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Previews: PAX East 2017 - Hands On with an Awesome Demo

By Garrett Fuller on March 16, 2017

PAX East 2017 - Hands On with an Awesome Demo

This week we got the chance to sit down with Dauntless and go through a demo with the developers. The game has been fueled with hype, and after the demo, it absolutely delivered. Dauntless will be the monster hunter and boss fighting game to really bring the genre into a huge audience. Here is a breakdown of how the demo went and what we did as a group.


First thing to remember is that as a hunter you are using a two handed weapon. We really like this feature and choosing between sword, axe, or mace is fun. I chose sword, just because I thought it looked cool. Each weapon comes with a set of skills. Weapons are tied into the elements so effects are important. With a sword, you have faster strikes but less damage. However, if you go into combos, you will be able to string together some nasty attacks. The team said, they want the weapons to really feel powerful, so they are doing everything to bring in those mechanics.

Next was our choice of behemoth. We chose Shrike as it is a pretty straight forward fight and our two other players were new to the game. So the four of us set out and got into the open field to light flares and try to bring Shrike down out of the sky. The fight that ensued was awesome. Getting the right angles on Shrike is important. Having him swoop down and then trample you is brutal and dodging out of the way may not be good enough. If there was one tricky part about the demo, it is that the beasts are so big, dodge only worked part of the time. They are relentless in their attacks to finish you off.

Having healing potions is critical. There is also a node in the battlefield where you can heal up, but Shrike can attack you if you are on the node, so it is dangerous. I did fall prey to going down once, after a sweep attack by Shrike and then a trample. The team rallied though and could heal me up. Once we go part of the way through the fight, the beast starts to show damage. I don’t think it really slowed him down, at least not until near the very end. These demos for PAX East did not hold back. The game certainly was not designed to give you a clear win in the demo (which some companies do). Dauntless was brutal and intense. We did win in the end.

Overall, the experience was great fun. If you love boss fights and taking on foes the size of a small house, then Dauntless is your game. The hunter aspects we talked about with the team will make for some solid mechanics on the player side and bring in a consistent level of progression. If there is one thing in the game that will be tricky to watch it is how fast they can turn around DLC content and add more boss fights to the game.

Dauntless did deliver and was a solid fun game. The closed alpha is set for summer with the beta planned for autumn. We’ll continue our coverage and find out what else will be coming with the game at launch. They did have multiple beasts to fight in the demos, but we only had time for one. This is one to watch as you plan out your hunting skills and practice your great sword forms over the summer months.