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From left to right: Shrike, Drask, Embermane and Pangar.
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Dauntless is a free-to-play multiplayer Action RPG monster-hunting video game by Phoenix Labs. The game tasks players with protecting the humans living in the Shattered Isles, a fantastical world made up of countless Floating Continents due to an ancient world-shattering catastrophe, from Aether-devouring giant beasts called Behemoths.

Dauntless is a shining example of skill-based Difficult, but Awesome gameplay, in keeping with its monster-hunting genre. Every Behemoth has a wide arsenal of heavy-hitting but subtly (or not-so-subtly) telegraphed attacks, and players will need to learn to recognize those subtle cues and dodge the attacks before they happen if they are to survive a Behemoth encounter. Once a Behemoth has been slain, it will drop its assorted body parts which can be used to craft new and improved armor and weapons.

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If this all sounds familiar, chances are you've played or heard of this game's main source of inspiration, Monster Hunter.

After an Open Beta period, Dauntless launched on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Epic Games Store on May 21, 2019. All versions of the game support crossplay, meaning you can play with other Slayers who are playing the game on another console. Your progress also carries over across versions.


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  • Action Commands: The Hammer has several related to the fact it has a cannon integrated into it. By hitting the special attack button shortly after landing a hit, slayers can load a single shot into the weapon's magazine. Alternately, they can tap the heavy attack to fire a shot for more damage, similar to a Final Fantasy gunblade. Hitting the heavy attack at the end of a combo instead empties the magazine completely in one massive blast.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Like God Eater and Toukiden, a few of the melee weapons share the same archtype that Monster Hunter started:
    • The Sword is a composite take on both the Sword and Shield and the Long Sword, being the Jack-of-All-Stats, but is closer towards the latter visually
    • The Axe replaces the Great Sword visually, being a charging weapon that deals heavy burst damage.
    • The Hammer, like its inspiration, has shorter range to mitigate its higher sustained damage.
    • The Chain Blades are quick weapons that favor all around speed and mobility over power, like the dual blades.
    • The War Pike works a lot like the Insect Glave, being a polearm with a secondary rifle built in.
    • Averted with primary ranged weaponry, as prior to introducing the Ostian Repeaters, there wasn't any primary ones, inverting how God Eater had everyone having ranged weapons (except for certain NPC characters).
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Dauntless is quite generous with some of its loot and item systems, both in terms of avoiding grinding and accusations of cash-grabbing. The offerings in its store are a little on the steeper side compared to some games, but it tries hard to avoid Allegedly Free Game - most of what the store offers is cosmetic or relatively easily obtained through gameplay.
  • Boss Game: Each Hunt (so far) pitches anywhere between 1-4 Slayers against a single Behemoth, and essentially plays out like a bossfight. Aside from Behemoths and whatever they might create themselves, there's only harmless critters and gatherable plants/minerals.
  • Briffits and Squeans: When a behemoth is close to being staggered, bubbles and swirls appear above its head like a dizzy cartoon character.
  • Bullfight Boss: More than a couple of behemoths have this kind of style to their tactics. The Embermane especially.
  • Chasing Your Tail: Without good timing to interrupt charges or a competent Hammer user to inflict Stagger damage, Hunts will tend to turn into this — even the largest Behemoths are quite agile for their size.
  • Critical Annoyance: Reaching 100% Danger (making you unable to revive teammates) also changes the music track to one with slow and intense percussion completely unlike any of the other behemoth themes. For some players, it can be potentially distracting and make a bad situation even worse.
  • Damage Typing: Basic, Part, Stagger, and Wound;
    • Basic (green) damage is exactly what it sounds like; damage straight to the Behemoth's health pool. Basic damage can only be dealt by hitting the body, or by hitting Broken parts, and only Basic damage depletes the Behemoth's actual health pool.
    • Break (yellow) damage is inflicted to Parts. Inflicting enough will Break that Part, allowing you a shot at some loot in most cases - though a few Behemoths (like Skarn and Quillshot) have special breakable parts that don't drop loot.
    • Stagger (blue) damage is typically only inflicted by hits to the head, and is only really inflicted in considerable amounts by the Axe, Hammer, and Sword. Hit a Behemoth enough and they'll fall over Stunned.
    • Wound (red) damage can only be applied to Unbroken Parts; passing a certain threshold of Wound damage on a part will cause other slashing weapons to deal extra damage.
  • Deadly Dodging: The Hammer's specialty. On top of stamina-based dodges, hammer wielders can fire the integrated cannon to dodge whilst also creating a damaging area behind them. This is called blast dodging, and hitting a behemoth with it can stun/interrupt them.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Skarn is all about rocks. Plated in thick stone slabs that it manipulates with its consumed aether, Skarn is a gigantic pain in the ass to fight without a hammer user around; unsurprisingly, slashing and piercing weapons aren't very good against solid rock.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three core elements. Fire behemoths are always weak to ice, and ice behemoths are always weak to fire, whilst shock behemoths may be weak to fire or ice on a case-by-case basis. Few behemoths are directly weak to shock, but this is because of its status effect being one of the most powerful - it's an instant stun/knockdown when it triggers.
    • It's also important to wear the right type of armour for the behemoth you're fighting, as it can drastically reduce the damage you take from their attacks and reduce the duration of any Standard Status Effects they inflict on you.
  • Green Rocks: Archonite, an aether-infused rock/mineral that is the favoured food of Behemoths and essential to Slayers for the crafting of weapons and armour. The volume of Archonite within an island also determines its altitude; the island of Sandrian's Stone has dropped precipitously due to Behemoths devouring its Archonite.
  • Healing Potion: You always have five of these. You can also craft other various types of Potion to do things like improve the damage you deal, improve your stamina recovery, and so on.
  • Item Crafting: Mandatory to progress, in the form of crafting and upgrading weapons or armour; all made from bits you hack off the Behemoths you fight. You can also craft various potions and "pylons" that provide benefits to you and your team respectively.
  • Irony: The only purely ranged weapon class in the game, the Ostian Repeaters, work best in close range, where the behemoths are most likely to hit you with their melee attacks, and your damage is highest and most consistent.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Many of the Behemoths resemble monstrously oversized hybrids of real animals.
    • The Gnasher slightly resembles an oversized beaver due to its buck-toothed face and massive, flattened tail, but a common attack in its moveset is rolling up into a ball and trying to hurt the player with its spiky back and scale-plated tail, calling to mind a pangolin. It's no coincidence that one of its variants is called the Pangar.
    • The Shrike (and its variant, the Skraev) is a very obvious homage to the Owlbear monster of Dungeons & Dragons, possessing the head, voice and wing-feathers of an owl mounted to the body of an oversized bear. It is mostly incapable of flight, but can use the wings fused to its bear arms to glide at the player or perform an aerial slam attack.
  • Rank Inflation: Upon completing a hunt, your performance is noted by up to four medals, a personal rating, and an overall team rating. Factors include; damage dealt, parts broken, damage taken, staggers/interrupts inflicted, allies revived, and so on. The highest possible rank is S++, whilst medals come in bronze, silver, gold, and... shiny gold?
  • Shiny Sense: Gatherable plants tend to stand out at a distance due to their colouration, and have a subtle 'sheen' effect when you're close to them.
  • Shock and Awe: Drask, Rayzaga, and Stormclaw, but Drask especially. This big ol' Lightning Lizard unleashes a devastating lightning bolt as their signature attack, and will Ride the Lightning when it flees. When a Drask enrages, though? They'll fire three bolts in a burst.
  • Shows Damage: Gashes and scars appear on a behemoth as it becomes more damaged, helping you gauge its health/the 'health' of its parts. They'll glow with aether up until the associated part is broken too; once that occurs, the scars will turn a dull fleshy colour.
  • Socketed Equipment: Weapons and armour come with 1-2 slots of varying types, into which you can install Cells. Cells can grant buffs such as a chance for double damage, an increase to your health stat, a flat amount of wound damage on hits, or a percentage increase in break damage, and so on. Thankfully they can easily be replaced, or just removed for a flat cost in Notes, rather than requiring special equipment.
  • Standard Status Effects: Burn, Freeze, Shock, and several more. Their exact effects vary slightly depending on whether the target is a Behemoth or Slayer.
    • Burn is a simple Damage Over Time debuff, caused by fire-based weapons and behemoths. It's quite deadly to players, but can be extinguished if you take time to Stop, Drop, and Roll; dodging removes part of the debuff timer.
    • Freeze is a slow on behemoths, or a paralyze on slayers. A frozen behemoth simply moves and acts slower, whilst a frozen slayer cannot move or attack at all. They can be freed by smashing the ice around them.
    • Shock is an interrupt on behemoths, or No Item Use for You on slayers; a Shocked slayer can't use any items or interact prompts whatsoever. That means no self-healing and no reviving allies, which can be a death sentence. A Shocked Behemoth, meanwhile, falls over as if it was stunned by regular Stagger damage.
    • Umbral damage on slayers results in a potent damage-over-time effect, inability to sprint, and inability to use special attacks. Luckily, it can be cured by striking the behemoth with your weapon.
  • Tennis Boss: A couple of Behemoths have projectiles that can be knocked back at them with well-timed swings, particularly Stormclaw.
  • Turns Red: Behemoths periodically become enraged throughout a battle, switching to a different and generally more dangerous set of attacks. There are several pieces of gear and infusion cells that let you do more damage against enraged behemoths.
    • Some Behemoths also have a secondary mode known as "Aether-charged", where they power up in the element they're strongest in - and yes, this can stack with Enraged.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Unless using chainblades, all dodges take the form of combat rolls.
  • Variable Mix: Each behemoth has their own signature music which shifts in intensity as they become enraged or aether-charged, the timings of which can vary due to stuns and part breaks.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Slayers facing certain Behemoths for the first time tend to get blindsided by unexpectedly different mechanics:
    • The Embermane is far more mobile than any behemoth before it, frequently running away and then back to the slayers without pausing very often. It's fairly easy to interrupt its charges with the right weapons, but it's a long and wearisome battle otherwise.
    • The Drask is a literal Lightning Bruiser that utilizes its long tail in big, sweeping attacks without much downtime. Severing the tail makes the fight quite a bit easier, but there aren't many safe angles to approach from before that happens. It's also the last behemoth you must fight before moving onto the next island and some major gear upgrades.
    • The Hellion generates massive amounts of lava on top of still having the Pangar's dangerous tail and forward attacks. Veterans shouldn't find it much more difficult than the Pangar, but finding approaches without stepping on magma can be challenging.
  • Weapon of Choice: Currently, six: Swords, Hammers, Chainblades, Axes, Warpikes, and Ostian Repeaters.
    • Sword - Cool Sword: Solid all-rounders, Swords are primarily Slashing weapons and can deal decent amounts of Stagger damage too. They're not very flashy, but being a Jack of All Trades weapon can be handy too. Their unique mechanic is that their light attacks build up aether charge that can be unleashed to create a Sword Beam and grant a short bonus to attack speed.
    • Hammer - Drop the Hammer: Hammers are particularly good at doing Stagger damage on strikes to the head or load-bearing limbs. They also have a built-in cannon for short-range attacks and Rocket Jumping. Hammers are surprisingly mobile for being one of the heaviest weapons.
    • Chainblades - Epic Flail + Sinister Scythe = Improbable Weapon User: Chainblades are fast and swooshy, with longer ranged strikes. They also allow the user to make short-range Flash Steps as part of their dodges. Extremely mobile, as users can kick backwards or use their blades to reel themselves in towards Behemoths.
    • Axe - An Axe to Grind: slow and powerful Slashing weapons, Axes are possibly the least mobile of all the weapons but can unleash devastating Charged Attack combos and build up stacking damage bonuses, letting them dish out a lot of damage.
    • Warpike - Blade on a Stick: A challenging teamplay weapon, inflicting "aether wounds" on the behemoth's various body parts for teammates to do enhanced damage. They also double as Boom Sticks; striking behemoths generates aether charge that increases the pike's damage but can also be converted into projectiles (of which you can store up to three) that can be used to inflict hefty amounts of Break damage. The catch? Getting hit by Behemoths drains some of your built-up aether charge, and pikes are stamina-hungry too. Using a pike is a constant balancing act.
    • Ostian Repeaters - Guns Akimbo: One of the most mobile options available in the game presently, these allow you to pelt behemoths from any range, though the game gives you substantial bonuses and boosts to your skills and damage if you reload within close range of them. Their key feature are being Design-It-Yourself Equipment, slayers able to switch parts to whatever suits their needs best, from the damage output of their shots, to the nature of the buffs they can deploy, to the traps they can set out for their foes.
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