Dauntlessby Mikhail May 27, 2019 | 2 Votes | 1 Played | 0 Reviews 10 rate Dauntless is free-to-play PvE game where you take the role of a slayer and fight off gigantic monsters known as behemoths. Slay these behemoths and use their parts to carve out weapons and armor. Available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, you can team up with your friends and carry over progression to another platform. Play Now Similar Games Played
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You jump into one of the islets floating around the Shattered Isles with three of your teammates heading in different directions. It’s quite dark, with the only sources of light being the aether vents and plants in the surrounding area. You meet up with a companion and suddenly, a flare, fired by one of your party-mates, goes up into the sky and explodes. You and your friends sprint to it and see a behemoth staring daggers at you and your teammates, ready to do battle.
Welcome to Dauntless, a free-to-play PvE game where you play as a slayer with the task of finding and taking out behemoths and craft their body parts into weapons. Though the entertainment loop is quite similar to franchises like Monster Hunter or even God Eater, it has enough unique in-game and presentation elements that set it apart. It provides a fun, action-packed gameplay best experienced with friends. However, it currently suffers from launch pains: technical issues that can limit your access to the game and stop the fun.
So, should you give the game a shot? Let’s check out what it has to offer:
Dauntless is set in an area called the Shattered Isles which was formed after the world suffered a cataclysmic event. The said event also spawned forth behemoths which hunt and feed on humans.
Apart from the unnamed locations (with various biomes) within the Shattered Isles, you’ll be spending most of your time in Ramsgate. This city acts as a hub where you will interact with other players and various NPCs, craft items, and sign up for quests (either Patrol or Pursuit).
If you love good storytelling, you won’t get to enjoy Dauntless’ narrative that much. Talking to NPCs and long dialogue are the only ways the game tells its tale which is a letdown.
Dauntless’ gameplay loop is quite similar to Monster Hunter. There are no job classes, only six weapon types which in turn determines your abilities and the way you fight. Basically, most of what you’ll end up doing is break behemoth parts, defeat them, and craft stronger weapons and armor. Rinse and repeat. Battles usually last for an average of 5-15 minutes depending on the difficulty, though the game has a 30-minute time limit for each quest.
Weapons are way different from each other and what you wield determines your playstyle. Using a hammer and ax means you want to deal greater damage, but the payoff is having slower attack speed. Pikes and swords are well-balanced weapons deal intermediate damage, while the twin blades and repeaters deal lesser damage but let you attack from range.
Dauntless employs a two-way elemental strength and weakness mechanic which is why your loadout matters. For example, you need to use a blaze weapon and wear frost armor when facing frost behemoths. Meanwhile, you have to arm yourself with a frost weapon and blaze armor when battling blaze monsters. Apart from these two elements, you’ll also have to deal with shock and terra, as well as umbra and radiant.
In addition, your weapon choice matters. For example, you’ll have to use hammers vs hard-shelled enemies like the Skarn and Valomyr to easily beat them and cut off their parts. Bladed weapons are best for unarmored behemoths like the Embermane and Drask. Each weapon also has its own movesets and combinations. Certain abilities are unique to the animal parts you used to craft them. You can also change their appearances and equip them with cells (along with armor) that give you certain buffs which can help turn the tide of battle in your favor. Finally, you’ll also use a lantern that also gives you special buffs and abilities.
However, the game’s crafting part is a huge chore and a long grind. When you reach level 15 and above, getting parts for certain weapons and armor becomes extremely tough. It’s safe to say that it’s harder to craft or upgrade equipment (because you need more parts than usual) in Dauntless than in other games even if you own the Hunt Pass.
Dauntless’ biggest draw is its plethora of behemoths. Though you’ll encounter some repetitions (stronger versions of weaker behemoths with a more varied moveset), every monster you’ll encounter is well-designed, has their own quirks and abilities, and their own tendencies. When you first encounter the Embermane, you’ll be frustrated by its quickness and constant charges while the Riftstalker’s teleportation ability can frustrate most slayers. Every time you face a new behemoth, you’ll get a feeling of awe and be amazed at how different each of them are.
Unfortunately, Dauntless suffers from a few issues. Framerate drops are common when facing larger foes and when the screen is being filled with explosions and lasers. Crashes frequently happen as well. In addition, connectivity issues are fairly common though this is only natural for newly-released titles due to the deluge of new players. After all, it's hard to provide a smooth experience for four million concurrent players.
Dauntless’ fun factor heavily relies on you going out to hunt with friends. Going solo or purely with randoms (and not making friends with the randoms you meet) will provide a subpar co-op experience. The game employs a chat feature (even on the PlayStation 4), allowing you to communicate with everybody in your Ramsgate lobby, and seamless crossplay between PS4, PC, and Xbox One. You can also opt to join or form a guild.
Dauntless also has a large community on Reddit, as well as in a few Discord servers. If you're looking for people to play with, you'll have no problem doing so on those websites.
Though it’s fair to say Dauntless’ graphics and the overall art style are comparable to Fortnite, the developers did mention that it was inspired by various animated movies like Tangled. In any case, the visuals are great, as well as the overall art style and world design. The game also offers a huge selection of customization options (from weapons, armor, and character cosmetics) which will always be a plus.
Though the OSTs aren’t as varied as you’d hope, it’s enough to pump out the adrenaline and feeling of dread when facing a challenging foe. The voice acting is impeccable, and every interacting with an NPC will always bring joy to one’s ears.
Overall, Dauntless is a must-play for everyone looking for a fantastic PvE co-op title. With its unique monsters, outstanding art style, and varied weapon selections, it sets itself apart from its peers and provides an amazing, albeit grindy experience. It’s free, so there’s no reason for you to not dive into the Shattered Isles and start taking down behemoths with your buddies.