Another free-to-play game has captured my attention and this time it's Dauntless for the Nintendo Switch,PlayStation 4 ,PC and Xbox One and maybe other platforms , I dunno. I mainly play on the Switch and Playstation 4 as this game provides cross-platform and cross progression play and that feature really is a game-changer. But, is the game any good?
Let's talk a little bit about the games that have preceded the genre in which Dauntless resides. It's pretty much Monster Hunter. I mean if you want to go back further it definitely has stuff in common with Phantasy Star Online( as does Monster Hunter ) but this is straight-up a Monster Hunter game made free to play with their own twist on it. And I love Monster Hunter! I'm not gonna lie. Monster Hunter is up there as one of my top 10 franchises for multiplayer games, but as I've gotten older I don't have the time that monster Hunter requires to really be good at it, to really be proficient at it.
Every little thing in Monster Hunter requires some type of Time Investment. Even the smallest things like foraging for items or getting crafting items throughout the levels take several seconds or more to get one item, plus you need to have pickaxes or Butterfly Nets etc...and those items break and take up inventory slots. Its really just a lot of time consuming actions. So if you want to play for just 15or 30 minutes at a time that's not really feasible in Monster Hunter .You're not really going to make a whole lot of progress that way.
Cue Dauntless. Dauntless takes all of those quality-of-life issues that I have with Monster Hunter and pretty much eliminates them. Picking up items is extremely quick and can be done without even stopping. You are limited in the amount of potions and such a you can bring along but you don't have to spend a ton of time crafting or pulling out the barbecue pit like in Monster Hunter, and the fights are much quicker as well. The fact that your limited to the number of potions that you can bring during your behemoth hunts is one of the few limitations I've found in the first 30 to 40 hours that I have put into it
The areas are small enough that behemoths can be tracked rather quickly and it is very quick and easy to let your teammates know where the enemy is without having to bring along extra items like paintballs. It boasts numerous styles of hunting from swords, heavier axes pistols and even chain blades like God of War that allow for some really fun DPS action. You can get hooked up with randoms that are playing on any system and you can talk to them with the integrated chat system that even works on the switch which is a very convenient addition. But I have found that not many people use the voice chat , I think mainly because its default is setting is off and there's a couple different places that you actually have to go in and manipulate to allow voice chat which is a weird design decision, and somewhat cumbersome.
So how do the free-to-play element stack up with other well done free to play games? Well it's kind of like Fortnite, which is expected as it uses the Epic games multiplayer for online play. It takes the popular season approach where you can get experience through basically finding daily items and doing daily bounties in order to level your hunt pass which provides you a small amount of free items, or you can pay the equivalent of 10 bucks and unlock the elite pass which will allow you to unlock more items, mainly cosmetics. You can receive things like potions and consumables but the big draw here is the Cosmetic armor that you can transmogrify with any of the equipment.
Speaking of the equipment, what I really like is that you can add in cells to customize your equipment sets so that you can have sets that allow you to have more defense , or attack but some of them are for very specific tactics and builds having more attack power against enraged behemoths etc.. It really is quite a bit of variety and that allows for a lot of diversity even among players with the same gear.
The fights are fun and the challenge has increased significantly since I started playing. They are not just standard fights. There's enemies that use portals ,some that are shooting laser beams ; really fun stuff and I see myself playing this for quite some time as there is a lot of stuff to unlock, a lot of content already in place. I'm sure there is much more to come. If you like Monster Hunter give this a shot. You may be surprised with how much you enjoy it and how archaic some of the Monster Hunter mechanics really are.