Our adventure with the title starts with creating our Slayer, the in-game avatar. The character creator is not overloaded with hundreds of options like in most Asian MMOs. However, despite this, it is possible to create an interesting and good-looking avatar. After creating the character, we move to the tutorial – our first hunt. We get the first weapon – a sword. However, we are not tied to it – after completing the tutorial we can craft any weapon from the currently available 7 types.
The game does not have a character class system typical for RPGs – most skills and the playstyle depend mostly on our choice of weapon type. By increasing the level of our character, we get the opportunity to further improve our weapons as well as smaller bonuses to our statistics. Our main bonuses – new attacks or weapon upgrades – increase with the Mastery level. We increase it by completing challenges assigned to equipment. Skills are received from the so-called Slayer Cores – items that we can place in the appropriate slots on weapons and armor.
The basis of the gameplay is, of course, hunting big monsters! In its basic foundations, Dauntless follows Monster Hunter's example. However, the developers simplified the formula for Western gamers, focusing on biome instances with a single Behemoth to hunt down. In biomes, we can also find crafting materials to collect, smaller "minions" that will hinder us on the way to a Behemoth, and all sorts of environmental obstacles. After tracking down an animal, we have to fight it – this is a more challenging task. The combat itself is very smooth and responsive, and the hitboxes are very well detected – here, success depends on our skills, knowledge of the opponent and concentration, not grinding and leveling. Each of the weapon types forces us to adopt different tactics. We also need to learn how to use special abilities effectively.
Crafting is one of the most important elements of the game – collecting materials to create new weapons is exciting, too! Every weapon except the starting sword must be crafted – this requires materials obtained from monsters (by destroying/shattering their parts) and collecting them from biomes. Each crafted piece of equipment can have additional perks and affect special abilities. In addition, weapons can be equipped with modules obtained by achieving the appropriate Mastery level in a given weapon type, and with cells that can enhance or add perks. Those are divided into groups – power, defence, mobility, technique, and utility. Each Behemoth gives us parts that we can later use to craft various armors and weapon types – each type has its unique properties!
Dauntless focuses on coop gameplay. However, there's nothing stopping you from challenging the Behemoths alone – however, this will require a lot of skill. Fortunately, the player base in the game is significant – about three million. You shouldn't have a problem finding a hunting team. The game has no PVP mode, and the rankings are based on completed tasks and killed monsters.
Like any free game, Dauntless has a store with premium currency. This currency is called platinum and we can spend it on additional cells, hunt passes and cosmetic items. It should also be noted that you can get platinum easily by participating in quests or leveling up the character. Even though obtaining cells depends on RNG, it can be done for free – you only need a little dedication. Dauntless is not a P2W game – the premium currency is mainly used to get unique skins.
If you wanted to try Monster Hunter, but you were overwhelmed by a huge number of hidden mechanics, Dauntless will be perfect for you. Hunting Behemoths is addicting, the combat is highly responsive, the setting is unique, and the graphics are eye-catching. Rich and lively community is another pros. Face the Behemoths and save the Shattered Islands from total destruction!
Useful tips for beginning monster hunters:
- At the beginning (after completing the tutorial), face computer opponents (AI) to gain some experience and unlock useful skills by leveling up,
- Try to destroy as many parts of the Behemoths as possible – you will be able to get more crafting parts,
- If you defeat a Behemoth without getting knocked down even once, you will get extra parts,
- Pay attention to the enemy's attacks – some, telegraphed by an icon appearing over the monster, can be countered. This move knocks a beast down and stuns it, giving you a few extra seconds to either attack the monster or heal yourself,
- Try to take part in patrols and pursuits – you can get unique materials and blueprints!