The fascination behind the hunting genre, established by Monster Hunter titles, has always been spearheaded by the Japanese market. However, with western releases, the genre created a loyal international following soon enough. Dauntless is the latest attempt at trying to scratch that hunting itch.
The opinions regarding Dauntless are based on the open beta and are, thus, not a final verdict. A lot can change from beta to final release. But at the same time, open beta gives a rough estimation of how a game might pan out. And Dauntless has quite the potential.
Let me get this straight, however. As apparent as the parallel between Monster Hunter and Dauntless is, it most certainly is not fair. Monster Hunter titles have been a long-going series by an experienced team of developers with a lot of financial backing. It's a AAA title at the end of the day. To compare that with a free-to-play title like Dauntless is unfair to say the least. Both of the games share the same idea and Dauntless is admittedly inspired from Monster Hunter. Regardless, Dauntless still has the capability to form its own niche in a market yet to be saturated.
The idea is very basic, you have a central hub to pick your mission from, from there you go on to hunt a behemoth, the signature monsters of Dauntless, in one of the many floating islands in the world of Dauntless. You have three types of weapons to pick from at the start and two more to unlock later on. Each of the weapons can offer variety to your play style. Personally, I've had the most fun with the hammer which has a surprising amount of depth to it. Each weapon is proficient at separate things. The hammer is great for stunning the behemoth whereas chain blades offer range and more odds of breaking a specific part. These unique play styles help spice up the various hunts that you're likely to take. Elemental damage is another factor to take into consideration when taking down some specific behemoths. The armours in the game offer subtle changes and are mostly down to stats and such. So, the enjoyment from crafting armour comes down to how good it looks on your character. Dauntless is simple when it comes down to gameplay. You go to a behemoth, you fight it, you get loot and you make new weapons/armors out of that loot. But little intricate things such as stunning a behemoth in one shot by 'Nose booping', or recharging your hammer after each combo strike gives the game more depth than it initially seems.
Where Dauntless does fall short is the lack of overall depth. The story is almost non-existent. Quests are down to 'Kill this, talk to X'. Hunting games are not renowned for their story. But it doesn't have the required complexity to back it up on the actual hunting part either. You can mindlessly keep slaying Behemoths for fairly long without the need of a tactic or a game plan. Communication with your teammate feels quite redundant as well.
Dauntless is fun and shows promise to be a game to look out for. Whether it lives up to its potential by improving with new content and mechanics, will make or break it in the future. For now, it's a fun overall experience and worth a try at least. But there are still room for improvements and a lot of hype to live up to.
Nuren Iftekhar is your local stray cat in disguise; he interacts with people for food and hates bright light. He got Hufflepuff 3 times straight in Pottermore so no walking around that one. Send him obscure memes at firstname.lastname@example.org