Fighting monsters is the first reaction of all monkeys, humans included. The instinct to cut off the tails and smash in the heads of killer beasts has been bred in us since our early days of simply flinging rocks and shit at that damn bear that keeps eating one of our caveman friends.
What if your friends could also join you, no matter their cave’s location or socio-economic status, such as not being able to afford an Xbox One X? Cross-platform is like the new cross-dressing; it doesn’t matter what you were born as, you can still play with people that wouldn’t even buy the same console as you.
Dauntless was released to Xbox one and PS4 owners in May of 2019, then quickly skyrocketed in popularity due to two factors: The cross-platform play introduced in the console debut of the game already available to PC players for a year, and paid-promotions to youtubers and twitch streamers, eager to sell their venal virginity for a few thousand dollars.
What sold me was the ability to play with PC and PS4 players. While they usually need my help and their internal hardware isn’t as fast or advanced as the Xbox One X, I enjoyed the chance to play with a more “diverse” crowd.
Starting out, dropped onto a fractured island with little backstory or motivation, you quickly discover your purpose: Kill anything that lives. And pick flowers in between.
With quick combos and multiple tools of death, Dauntless makes each Behemoth dropped another notch on the belt, a piece of the expanding puzzle, an answer to the very riddle of why you are here; A never-ending quest to slay giant monsters in order to craft varied and more powerful weapons and armor.
Six weapon types are available consisting of Swords, Glaves, Hammers, Axes, Pikes, and Pistols. Each can be upgraded multiple times utilizing parts and orbs obtained from Behemoths and patrols, along with a double-daily double-reward
Combine that with elements of FIre, Ice, Terra, Shock, Radiant, and Umbreal, which together make Captain Planet, along with the non-element neutral, and you have the different weapon and behemoth types. So while your frost axe might drop them flaming queer Hellions, they won’t really bother his Pangar cousin, who are in a relationship together. It’s legal in California, ya know.
Hitting Behemoths with your weapons gives four types of damage dealt: Wound, Part, Stagger, and straight damage correlated by Red, yellow, blue, and white. Part damage is endemic to gaining piece of each behemoth’s body, select legs, tails, and heads needed for specific sets and upgrades. You’ll need those, along with the various orbs and money, affectionately called Ram Ranches, to max out those weapon and armor sets. The quicker and more specific you slice parts off, the better they are. Mostly.
Weapons are usually built around these strengths along with cells that give added bonuses depending on their ranking of common, rare, or epic. Each skill has a maximum count of +6, so combining cells and armor can create the best of worlds and allow you to focus in on each individual behemoth, like a surgeon digging out that tooth from your testicles.
From the start, the grind is real. You start closing in on specific tasks and challenges, each one another notch in the belt, lifting you to level 50 with the title of Master Slayer. It’s an arduous journey, but one that will, in the end, make you truly worthy of the title.
The options of colors and styles of armor that can be made to look like any other set, is interesting and bountiful. While most Slayer’s wear the same basic bitch set, others take on a whole new meaning of fashion is murder.
It also needs to be said that this is in a Beta state and it shows. Dropped servers, missed hunts, stuck move lists, and even the chunk can take you out of the action, if only for a moment, but long enough to make you rethink life’s choices. And a lack of end-game content make the last 20 or so levels not even really worth it yet.
Rating: 4 out of 5. A good start to a potentially great game. A few of the issues present do not detract from the fun and taunt battles, downing behemoth after behemoth after another behemoth. The grind makes you feel as though you’ve earned your gear, earned your weapons, earned every single drop of every single monster.
Cross-platform play, evolving game-set and identities, even the stupid titles and emotes are all additions to the reasons why you should give this free-to-play game a go. And with new additions and improvements added weekly, such as new behemoths and smoother graphics. Also, it’s free to play.
The bit of bugs and a soupy menu, along with almost non-existent endgame story, keep Dauntless from earning a perfect score. It might be that flawless game someday, but not now as of patch 0.8.
Killing giant monster isn’t for everyone and few can stomach the routine of farming parts and patrol orbs to craft and upgrade.to levels beyond 500. But for those few Slayers who hold out and complete each mastery progression, they will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and deserved smugness. Now get on your knees and kiss my 510 Godhand.
As always, thanks for reading. Follow The Gaming Garage Man and Curator_Daddy for more sporadic Dauntless action.