Dauntless invites everyone to slay some poor animals in its open beta


Dauntless is Monster Hunter for people who fear grind”, said Edwin Evans-Thirlwell when he wrote about Dauntless last year. Hey! That describes me! After years spent smiling and nodding while people told me about how absorbing Capcom’s previous games were, I was confident I’d get sucked into the same dino-trouserfying loop with Monster Hunter: World earlier this year. I was not, and bounced off the game after a few hours spent repeatedly fighting the same beasties in battles that dragged rather than thrilled.

Perhaps I’ll have more fun in Dauntless’s free open beta, which kicked off last night. It sounds reductive to call it a cartoony, simplified Monster Hunter that nevertheless tries to match it almost note for note – but that’s definitely the vibe I’m getting from this trailer.

A dash of steampunk? Check. Big ol’ dinosaurs? Check. Encouragement to take down those dinosaurs in groups of up to four? Check. Varied weapons, each supporting a different playstyle? Check. A story that’s vaguely about dinosaurs upsetting a (ugh) natural balance as a justification for slaughtering the poor things? Check check check.

That’s not entirely fair, as those dinos aren’t really dinos and apparently they also want to go and kill everyone living in a frontier town called Ramsgate. Here’s another trailer that expands on all that.

It’s also not entirely fair of me to be snide about a game that I can actually get behind. I’m sure some will bemoan the comparable lack of depth, but forming a merry hunting party without stopping to worry about oils and potion stockpiles definitely appeals to me. Edwin said much the same thing:

“Perhaps above all else, Dauntless feels a lot less grindy than Monster Hunter, though hooked up to the same compulsion loop of sallying boldly forth, killing outsized critters, harvesting their organs and transforming them into gear. The inventory is a lot gentler on the forebrain and you’ll spend less time managing it, with simple category slots and no apparent carry limit. You’ll want to farm maps and lesser mobs for crafting materials, but Phoenix Labs is keen that players spend more time tussling with the behemoths than picking off goats and wolves.”

Hopping into the open beta won’t cost you a penny, nor will the final version of the game. Developers Phoenix Labs have said they’re restricting the icky fingers of monetisation to cosmetics, which will be lovely if true.


  1. Someoldguy says:

    Looks like potentially good fun, but I have a hard time getting past the unfeasibly oversized weapons. Watching the heroes swing them about like they’re made of balsa wood triggers a kind of uncanny valley revulsion in me.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I think it’s far, far easier to get over the uncanny strength of the humans than it is to enjoy the feeling of hitting something dozens of times larger than you with a normal human size weapon.

    • Blowfeld81 says:

      If they were made of balsa wood, they would move at much slower pace.

      I know because I once built an aircraft out of balsa wood and have seen an axe. These combined make me an axpert on the topic.

      …. I see myself out

  2. Wauffles says:

    I have no idea how this wretched art style where everything looks like it’s made of the same material of identical thickness got so popular but I wish it would go away

    It makes everything look like Korean mobile crap

  3. jbscript says:

    “Our login servers are currently experiencing heavy demand. There are 36480 people in front of you. Estimated wait time: 54 minute(s).”

    Would play again.

    • Noitalommi says:

      Yup, that issue combined with the weird fact my computer chugs whenever playing it (after a 30 minute wait time) saddens me to no end. I was really looking forward to this game….

    • Aggregate says:

      Yup. Got in after waiting ~2 hours then found out pressing esc apparently instantly quits the game.

  4. Plok says:

    Off to Kent we go!

  5. Superfl0yd says:

    Definitely count me as one who fears grind, and yet I loved the crap out of Monster Hunter: World

  6. Zaxwerks says:

    I don’t want to slay some poor animals… I want to slay some RICH animals and then steal their wallets.

  7. Jargoyle says:

    Hey all. Been lurking about the boards for some time.
    Downloaded the game but no way to get on.
    36k people in line and not moving forward. They seem to be working diligently to fix this,
    but may be a bit before you get to try it.

  8. TotallyUseless says:

    It’d be much preferred if they sold the game AND had purchasable cosmetics. I highly doubt the quality of free games.

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