Dauntless is a downloadable F2P monster-hunting action RPG, from the development team over at Phoenix Labs. The game was released into open beta on the 24th May 2018, and currently remains in this state, whilst being available on PC. Taking clear inspirations from Monster Hunter, Dauntless wants to be the next-best monster hunting game available on PC, all while being completely free for the player to enjoy, with some microtransactions here and there.
The beta version of Dauntless can be downloaded for free. To do this click on the Download button at the end of the review. Currently, only the Windows version is out. But the team behind the game plan for PS4, Switch, Mac and Xbox ports.
In terms of a story, Dauntless is a very lacking game on that front. The game has nothing more than an opening cutscene explaining that you’re a hunter and your job is to hunt these monsters called Behemoths. Other than that, there’s no real incentive to go out and slay the same Behemoth hundreds of times, other than the gear itself.
Visually, Dauntless has a rather unique style that makes the game and all of its inhabitants somewhat colorful and brimming with personality. While the environments might get a bit samey at times, the overall visual style is quite similar to the sort of thing that Fortnite manages to get away; except this time, it’s designed for a more fantasy-like setting to some degree.
When it comes to the audio, Dauntless does a good job of its audio balancing and overall sound design. While the voice acting for your character’s actions are pretty shoddy and uninteresting; attacks, explosions, and general monster noises and roars are all rather exceptional and makes playing the game a satisfying venture.
The general gameplay loop in Dauntless is similar to that of Monster Hunter: you go out and kill something big, take its parts, and use those parts to create stronger, more powerful equipment and that’s exactly how Dauntless works. Before starting a new hunt, you can switch out your equipment, with each one providing its own benefits depending on the choice.
With weapons, however, there are 5 different types to select from (with more reportedly coming in the future). A player can choose between a sword, a hammer, an ax, a war pike, or a pair of chain blades. Depending on the type of monster you’re hunting, you’re going to want to change your weapons and armor accordingly.
When you go out into the mission to fight a Behemoth, you’ll have to first run around the relatively large tile-set in search of the Behemoth. Once they’ve been found, you and your squad of up to 4 will then have to go to town on the creature in attempts to kill it. By using a combination of light and heavy attacks to create small combos, you can deal a significant amount of damage to the Behemoth. If you manage to deal enough damage to a certain part of the Behemoth, that part will be broken and can then be collected for upgrading and buying new gear later on.
Gameplay at no point is a cakewalk, however, as the developers want you to work for what you’re hunting. Throughout the fight, you’re going to need to manage your stamina bar, as you hack-and-slash and dodge out of its attacks. After too many wipes from the team, the mission will fail, and you’ll have to restart the fight from the beginning. To keep things from being too unfair, players can acquire potions before going out to hunt, which will give them general bonuses for a small amount of time and even restore some health, depending on the ones you decide to bring with you.
Overall, Dauntless is a great alternative for anyone that wants to play Monster Hunter but doesn’t want to pay for it or is looking for something a little different from the general Monster Hunter motif. Combat, for the most part, manages to stay satisfying as you go around, improving every aspect of your equipment and considering just how regularly the developers are updating and improving the game, there’s more than enough for the average player to enjoy.
- Nice visuals
- Great audio quality
- Gameplay is satisfying and doesn’t get too stale
- Completely free-to-play with no requirements to pay
- Making progress in this game only makes you want to play more
- Lack of any kind of storyline whatsoever
- Behemoths can be a tad repetitive after a while
- Open beta is going to have problems