Dauntless Xbox One X Review

Dauntless successfully crafts an addicting monster hunting formula with lots of incredible Behemoths to kill.

By Grayshadow, Posted 02 Oct 2019

It's hard to play Dauntless without comparing it to Capcom's incredibly successful and popular Monster Hunter franchise. The free-to-play title captures many of the aspects that fans loved about those titles here. Killing monsters, gaining loot, and crafting new gear. It's a little disappointing that a bulk of the personalization options are locked behind microtransactions but this is a small issue. Dauntless successfully crafts an addicting monster hunting formula with lots of incredible Behemoths to kill.
 

Dauntless,NoobFeed,Phoenix Labs,


There's not much in terms of story. You are recruited to killed Behemoths, large powerful creatures that can cause profound destruction. After crafting your custom character, which you can change at any time, you're charged with killing the beasts in The Shattered Isles. You'll repeat the loop of kill, loot, and craft.

Most monsters have unique elemental properties that are used in the rock-paper-scissor system. For example, you kill frost monsters to craft ice weapons and gear to stand a better chance against fire monsters. With the non-elemental ones having no weakness to anything but also no increased damage to any element. You also gain experience by using specific weapon types and killing monsters, which also increase your Slayer Rank to craft more powerful items.

Dauntless offers a wide array of options to customize your Slayer's loadout. Since there's no skill tree your level is determined by your gear's score. You can further upgrade your character with mods that improve certain attributes such as health, dodging, attack speed and more. There's also an option to fuse mods but to increase the speed or slots you'll need to pay.
 

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The developers also included the ability to alter the appearance of your weapons and armor with other weapons and armor. If you like the look of a certain armor or weapon but have to use a better weapon for a hunt you can simply change the cosmetic look. 

Each of the six weapon types has unique attacking systems and benefits. Swords are balanced and can generate a beam when its ultimate meter fills up whereas war pikes are ideal for range and can shoot a high powered blast. Axes are slow but powerful, hammers can inflict heavy single-damage, the chain blades lack damage but provide mid-ranged attacks, and pistols are the best long-range option. You're not obligated to use any type of weapon and mostly the only thing that should be considered is the elemental advantages. Instead, if you enjoy using a specific weapon then you can constantly upgrade it.

The Behemoths you'll kill throughout Dauntless are often hybrids of real-world creatures. The creatures help complement Dauntless' art style and learning their attack patterns is just as important as mastering your dodge rolls.  When you dodge you're invulnerable for a small period, allowing you to roll through attacks. But since weapons require a wide-up before attacking, understand the Behemoth's attack animation and timing your dodge roll is necessary to avoid damage and retaliate.
 

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Dauntless isn't as difficult as Monster Hunter World or its expansion IceborneThis is due to the less restrictive stamina meter. This doesn't mean that Dauntless' is without challenge. The creatures that inhabit the world will turn you into mincemeat if you don't take them seriously. The Dire versions, which are harder versions of existing Dauntless creatures, show absolutely no mercy and can easily kill an entire team of Slayers in seconds.

Dauntless does provide some breathing room if you do happen to fall. You're given a limited amount of self-revives and ally assisted revives per fight. Once exhausted you can either finish the Behemoth or hurt it enough that it retreats. Once a hunt is complete you and your team are graded and items are distributed. If a Slayer happens to leave mid-hunt the difficultly is adjusted but a new Slayer cannot join the hunt mid-match. 

Hunts usually last between 2-20 minutes depending on the Behemoth and the developers have streamlined the gameplay to ensure players can get into a new hunt quickly. Hunting the creature usually involves you diving into a closed map and looking around for the Behemoth. There are no smaller creatures to attack and the land is mostly baron. The only things that litter the environment are resources, such as plants and minerals used in potions and gear.

As you progress you'll open more areas of The Shattered Isles that are mostly cosmetic changes. You have snow, desert, and forest areas that help prevent the levels from getting too stale. It also complements the monster you'll be fighting in the area.
 

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Hunts can be taken on either alone or with 3 other players. The map is separated into Patrol, Pursuit, and Trial. Getting into a match is easy, just select the mission and everyone who has the same mission selected will be grouped together. Dauntless supports crossplay between platforms and who's playing on what will be shown in the game's icons. Like the hunts, getting into a match has been streamlined so players can join on within about 30 seconds.

Missions are provided through the game's main hub Ramsgate. The social hub is well-designed and where you'll spend the bulk of your time. Crafting equipment, turning in quests, and building your loadout. It's also here where you'll get to see other players engaging in the same activities as you.

This is a free-to-play game so expect microtransactions. There are not too bad, with the primary currency being Platinum. Platinum is used to purchase cosmetics such as dyes, emotes, banners, hunt arrival emotes and more. Ace Chips are used to speed up crafting time.

There's a Hunt Pass which provides access to certain unlocks by playing the game. Similar to Fortnite's Battle Pass you earn new unlocks with each tier you reach. There's a free option that unlocks premium currency and other unlocks as well. It's nothing too outrageous and given the addicting gameplay and well-designed Behemoths you can enjoy Dauntless without spending a dime.
 

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Dauntless has a lot of appeal, providing an addicting monster hunting and looting experience. Players can easily participate either alone or with other players in short or long hunts against deadly Behemoths with ease. The accessible gameplay and surprisingly fluid crossplay functions ensure that players of all skill can dive in without a problem. The removal of more complicated features found in Monster Hunter may turn off hardcore dedicated fans but the core monster-hunting gameplay is fantastic for short sessions or long hours.
 


Adam Siddiqui,
Senior Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Dauntless

85/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Epic Games
Developer(s): Phoenix Labs
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Free-to-play, Fantasy, Monster Hunting
Release Date: 2019-09-26

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