Dauntless, the debut effort from Phoenix Labs, has drawn many comparisons to Monster Hunter since it was unveiled at The Game Awards in 2016, and it’s easy to see why. Like Capcom’s monster-slaying series, the object in Dauntless is to team up with other players to take down colossal Behemoths and use the materials you gather to forge new weaponry and armor.
That’s not to say Dauntless is simply a Monster Hunter clone, though. While its premise may be similar, the game sets itself apart from Capcom’s series in a number of notable ways. Perhaps the most obvious is its free-to-play structure, which should make the game more welcoming for curious players to jump into. Dauntless also has more variety in terms of its weapons; in addition to the standard array of swords and shields, we got to try a set of kusarigama, which functioned both as a fast-paced melee weapon and allowed for long-range attacks.
One of the big draws of Dauntless is experimenting with different weapons and armor, each of which has unique properties that change the way you approach a hunt. We saw some of these in action in our previous hands-on time with the title, but Phoenix Labs has added plenty of new options and abilities since then. One major addition are Lanterns. You can equip a Lantern before a hunt, and each one endows you with a different, limited-use support ability; one, for instance, creates a restorative field around your avatar that allows players within your vicinity to regain health.
Like Monster Hunter, the Behemoths you’re tasked with slaying are powerful and require different tactics to defeat. In our hands-on time at E3, we teamed up with developers from Phoenix Labs to hunt a giant, owl-like monster, which could bowl players over by swooping across the battlefield. This attack in particular caused a heavy amount of damage, and we had to roll out of the way in time to avoid it and follow up with our own attacks. You can catch a glimpse of the Behemoth, and learn more about the game, in the video above.
Dauntless is in development for PC and is currently in pre-alpha; however, Phoenix Labs has announced it will be launching the “Founder’s Alpha” on August 18. This will be the first publicly available version of the game for players who purchased one of the Founder’s Packs tiers on the Dauntless website. You can find more information about the Founder’s Alpha on the developer’s blog.
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