DAUNTLESS (EARLY ACCESS)
By Michael "Magic Mike" Dumee on January 24, 2018
A game that, in a very roundabout way, contains the names of two of my favorite bands? I sure want to play that, right?
Okay, to be honest, the music of both bands is not exactly in the game. Hell, I'm not even sure that the developers did it on purpose. And it's not like slayers and behemoths are that uncommon when it comes to RPG/monster hunting games. But when you hear about a game in which you become a slayer and you're objective is to kill behemoths? I just can't help humming Slayer's Reign in Blood and I just can't get Behemoth's The Satanist out of my head.
But enough about my musical preferences; let's talk about an awesome game called Dauntless. I asked my Dumeegamer.com boss (who, incidentally, is also my sister) if we please, please could email the awesome people of Phoenix Labs about this upcoming game. After seeing the trailers, I just SO wanted to play Dauntless. I'm a big fan of Monster Hunting games and Dauntless looks to be my cup of tea. Lucky for us, the people of Phoenix Labs provided us with two closed beta codes, so Diana a.k.a. DumeeGamer could join me during my noble quest.
Dauntless is an action RPG which is in its Early Access stages right now, so we only experienced a portion of what we can expect when the full game releases later this year. We start by building a character and the first choice is, as one would suspect, the gender. I always choose female because, if I have to stare at someone's backside for any longer period of time, I personally think it's better to stare at a nice female backside, right? After that, there are some options for the color of the eyes, hairstyles, etcetera, etcetera and a message telling me that there will be even more options to choose from in the full game. In the closed beta, there are already like 50 options to choose from, so I think it's safe to say that the developers are going to offer us a big assortment of customization options.
Before I could get into the real action, I needed to complete a tutorial in which I learned about all the different kinds of materials I can collect while visiting a certain area. These areas are all floating islands with all kinds of flora and fauna. There are some cute goats walking around, but I decide to leave them alone because. Let's face it: a goat, even an angry one, is not likely to be the dangerous behemoth that we're supposed to fight. So, after collecting every plant and other earthly materials I continue my way.
It doesn't take me very long to find my first behemoth. To kill it, on the other hand, is an entire story all together. During our first attempt, my sister mentioned that she would have liked to seen a health bar above the monster's head, so she would have had some sort of an indication of how much health the beast has left. This way, she could easier decide whether it was wise to take a health potion at a certain point. Bah! Rookie, I say! Real slayers don't need a health bar! They just go with the flow and finish off whatever you put in their path! So, I patiently explained to her how I didn't think that was a good idea and that it might spoil the survival element of the game. Sometimes you take a potion and finish the monster two seconds later; that's tough luck, just deal with it.
What we did agree on was that the game looks absolutely great! Sure, it isn't as detailed as games like Horizon: Zero Dawn for example, but it sure looks nice and colorful! Every island looks different, so you'll have a forest, a desert or a valley and it can be either sunny or rainy. The game has that strange and awesome out of this world vibe that really gives it that "huge fantasy world"-feel. Well, at least the islands on which you have to slay the behemoths do. After completing the tutorial you'll be transported to the town. Here the colors are a bit more realistic, but it still manages to retain that fantasy finishing touch.
When in town, you can sign up for new missions, visit the blacksmith and the armor smith to upgrade your weapons and armor and even create potions. The mission board is awesome by the way, because sometimes you'll need to kill a specific type of behemoth. Instead of just entering mission after mission and hope you'll finally face the right behemoth to finish a certain mission, you can create a mission yourself and choose which behemoth will be in it. I sure hope the developers leave this feature in the full game, because it can save you a lot of time. And it's truly awesome to create your own perilous quest!
I sure hope Dauntless will release as a full game soon, because playing this early access was really a feast! I think it looks really good and it plays very well. The combo's you can use in a fight, the variety of weapons you can choose from and the many materials you can collect and use to craft potions; it feels like so many options already and if I am to believe what the developers are saying (and I do!), there is a lot more coming our way. Plus, the game will be free to play!
So there's only one thing left to help the amazing people of Phoenix Labs; Become a founder, make sure you secure your place in this awesome adventure and let's make those behemoth slaying dreams happen, for the developers and for all the fans of epic battles!