KEY POINTS

  • "Dauntless" is a free-to-play action game developed by Phoenix Games
  • The game takes heavy inspiration from "Monster Hunter"
  • "Dauntless" is available for PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S with crossplay enabled

Phoenix Games’ free-to-play monster hunting game “Dauntless” has continued to prove that it’s more than just a “Monster Hunter” clone despite obvious similarities. After nearly three years since its official release for PC and consoles, the game has now fully spread its wings to offer a unique experience to the boss rush genre.

For the unaware, “Dauntless” is a free-to-play online action game that focuses on big boss fights in large, open maps. Players are tasked with defeating Behemoths who are disrupting the flow of aether across the many floating islands of the Shattered Isles. After defeating Behemoths, players will receive crafting materials that can be used to forge themed weapons and armors depending on the slain monster.

This will immediately sound similar to fans of “Monster Hunter,” but “Dauntless” sets itself apart from the legendary game franchise through its combat. Fights in “Dauntless” are much faster and more lethal and admittedly, it feels less clunky, making this game friendlier to beginners. Faster weapon swings and lower wind-up times means players can swiftly dodge incoming attacks or reposition when necessary.

The Hellion, one of the Blaze Behemoths found in Dauntless The Hellion, one of the Blaze Behemoths found in Dauntless Photo: Phoenix Games

Combat in “Dauntless” lies somewhere in between that of “Monster Hunter” and “God Eater.” It isn’t as fast and fluid as the latter, yet it’s not as methodical as the former. There will definitely be times where “Dauntless” will feel like button spam is the way to go, but it never feels out of place.

Mastery lies at the core of “Dauntless’” gameplay philosophy, and there are plenty of things to master. There are seven different weapon types and 35 different behemoths (including variations), and the recently-added Slayer’s Path feature adds a progression tree where players can unlock useful bonuses.

Monetization in “Dauntless” isn’t bad either. It has the standard battle pass along with a shop that sells cosmetic items. All of the game is free to enjoy, and only minor convenience and cosmetic items are locked behind paywalls.

“Dauntless” is a fun game that fuses the core elements of “Monster Hunter” with a fast and satisfying combat system. The monetization is fair and overall game quality is great apart from some bugs, a few annoying monster attacks and some steep difficulty spikes. It’s available for free on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch, with full crossplay available between every platform.