I was absolutely not sold on Dauntless (Phoenix Labs), from the moment the developer said “free to play” to the time he told me “its monster hunter-like”, I wanted to hate this game. I really did. But Even as an alpha product I can tell that not only am I not going to hate this game, but ill probably end up dragging Rob, Fiaura, and friends with me to play it. The Trailer should tell you what you need to know.

Lets get the scary stuff out of the way first. Yes this is a free to play PC clone of Monster Hunter. When I say clone, I mean clone. Players are dropped in to a verdant world. Where they must hunt monsters with friends (or alone) to collect loot, craft, and upgrade their gear. As well as make a decent living. Its going to be free to play, and I am sure they will be selling something to make up for it. That covers the scary bad parts, now lets get to the good ones.

This game literally had to grab me, as I had never heard of it before, but when the PR person literally asked me to come play I could not refuse. I chose the large sword character (described to me as a damage dealer) and got to work hunting for monsters. Check out this video from the floor!

Hunting be the optimum word here, I was placed in a group with three other randoms and told to go look for the big beastie. Look we did. After about 3 minutes of wandering around the world, and admiring its rich verdant scenery, I saw a light in the sky. Turns out the developers had added in a practical way to communicate with your team mates, a flare. So I headed towards the flare, and I hoped my teammates.

Arriving at the scene of a battle already in progress I observed two of my teammates wailing away at what appeared to be a giant owl. The owl reared up and starting punching people. It was at that moment that I knew I was going to love this game.  I rushed towards my team mates to add my damage to the melee.

Combat was simplistic, but that may have been because I was not yet at a level where combos or gear made a difference. I pressed X to slash, and had access to several items that healed, buffed, or helped team mates. My team mates and I proceeded to wail on this giant owl bear thing for about three minutes, at which point it turned read. My years of various MMO’s told me right away that this was the boss enraging. I would love to say we managed to kick that bosses ass, but the game ended with him flying away and us having to hunt him down again. I had another appointment in just a few minutes and couldn’t stay to see the ending, but from what I hear it’s pretty simple, the boss dies, you get loot, the demo re-starts.

I was genuinely sad to have to walk away from Dauntless. For a game I expected noting at all from, it had impressed me. With its pretty world, and its massive enemy (I assume later there will be more) it feels like a good monster hunter type game. And since there has never been a similar game on PC, I have no doubt that many fans of this type of game will be eagerly awaiting its release. Dauntless will be available as a free-to-play downloadable game on PC in 2017