Dauntless is a free-to-play game that’s was made by Phoenix Labs which can be a good alternative to Monster Hunter fans out there. This is a fantastical realm to where a planet-shattering event took place and cracked open the crust which deemed the landscape to be called “The Shattered Isles.” Because of this, giant monsters called simply “Behemoths”, have risen from the belly of this world and began prowling the wilds. No longer on top of the food chain, humans must come together and form alliances called “Slayers” to hunt down these creatures before everyone is eaten to extinction. This game has all the ingredients that make the Monster Hunter series so addicting and this title is generally overlooked. The combat is robust, the weapon system is dense and the creature design is varied. There is a lot to digest with this IP and gamers who are clamoring for an epic fantasy-driven experience might want to take a peek at this.
In this day and age, having a game that is clearly inspired by something mega-popular, and is free, is always welcomed. Even though Dauntless may have some major similarities to its cousins, there are some things under its belt that give it its own voice. This game has officially been available for download since 2019, but now it had gotten a major overhaul for the PlayStation 5 last December. There are quite a bit of new features waiting to be found with the PS5 upgrade that goes beyond just more enhanced visuals. On top of that, there has also been a slew of new content added on to enrich this blossoming world. If anyone hasn’t gotten on their hands on this game, now is a good time as ever to explore the Shattered Isles and discover what treasures await.
Thrill of the Hunt
Despite Dauntless’ aesthetic, this game is actually quite pragmatic with its gameplay. Hunting the Behemoths can be a jarring venture and it’s something not to take lightly. It can take up to half an hour to take down a Behemoth and players are tasked to overlook all kinds of features with their avatar. Everything is played through a third-person perspective and managing inventory, stamina and, of course, health is the core of combat. Players can go out and try snagging a Behemoth by themselves. Alternately, they can also team up with up to 6 other players in parties. The more Slayers play cooperatively, the better chances they have with succeeding on their hunt. This game was tailor-made to be a team-based affair and it’s encouraged that gamers play it this way.
The Shattered Isles make up an open-world map that is brimming with things to do. Even though it’s not as deep as the Monster Hunter series, it provides a fun and light-hearted atmosphere for younger gamers who are cutting their teeth on this genre. The PS5 upgrade will come with a dynamic 4K resolution which aims at a constant 60 FPS. The map has been juiced up to look like a more next-gen title. The trees have been reworked to look lusher, the grass has more volume and the water is more clear. There are new fog effects, realistic lighting, and more vibrant coloring across the landscape. Some of these changes are more subtle than others, but when everything is stacked up it does make a difference. Even though this game looks much more suitable for its next-gen offering, there are also some gameplay upgrades that help with its overall performance. It is nothing that drastically changes how this game is played, but rather some small nuances of how it “feels” instead.
Beating Down Behemoths
Even with loyal players on the PS4, there was a “Call to Arms” update this past December that added some much-needed vitality to Dauntless. This update provides 36 new trophies for the PS4 version. However, with the PS5 variation of this game, there is a totally different list of trophies to collect complete with Platinum. Crossplay and cross-save are available and players can continue their progress from the PS4 to the PS5. Therefore, players won’t have to worry about losing any kind of footing when switching between consoles. Everything will still be intact when moving over to the PlayStation’s next-gen counterpart. On top of this, the developers are also going the extra mile to utilize the DualSense controller’s features. The trigger buttons will start tightening up during low stamina. Thus, players will be able to feel the impact of weapons in various degrees.
Guns will give players the feeling of resistance through their fingers, and the clanging of melee weapons will jerk the buttons, too. The PS5’s controller comes with a built-in microphone to where players can chat with their friends within their party. There is also the implementation of 3D audio to help immerse players who are exploring the Shattered Isles like never before. Of course, the sweetest upgrade with PS5’s Dauntless is the fact that that the load times are now 90 percent faster. All of the accumulated hours wasted on waiting for games to load is going by the wayside. Even though PC gamers have been ahead of the curve in that aspect, it is nice to see those console gamers can enjoy this benefit, which is long overdue.
When first diving into Dauntless, it can be a little overwhelming with all the new content that has been added. Once players build up loyal party members and get the hang of the mechanics, there is a lot of fun to be had. Sure, this game may look different than Monster Hunters, but it very much has the same sense of adventure. This game is generally more rudimentary than its brethren and given the fact that its free-to-play gives it some wiggle room with its shortcomings. Any player that is considering trying out the Monster Hunter universe may want to try out Dauntless first. It may be all you need regarding quenching the thirst of tracking, slaying, and going on crazy endeavors across an exotic land.