friends and dive back into both challenging endgame fights and fanciful karakuri decorations alike."
"If you’re hungry for a new hunter-style experience that isn't Capcom's premier franchise, Wild Hearts is probably as good as it’s going to get right now. It's perhaps an easier entry point with fewer things to overwhelm newcomers and has plenty of fun moments for sure. For veteran hunters, it does bring some new ideas to the table, especially with the building mechanics, but it might not necessarily meet your expectations in other areas of gameplay, and can be rough around the edges at times. If Wild Hearts does have a future beyond this (and there's DLC on the way, we should mention) it would be nice to see it form its own proper identity."
"Wild Hearts is a solid enough first attempt at taking on the Monster Hunter crown, but its occasionally frustrating battles, its rather small number of monsters and the fidgety nature of its admittedly inventive gadget system mean you have to put up with a fair degree of irritation if you want to see it through."
"Wild Hearts often feels like a game that doesn’t want to be played. It’s fussy, it’s janky, and it constantly trips itself up. An erratic gameplay loop, an absolute bastard of a camera, and some ill-conceived weapon gimmicks prevent Koei Tecmo and EA’s experimental hunting joint from ever really succeeding where its genre rivals have. It’s ironic that building is such a core part of this game: if this is the start of a series, Omega Force has laid down some important groundwork, but it needs to do make some serious structural revisions from the foundations up if it ever wants to look eye-to-eye with Capcom’s imposing juggernaut."
For a first attempt from Koei Tecmo and EA, Wild Hearts is looking like a very solid addition to the genre. The Xbox version currently sits at a pretty decent 76 on Metacritic at the time of writing, which is a good effort!
Oh, and it's worth remembering that you can play 10 hours of the game for free on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate thanks to EA Play. Those of you who want to jump in and form your own early impressions - have at it!