Dauntless has finally released May 21, 2019, and we got a chance to get our hands on it. After being in open beta since May 2018. Dauntless now joins the very few games that can cross-play across many consoles most notably PS4 and Xbox. With over 5 million players, it is fine to call Dauntless a success. With that said, let us talk about our time slaying these behemoths. This is our Dauntless review.
By no small feat did Dauntless step into a game scene that was mostly dominated by one brand but carved out a name for itself. The launch was not so smooth, as the popularity quickly soared and made the servers come down. Now as much as it might have frustrated some players, this is not a bad problem for the developers. To know that your game has struck home with so many players is a good problem to have. The developers did work to improve servers and accommodate more people. We went from having timed queues of 1500+ minutes to now numbered queues of 5000. The number 5000 seems arbitrary at best to me as the time to get in does not take as long as one might think when seeing that number. Once you are in, though, the fun begins.
After going through the character creator, which I must say is an improvement from what it was before, I was able to make a character I was happy with. The real way to separate one's character from another lies in the armor one chooses to wear. Being able to mix and match pieces for styles and perks to match your playstyle is the primary way to set your character apart. If you have the money to purchase premium currency, it is possible to skins or emotes to customize your character further.
By now we know the drill when it comes to games like these; you hunt the big baddies, collect their parts, using said parts to make new armor and weapons. Most armors and weapons have an elemental attribute too, so you have an advantage against specific Behemoths. The collecting of said parts is not that difficult. Breaking behemoth parts are the key, and sometimes you need the right weapon to make that break. To chop tails, you can not use a hammer; you have to use some type of bladed weapon or the gun like weapon called Repeaters.
Speaking of weapons, there are a few to choose from; Hammers, Axes, Chain Blades, War Pike, Sword, and the newest, Repeaters. There are quests when starting that require you to use each weapon as a way to get used to them and in a way, help you find one you like using. I applaud the inclusion of such a quest as I would generally find one thing and stick to it without giving other weapons a try. Still, I found my home in using the Repeaters as I love playing a DPS/support style, and these make that so easy as well as fun.
Pretty much everything you can equip has an effect on your playstyle from armors, weapons, consumables, even to the lantern you carry around with you. Building out your character to your style or fight you are going into is a crucial part of this game. As some behemoths are tough, you want to be prepared. To further prepare yourself, you will want to have cores equipped to your weapon and armor that is to your situation or style. Cores can be fused into new cores or upgraded cores. One thing I feel would be great to have is a way to save equipped sets for easy switching.
As there are many armor sets, each piece with their own effects, some sets and pieces are better suited for certain types of weapons. If you don't use that weapon at the moment, you won't want to invest in upgrading the particular armor right away so you may only be certain sets. Having the ability to switch between sets you can save would be great not that it is a hassle now, but it would be a QOL improvement I feel. If you are looking for a boost to getting skins and style items as well as gold and other items making sure to level the hunt pass may be something you want to do. Doing so you unlock said items to claim as rewards. The premium hunt pass has even more rewards though as at later levels the standard one has a gap between rewards, the closer it gets to 50.
As most of the items you get with the premium hunt pass are mostly cosmetic, there are no p2w elements here. The launch has been enjoyable despite the ups and downs that come with millions of players on launch. There were server disconnects and outages as they increased the amount of space for players. I sometimes found myself running into a little lag when running through town. Other times I still find myself disconnecting during a hunt which can be frustrating when I'm at the end of a hunt, and that hunt was going very well. For a large number of players playing sometimes, it takes long waiting for a match to pop with group finder. Again as I stated before, for developers, this is not a huge problem to have because it shows people want to play and are interested. I always log back in after a disconnect because it's too fun to put down sometimes.
Dauntless is fun, plain and simple. It is in the giant monster hunting category just like Monster Hunter, but it does have its differences. Dauntless is F2P, lacks the open worldness that Monster Hunter has, but the Behemoth fights have some really tight mechanics to it. The fights so far in Dauntless have been a team of 4 vs. 1 behemoth alone. I'm still progressing as I mentioned before at later upgrading levels it takes materials, and if you are maining Repeaters, you have to upgrade each component of the repeater as well as your armor pieces. Dauntless has its differences from MH, and that is a good thing. It sets both games apart and allows them to appeal to the same yet different audiences. If you like MH and are waiting for Iceborne, why not give Dauntless a go and see if you like it. It has a beautiful art style going for it and fun behemoth fights as well as weapon mechanics.
There is no rule saying you can't enjoy both and I do. Let me know your thoughts down below on Dauntless. What weapon do you like to play with most? Favorite armor set so far? What kind of look are you trying to give your character? Do you enjoy petting the dogs as much as I do?
Note: Our copy was reviewed on PS4 with a code provided by PR.