Monster Hunter is Capcom's most profitable franchise. As a result, the series has a number of imitators such as Ragnarok Odyssey, Soul Sacrifice and God Eater. These games offer not only Monster Hunter's core kill-and-loot gameplay loop, but also the notoriously high learning curve. Fortunately, developer Phoenix Labs offers a more accessible option for killing animals with the Dauntless, a free PC game developed by Phoenix Labs.
Like Monster Hunter World, Dauntless instructs you to kill big monsters (called Behemoths) to forge better weapons and armor to defeat even more powerful beasts. Why are you doing these actions? You are a hunter. That's it. If you are looking for a deep narrative, you won't find any here. Dauntless & # 39; main concern is to get you out hunting as soon as possible.
After a short film introduction to the game world, you will be pushed into the character creator. Don't expect any robust options that allow you to tweak every aspect of a character's face and body. Instead, you'll see a relatively limited number of preset faces, skin tones, and hairstyles. While this ensures that you don't create a hideous-looking horror, it also eliminates the freedom to truly create a unique hunter. But like Monster Hunter, your character's appearance doesn't matter because you cover it with armor from head to toe.
After you create your Slayer, choose one of the seven weapons available. These include axes, chainrings, swords, pikes and firearms. Certain weapons are best used against certain enemy defenses. A sword is a perfect tool for armorless giants, while the hammer shatters the protective coating. No two weapons play or feel exactly the same, which increases combat diversity. It is best to go to the training area (more on that in a moment) and test each weapon to determine which one suits your playing style.
You will be spending a lot of time in Ramsgate, the hub world of Dauntless. There you can forge new equipment or upgrade your current equipment. Equipping the right equipment before a hunt is crucial because the giants have certain elementary strengths and weaknesses. When you battle a giant whose ether (magic) matches frost, use weapons that do fire damage and armor that protect against the cold. Because of this alignment, you need a wide range of equipment to ensure you are covered for every battle. Making equipment is as easy as visiting the smithy and making items from the smith using materials obtained from killed giants.
Ready to fight
Hunting is extremely fun. Behemoth battles are fast-paced and action-packed affairs. Although most giants are large, they move across the field with surprising agility. You need to master evasion to keep your head on your shoulders. You often fight the same giants several times when grinding for prey. So it's great that the fights are always exciting. The fact that the hunt only lasts about 10 to 15 minutes makes it a game to enjoy when you are pressed for time. Monster Hunter fights, on the other hand, can last from 30 minutes to well over an hour.
Your character gains levels by completing championship challenges listed in the main menu. This includes killing a certain number of giants, breaking certain parts of the giant, and forging armor sets. New championship challenges will be unlocked as the game progresses. Reaching your Mastery Challenge goals becomes a game of its own and addictive.
Dauntless is great fun for the first 20 hours. Unfortunately, the gameplay loop becomes exhausting at some point. You visit Ramsgate, choose a mission from a quest giver, put on the right equipment, go out and kill a giant, return to Ramsgate, forge new items, choose another mission, and repeat the process. To be fair, Monster Hunter shares a similar gameplay loop. What helps this game to keep its excellent pace without getting stale is its greater variety of weapons, larger and more diverse creatures and more expansive environments with very different biomes.
Intrepid, boring, sterile environments don't do the game a favor. And the less said about the quest givers that only exist to spread missions over boring text fields, the better. Without the ability to team up with three other hunters online (across all platforms via crossplay), the grind would be unbearable.
Free for all
Dauntless is a free game, but you can optionally spend real money on in-game blacksmiths and the Hunt Pass. The Hunt Pass (Dauntless & # 39; Season Pass) has two routes: a free route and an elite route ($ 9.99). The free track will reward you with prizes like emotes, platinum (the in-game currency) and skins. The Elite trail unlocks new materials as you climb, including new equipment and armor colors. Since most of these items are cosmetic, they are not required.
The new gearbox is not outrageous and over time you will earn all the material you need for everything you want to forge. We recommend Phoenix Labs to implement an easy-to-use form microtransaction implementation that won't destroy your bank account.
Call of the Void
Dauntless has received numerous updates since it launched its beta in 2018, each containing new monsters, weapons, and quality of life updates. The game recently got its biggest update to date in the free Call of the Void expansion.
Call of the Void introduces a never-before-seen chain of floating islands to explore. The country contains new and old giants, all of which are now pervaded by the dark umbrella element. Umbral offers once-known creatures brand new special attacks and combat patterns. Call of the Void also includes an evolving narrative that takes place throughout the season. The world evolves as the story unfolds, and your actions directly impact the actions of the next major update (in July). This last point is good news, considering that Dauntless hardly contains a story.
Dauntless started without a proper tutorial, so you learned the basics of gameplay while trying to survive gigantic encounters. Call of the Void's training ground allows you and your party members to practice in a safe environment. The training ground is practically Dauntless & # 39; Answer to the Monster Hunter training arena. It's easy to choose a weapon and drive into town with one of the dummies scattered across the small field. The combo entries appear on the right side of the user interface in a nice note, and damage values occur when hitting dummies. It's surprising that this mode didn't exist before Call of the Void, but it's a welcome addition.
The base game from Dauntless offers optional, raid-like missions called escalations. Call of the Void introduces a new escalation, Umbral Escalation, that messes things up by fighting a number of giants in a row. Random modifiers, random advantages and the simultaneous appearance of several giants also set this latest escalation apart from the previous ones. You'll also have to grapple with brand new giants.
Dauntless has an appealing, stylized look that resembles Fortnite and doesn't melt the graphics card of your gaming rig. If you play Dauntless on a PC, you need a rig with at least one Intel Core i5-2400 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti GPU, 4 GB RAM, 15 GB storage space and the Windows 7 operating system. These moderate specs ensure that everyone can play with a reasonably decent machine.
On my gaming desktop with Intel i7 4790 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU Dauntless runs without problems with a resolution of 1080p and with all graphics options on "Epic". In fact, the game moves in Ramsgate and on the field at a speed of 100 to 144 frames per second. If you want, you can also set the frame rate to a solid 60 fps.
The game offers a number of modest graphic options. You can adjust the frame rate limit, motion blur, field of view (FOV) and V synchronization in the display settings. Advanced settings let you customize anti-aliasing, shadows, post effects, textures, and other options. Dauntless offers Easy Anti-Cheat, a third-party DRM. The game supports mouse and keyboard input as well as game controllers.
Dauntless is the bacon cheeseburger with Monster Hunters Filet Mignon. This is not a bad thing at all, especially for people who want an easily digestible monster killing meal. Solid struggle and a real sense of progress save what can often be a repetitive experience. Still, Dauntless is a constantly evolving title that is constantly updated. As a result, it's okay to leave Dauntless when you get tired and come back when new content is lost. If you're looking for a tight title, give Dauntless a try.
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