It’s impossible for Dauntless to not come up in conversations revolving around online co-op monster hunting games. While Monster Hunter: World is still king of the hill, it has a cheaper competitor (free in this case), and that’s Dauntless. The game now has over ten million players and it’s safe to say that it is holding up well against its main competition. For those that don’t know, Dauntless is an online co-op action role-playing game (RPG) set in an untamed science-fantasy world. Players take on the role of elite warriors known as Slayers who protect humanity by hunting ferocious Behemoths. So why is it pretty popular and is it worth playing? Here’s our thoughts.
The Best Kind of Gameplay
The biggest compliment Dauntless deserves is that it’s managed to make it work. The entire premise of the game involves monster hunting, and players are allowed to jump straight into that without any prior content to slow you down. The tutorial teaches you pretty much all you need to know about the game. Combat is a strong point, it has weight and feels good when executing attacks. You have combos that can be unleashed using your left and right clicks. Holding down TAB will bring up the cheat sheet for attacks, so be sure to take a look at that. The hunts themselves are good fun. In Ramsgate – the main hub – where players gather to craft and group, you can get new weapons and tier them, before heading out on a hunt. The group hunts are incredibly fun, as the four of you get dropped on an isle to sniff out a Behemoth. The fight then can take up to 10 -15 minutes, depending on how geared you are, and it’s definitely engaging. Think of Dauntless as a free to play Monster Hunter World.
Easy on the Eyes
Phoenix Labs, the studio behind Dauntless, are made up of former devs from games like Bioware, Bethesda, Riot Games and Carbine Studios. The various influences are definitely on display, and the visuals are easy to like. The game has a very ‘cartoon’ feel to it, that will remind you of other MMO’s like Wildstar, WoW and even Fortnight. What impressed me with the game’s presentation is that it does have some intro story that have cinematic cutscenes and even voice acting. The whole new player package was done really well which always helps.
Free To Play
Perhaps one of the best things about Dauntless is that it is completely free to play. Players can begin their behemoth hunting journeys as Slayers without spending a single cent. With so many monsters to slay, and equipment to grab plus skins to unlock, that’s hours of gameplay time to sink your teeth into. However, the game also has Seasonal Passes that you can purchase should you want more exclusive stuff, but that’s entirely optional. Over the span of a year, plenty of improvements have also come to the game. These include quality of life changes and more which is only a good thing for new players jumping into Dauntless in 2019. Overall, if you want a solid alternative to Monster Hunter: World that won’t cost you a penny, has plenty of players in addition to being accessible on multiple platforms, then give Dauntless a shot.
The Multi-platform Factor
One of the best things games can do is to offer multiple choices of where to play the game. Accessibility is one of Dauntless’s biggest strengths, thanks to its One Dauntless update. Players can play on PC, Consoles and even on the Nintendo Switch when it arrives in the future for absolutely free. This definitely helps developers Phoenix Labs cast a wider net to audiences that may not have heard of the game otherwise. This also ensures that player populations across platforms are healthy, which means that there is no problems finding groups of players to hunt Behemoths with.
And last but not least, the game keeps its promise of constantly updating the game for the benefit of its players. At launch, you’ll be forgiven for not remembering how basic everything was. The UI was different, combat wasn’t as good as it was now, and there wasn’t enough content let alone progression systems to keep players interested. Dauntless quickly rectified that with a series of solid updates that has added more of everything to the game. From Seasons that offers Slayers more to do for cosmetic rewards and gear, to alternate versions of monsters and Ramsgate, there’s just plenty of potential that the game can tap into, and these updates don’t take long to come out either. If they can maintain their constant updating of the game, players will have no reason to leave.