Dauntless is a co-op action RPG modeled very closely after the Monster Hunter franchise.
Like all video game companies in this day and age, the team behind Dauntless saw a very underrepresented genre in the market. A niche that had yet to really be tapped into.
So they went ahead and did what Monster Hunter never could.. port their game to PC!
Dauntless Review - Is It Worth Playing?
Jokes aside, I am a huge fan of the Monster Hunter games. I’ve been playing them for what seems like forever, and I’m glad to see another company take on a market that Capcom has monopolized all these years.
Similarly to how the Rune Factory games were made to emulate the success of Harvest Moon. Man I loved Harvest Moon.
Oh, right. Dauntless.
The game takes place on The Shattered Isles: A collective of large, broken shards of land scattered across the skies.
The remnants of Humanity that managed to escape The Upheaval, the event that shattered the world, have since taken on the role of adventurers, explorers, artisans, merchants and Slayers in an attempt to both adapt and survive their harsh new reality.
Plaguing The Shattered Isles are giant, hulking Behemoths. Monsters of incomparable size and power. And that is where we come in.
Queue our entry.
We are.. Slayers. Our primary goal in life is.. well, to slay.. Behemoths.
So, I’d first like to talk about the character creator.
You’re given the ability to choose an ancestral tree – that affects the base of your slayer.
I chose to go with Willa, the badass looking babe on the left, and Merrilee, ’cause she looks like she’d make a cute waifu for Willa.
I totally ship them. I’m gonna call their ship name.. Willee. Okay, wait, no. That sounds suggestive. Um, Merrilla? Yeah, let’s go with that.
So you’re given a fair amount of hairstyles to choose from – which honestly surprised me, basic skin tone selection, eye colors, eye customization, nose shape, mouth size, head size, ear size and jaw size.
Also, for those of you that’re interested in looking fabulous.. there’s that option as well.
Like the Monster Hunter games, you’re instantly taken into a mini-tutorial encounter that has you engage a Behemoth in combat as it tells you how to fight.
Left click to attack, right click to attack with slightly more force.. you know, things anyone that plays an action game on PC should know.
Afterwards, you’re taken to the main quest hub of the game – Ramsgate.
Ramsgate is where you meet other players, enhance and craft new gear, select missions, and.. yeah. It’s a hub.
It’s where you do everything. It’s a beautiful hub, granted, and it’s refreshing seeing new players roam around every time you come back, but I’d love to see more done with it.
The hub system itself, I mean. As in, feature a few different hubs that you can transition between. I’ve always found it awfully limiting to have one single town where all Humanity congregates.
What if a Behemoth – or worse yet, a group of Behemoth’s rush Ramsgate? We’re fucked!
After taking the time to explore Ramsgate my wife Adrienne and I finally got to embark on our first real adventure!
We got to go out adventuring with a friendly Spanish man and a mute, where we learned how to pick daisies, attack the wildlife, and fly around on weird little.. Geyser.. things. I dunno. I didn’t ask questions.
There is no class system in Dauntless, merely weapon types. Your selection of attacks and combos are pre-defined by what weapon you have equipped.
From what I could tell, each weapon offered the same attack power, yet did vastly different amounts of damage when hitting the Behemoth’s overall.
My greatsword would hit an average of 300 damage, where as my hammer would hit upwards of 400.
I didn’t get to try out the other weapon types as honestly, I didn’t want to keep fighting the same Behemoth’s to get the crafting materials so I can’t speculate on whether they do more or less.
Combat was a little slow and a tad bit clunky – but then that could be because I’ve gotten spoiled with how fast combat is in action games these days.
However – combos, dodging and maintaining aggro was a lot of fun. I quickly learned that there is a tremendous disparity between how hard Behemoth’s hit and the amount of armor your gear gives.
This leaves less wiggle room for error – which was proven by multiple deaths throughout our adventures. Once by me, once by Adrienne, and multiple times by other players.
This was actually quite an invigorating experience – having the encounters require some form of skill to overcome.
Upon successful completion of your objective players are awarded Badges in lieu of their accomplishments, such as Slayer, Steadfast, Breaker, Evasive and more to give you an estimate on overall player contribution.
That is definitely one way of proving who’s dick is longest.
I also learned first-hand that unfortunately, the areas were suicide-proofed.
Just like in Zelda.
Which, admittedly, was a good idea.
So apparently you can also dismember Behemoth’s. That’s handy.
Moving on, Behemoth’s are capable of enraging.
They enter a heightened state – they hit harder, move faster, and have access to enhanced attacks.
This can make them significantly more difficult to deal with as from what I’ve been able to tell, they become immune to staggering as well.
Now bosses drop unique crafting materials that can be used to craft weapons and armor in their unique style.
For example, after killing Gnasher and obtaining Gnasher Hide, I went on to craft a Gnasher weapon and Gnasher armor, prepping me for the Winter that was yet to come..
All in all, I believe we went up against around 8-9 different Behemoth’s. Most of them shared models with one another but they got progressively more difficult.
I’m sure as you make progress through the game, the variety of Behemoth grows exponentially larger, but at least for the first several hours, the diversity of Behemoth types was a little underwhelming.
So, having played the game for a solid 4 hours, I believe that makes me fully capable of composing a clear, objective First Impressions review of the game.
Dauntless is a beautiful game. It’s a game that has you hunt down Behemoth’s spread throughout The Shattered Isles to gather materials to craft better gear to hunt stronger Behemoth’s to craft stronger gear to hunt- wait, I feel like I’m repeating myself here.
But that’s the game.
You hunt to craft to hunt more to craft more.
While I get that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I do believe, as proven with the huge success of Monster Hunter World, that this style works.
Unfortunately though, from what I can tell after playing it for several hours, the game doesn’t really do anything new or innovative. Which is to its merit.
If something works – and works well – why do you need to change it?
Overall, Dauntless plays like a less polished version of Monster Hunter for PC. It’s highly entertaining and offers a fair amount of customization.
The overall performance issues for players with low to mid end PCs was quite poor but otherwise I was pleased with how the game ended up turning out, despite people hating on the game or claiming it is the best action RPG to have ever graced the PC.
It’s a good game with a lot of room to grow and improve. What are your thoughts on it?