Purple Purple LV.18 Sage
May 23, 2019, 05:29 AM 4,447 read

Dauntless is a Terrible Game That Could Become an All-Time Great

Dauntless is a brand-new free-to-play action RPG published by none other than Fortnite’s Epic Games. Developed by Phoenix Labs (which consists of former developers for Riot Games, BioWare, Blizzard, and Capcom), Dauntless was created by some of the best game developers on the planet. This is the studio’s first release, so it’s understandable why the hype for this game has been so high.

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The gameplay is best described as a combination of Monster Hunter, Destiny, and World of Warcraft. You go out on a “hunt” with a team of up to 4 people where you fight 1 monster. After defeating the monster, you return to the hub where you can craft new equipment with the items you received for the kill. That’s basically the entirety of the gameplay, rinse and repeat.   Before I tear into my disappointment for the current state of the game on release, I want to acknowledge the aspects of Dauntless that I actually enjoy. First and foremost it’s completely free-to-play and it’s 100% cross-platform compatible. Crossplay is, in my opinion, one of the most important aspects for a game to have in the current era of gaming, and it’s fantastic to see a game embracing it immediately upon launch.   I love the variety of weapons you can choose from and how each weapon has its own characteristics and special attacks. You can choose to maximize your movement and allow yourself to attack from a distance with the Chain Blades or straight-up knock monsters out with a big ol’ Hammer. In so many games the only difference between weapons are its stats and effectiveness vs different armor types. In Dauntless, your weapon changes everything.

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I love the fact that you can focus a specific body part in order to break it off the monster which changes the mechanics of the fight and allows you to receive it as a drop after slaying the beast. There are definitely problems with this however as even though you’re guaranteed the drop, you’re not guaranteed any specific rarity. This becomes a problem later on as you need rare or epic body parts which are entirely RNG-based. There are already people who have done over 100 encounters without getting the rarity they need in order to craft their equipment. Keep in mind that these fights can easily last 20 minutes each, so spending all that time just hoping for some good RNG is absolutely horrendous. This brings me to my next point, and transitions us into the things I don’t like about Dauntless.   It takes way too long to do anything. It takes about 5 minutes to find a team, then 20 minutes to win the fight, and there’s about 5 minutes of loading screens between all that. We’re talking 30 minutes just to do one encounter. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (Dark Souls, Monster Hunter), it IS a bad thing in Dauntless because the fights are just boring. The fights consist of you sitting on top of the monster spam attacking it, then the monster runs away and you sit on top of it spam attacking again. There are different combos you can do, but for the most part you end up pressing left-click or X over and over again for 20 minutes which simply isn't fun. The monsters do have different moves, but there are not enough mechanics to the fights to justify the length or to hold your interest through its entirety. Not to mention that your character is insanely slow, which means that a lot of the fight is spent just chasing the monster around so that you can get in attack range.   It’s not just the fighting either. The interfaces are bad or inconsistent. There’s random people throughout the small town for you to talk to, but they don’t actually say anything. There's a bunch of doors you can’t open and rooms you can't enter. The aesthetic is genuinely a complete copy-paste of Fortnite. Movement in general is clunky and unsatisfying. In other words, there’s a lot of quality-of-life problems that only become more glaring amidst the frankly boring gameplay.

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That said I do have hope for Dauntless. It has the foundations of something good, but it really needs some refinement. One major improvement would be to make the hunts more interesting by adding more things to the environment. Give me some treasures to find, give me more than one monster to kill, give me a reason to explore. I want more compelling combat. Give me some abilities that matter, let me move faster and give me some mechanics that feel satisfying to pull off. I want there to be a reason for me to be in a squad. Give me some synergistic abilities, let each member have a role in the fight, if we’re supposed to be a team then I want to be working together with my teammates.   Dauntless has a long way to go and in its current state I honestly wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone who plans to play it solo, but it’s worth giving it a shot if you have a few friends that are down for a little PvE action. It’s very rough around the edges, but I have confidence that Phoenix Labs isn’t about to let their studio debut fall into oblivion because they truly have the foundations for something great here. Only time will tell if they will be able to reach their potential with this game, all we can do now is hope and wait. In the meantime, grab a couple friends and give Dauntless a shot, it’s completely free-to-play on PC, Xbox, and PS4. Let me know what you think.  

Comment 36

  • DDn0r LV.2 Lurker May 23, 2019, 03:41 PM

    I'd say you nailed the problems quite well, but monster hunter world has almost no load time. Loading into a hunt definitely doesn't take 5 or so minutes in MH:W. Barely takes one for me.
    Another issue I have with Dauntless is that while behemoths spawn in fixed locations, as a beginner, I have no idea where they are and I spend 10 or so minutes running around, exploring the map, trying to find the behemoth. An introduction of a map, or minimap, would fix this issue. (And I know the recruit lantern has the ability to show the location of the monster, but it's painfully bad. It barely shows you the direction of the monster on use.)
    Attacks are not cancelable using the dodge either, so if you're attacking, you have to commit to it, which can be quite painful if the behemoth suddenly decides to body slam you.
    Loading is probably just a server and/or optimization issue which should be fixed with later updates, but why does it take me 6-7 minutes to start a private match? Or why does cancel matchmaking not work as intended? It keeps searching for a server.

    Good post, though.

  • Purple LV.18 Sage May 24, 2019, 03:36 AM

    Yep, all the issues you've mentioned are certainly annoying as well. The lack of a minimap/ability to see where your teammates are makes absolutely no sense in a game like this. With MHW I wasn't saying that there's long load times, but rather that the fights themselves can take a lot of time. The difference is that in MHW the fights are actually interesting and hold your attention for the entire duration.

  • KingBinaca LV.14 Gym Leader May 24, 2019, 08:16 AM

    No minimap makes for a more immersive experience. You should want to explore the maps, and when a teammate does find a behemoth they gave us flares to use. Fits the theme. The maps are all pretty big and between gathering and hunting there's enough to occupy you until you find the target imo

  • DDn0r LV.2 Lurker May 24, 2019, 02:03 PM

    But then exploring should be fun.
    Which it is, in Monster Hunter World, given how many interactive items and NPCs there.
    Not to mention all the collectible endemic life you can catch!

    Dauntless has none of that. Just a couple different herbs and some shiny rocks. The maps are plain, and quite frankly, boring.
    A four minute hunt already bores me.
    And if Dauntless truly intends to be what people are heralding it to be (a simpler, easier MH), then a minimap is a necessity.

  • KingBinaca LV.14 Gym Leader May 24, 2019, 03:00 PM

    It's a free game and it's super easy. It's not MH. It's never gonna be MH. You only have 2 things to do- gather and fight. I don't see why the game needs to hold your hand when there's already an alternative. Look at the top streamers. They're using the gameplay mechanics and they work. I just think it's an unfair comparison when it's already so simple.

  • DDn0r LV.2 Lurker May 24, 2019, 03:20 PM

    Just because it's free doesn't mean it isn't adequately monetised. There are many willing to drop over 50 bucks for cosmetics. Not to mention the hunter pass. You know all the Fortnite kids are buying that.

    I don't expect it to be an MH and I understand it isn't. But many are heralding it as the "kid's alternative" to MH, given it's simplicity.

    Even if streamers can make use of the game's mechanics and play well doesn't mean everyone can. So what are they aiming for? Few players which are exclusively streamers who play it for hours on end per day or the general public? The hunter pass makes me believe it's the latter.

    The fact that there's only 2 things to do is the problem. It has ONLY 2 things to do. Sure that's enough for me to sink maybe 50 to 100 hours in, but not over 400 like I've done with Path of Exile, which is also a free game.

    Yes, it's simplistic. But at the same time that makes it boring when all you can do is gather or fight. So to battle that, developers usually load their games up with content. Which there isn't much of in Dauntless.

    Basically what I'm getting at is, the game is boring, empty and fairly lifeless. And that'll be the death of it if they don't fix that.

  • KingBinaca LV.14 Gym Leader May 24, 2019, 03:01 PM

    How far are u in?

  • DDn0r LV.2 Lurker May 24, 2019, 03:21 PM

    Not far, level 9?
    Tried all the weapons and all the combos were super easy to grasp.
    The clunkiness of the movement, dodging and attacking is fucking me up, though.

  • 123Reaper LV.4 Bandit May 25, 2019, 01:16 PM

    DDn0r  im level 11 almost 12 good luck with you levling

  • Pay2Dominate LV.2 Lurker May 23, 2019, 10:25 PM

    Rinse and repeat EXACTLY what I expected and what I got still fun though just worried because I'm flying through the game and worried I'm running out of behemoths

  • Silvera LV.4 Clearly Hacking Jun 3, 2019, 09:31 PM

    Yes that's true, because the essence I wanted from games like this is the grinding experience (I thought I wouldn't meet that expectation until I met Shrike)

  • Mithradatum LV.4 Lurker May 25, 2019, 11:35 PM

    Funny thing is it's not brand new. It's been around since early 2018 in beta and even earlier in alpha.It's always been like this and that's why a lot of people have stopped playing.

  • Alex Morland LV.5 Mootiversary! May 26, 2019, 06:37 AM

    I agree with all of your quality of life issues, and there are definite improvements needed to make the game enjoyable past your first encounter with each monster, and the upgrading if your weapons. I would absolutely love for there to be more to the actual map as well, and a minimap would be so awesome. Super impressed with the amount of variety in each department of the game, even the monsters that are slightly beefier versions of the ones your fought early game have good unique elements to them.

    That being said, I have to completely disagree with your comment of it being a "terrible" game. It has its downfalls, but nothing that merits the title of "terrible." It's a game with a good skeleton that just needs some more meat.

  • NO NAME verified May 28, 2019, 10:28 AM

    U rip off Division replace w different weapon and shit and trash graphics, and make it free: best game ever wats wrong w player these days? Free games means best game?
    Good job epic

  • Skwirel LV.4 Professional Noob May 25, 2019, 07:27 AM

    Dauntless has the potential to become a very good game but only if epic games will let go of some servers dedicated to season 9 of F💩rtnite... Indeed the big problem of the game actually is the lack of servers currently available. 😕

  • SaucyDawsy6969 LV.7 Shotcaller May 27, 2019, 06:31 AM

    i hate the behemoth in the pic at the top that thing is so hard to kill

  • Xttvspottedx On Xbox LV.7 Nomad May 24, 2019, 12:13 PM


  • Surebuddy65 LV.5 Lurker May 24, 2019, 12:44 PM


  • Goldsnake25 LV.1 Mootie May 24, 2019, 02:24 PM

    The game is the best

  • MR_Space_Chicken LV.3 Lurker May 26, 2019, 04:14 AM


  • NO NAME verified May 27, 2019, 06:45 PM

    Free trash games.. rather play MHW

  • toxicgamer1599 LV.15 Chief May 29, 2019, 05:07 PM

    MHW is a good game...any recent updates?

  • NO NAME verified May 29, 2019, 08:46 PM

    Yea.. I saw it at GameStop for 14.99 🙁 sadly I haven't heard of any new updates ..it's dead already

  • toxicgamer1599 LV.15 Chief May 29, 2019, 09:49 PM

    The game has been out for a while I've completed it I'm over level 100 and I haven't really played it much (no one to play it with)

  • NO NAME verified May 29, 2019, 09:58 PM

    Yea it came out around the same time as DBZ fighterz...but still...that's super cheap!

  • toxicgamer1599 LV.15 Chief May 29, 2019, 11:14 PM

    Could be on sale?

  • NicePosture810 LV.5 Lurker Jun 1, 2019, 02:46 AM

    toxicgamer1599  U could buy 2 for the price of none

  • toxicgamer1599 LV.15 Chief May 29, 2019, 05:06 PM

    I installed the game and can't get into a server "all the servers are full" it says ...they need to fix that

  • P00Lix LV.3 Lurker Aug 3, 2019, 02:26 AM

    Is the game worth downloading?

  • Purple LV.18 Sage Aug 23, 2019, 05:30 AM

    It's free so I'd say it is. You can check it out and see if you like it and if you don't it's not like it cost you anything.

  • 123Reaper LV.4 Bandit May 25, 2019, 01:15 PM

    it's not Phoenix labs first game I have a family member who has alpha tested all of there games that they have made and there have been many they are just no longer out