DauntlessDeveloper - Phoenix Labs
Publisher - Epic Games
Released - May 21, 2019 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC
This review is of the PC Version
Dauntless is a free to play Action RPG monster hunter game that includes micro-transactions. You can play solo or in a group of up to 4 players, cross play also exists in the game allowing people to group up with players on the Xbox one or PS4.
I have been playing the game mid way thru season 5 and the game is almost done season 6 which ends August 20, so maybe 2 months. I would like to be a little more accurate but the epic launcher doesn't record play time or any other stats, but that's a post for another time.
The basic premise of the game is that you take on the role of a slayer and your job is to hunt behemoths and to protect the people of the shattered isles.
The game it self does not contain a lot of story, and event called the Upheaval shattered the know world and scattered broken shards of land across the sky creating the Shattered Isles. You star in the town of Ramsgate which is basically the game hub, you can craft new weapons and armor and get the limited quests that the game currently has. These quests are mostly go hunt and kill this behemoth with a few crafting quests thrown in. Other than that most if the game takes place on an instanced isle.
Once you start a hunt you have 30mins to finish which is the amount of fuel the airship that brought you has before it must return to the Ramesgate.
You can equip 1 of 6 different weapon types, which include Axe, Sword, Chain Blades, War Pike, Hammer and Repeaters, and each weapon type includes a number of different variants that have different elemental powers, perks and Unique effects.
Your armor, which is made up of 4 pieces, Helm, Chest, Legs and Gloves, also have a number of variants that have different elemental powers, perks and Unique effects.
You also have a Lantern which will give you an instance and a hold effect that helps in combat, these effects will recharge over time.
Weapons, Armor and Lanterns also have cell slots which will give you addition perks.
Lastly you can equip up to 4 consumable which includes Tonics (healing potions, buffs, ect), Pylons (AOE buff), Grenades, and Misc (Airstrike Beacon is the only available one at this time). You are also limited to the capacity that you can have.
Weapons, Armor and Lanterns are crafted using parts dropped from behemoths along with stones that are a reward at the end of a successful hunt. Consumables are crafted from resources that you can gather while on your hunt.
The island instances of the game are fantastic with a number of different weather and lighting conditions that really work well when hunting different behemoths. The character models remind me of the character models from Landmark with that Disney like look. The town of Ramsgate also gives that Disney like appearance, however it does seem to be a little barren even for a frontier town.
The controls are very straight forward and you can use a keyboard and mouse or a controller. I have only used keyboard and mouse and have not encountered any issues with the default settings, but I think that I will need to remap the emote key so I don't constantly hit it while trying to dodge.
As mentioned at the beginning this game is free to play with micro transactions. These consist for the most part as emotes, appearance items, dyes, supplies, and a few other items that I'll touch on.
These items are bought with platinum which you buy with really currency. 1000 platinum cost $9.99us, why that price and not a straight $10us makes no sense to me.
Weapon skins cost 500 platinum Armor skins cost 1000 platinum
Emotes cost 350-100 platinum
Dyes cost 150-600 platinum
Supplies cost 100-200 platinum (This one doesn't make a lot of sense to me either since you can craft all these items for free)
Transmog stones cost 250 platinum (This allows you to change the appearance of an item)
The Elite Hunt Pass is another thing that can be bought for 1000 Platinum or 2400 Platinum if you want to also skip the first 15 levels.
The Hunt pass is a reward track that is broken up into 50 levels that require you to collect 100 items to move onto the next level. The Hunt pass comes into 2 version the Basic and the Elite. The basic gives you different rewards for 29 of the 50 levels and the Elite gives you rewards for all 50 levels.
Rewards includes weapon and armor skins, fireworks, platinum, gold, crafting items, etc, etc. The best rewards are on the Elite Track.
While the game is fun to play, you may find it becoming a bit tedious and grindy after a while. You will constantly have to kill the same behemoth over and over to get parts and stones to craft new armor and weapons.
Two things I have found that is really annoying. One is that there is now way to leave a hunt other than quitting the game. Which is a real pain when you are the last member of your party and everyone else has disconnected. It would also be nice if there was a penalty if you do disconnect, but that just maybe wishful thinking on my part. The second is there is no health bar on the behemoths so even thou you see damage numbers from your weapons you really have no idea if your doing anything at all.
If you do decide to give Dauntless a try and like the game enough to want to get the Elite Hunt pass, I would suggest to buy the Timely Arrival pack that will give you 1000 platinum for $4.99us. It's a cheap way to try the Elite track and also helps support the game. Also you may notice that you get 500 platinum if you complete the Hunt pass, so if you save your platinum and you buy the $9.99us platinum pack for the next Hunt pass you can get the third season free, so you will only have to buy Platinum packs every other month if you really enjoy the game.
Hopefully as the game grows they will be able to add more content until than its just a fun little time waster.