So You Want to Hunt a Monster, You Say?
The first time I watched the live gameplay demo of Monster Hunter: World, it left my mouth wide, gaping in awe. I wanted, no, I needed more. That’s why the first thing I did at PAX West was rush over and experience Monster Hunter: World.
A group of friends and I attempted a mission and we were just blown away. The map appears to be seamless. If there were any loading screens, it was unnoticable. It is a Monster Hunter game that we are familiar with, but yet, it felt so fresh. Trying it hands-on only added to our excitement for the release of this game. The gameplay is the same as the other Monster Hunter games. Players are given a set time to complete a mission, and during this mission, there are side quests to do. The graphics are stunning, and the developers weren’t lying when they emphasized their “living and breathing ecosystem” as everything looked so alive.
Immediately after Monster Hunter: World, I tried out Dauntless, another action “hunting” RPG that is frequently being compared to Monster Hunter as of late. After the quick demo, I received a beta key from the booth, and I have been playing it recently. The playstyle in Dauntless is similar to Monster Hunter: World. Pick up a quest, go out and hunt big monsters called behemoths, return to town and upgrade armor. Rinse and repeat until you get a good set of gear. Similar to the Monster Hunter series, Dauntless is a grind fest. The objective is to craft a good armor set, and the only way to get it is through killing the same monster over and over again, hoping that luck is on your side that the materials you need will drop.
In Dauntless, instead of carving a monster for their materials, it drops a loot box of varying degrees of rarity called ‘cores’ along with other materials. There were a few annoyances I found while playing Dauntless. For example, there have been times where I queued up for a party and because of a lack of players queuing up for the same mission, I got placed into the zone by myself. After almost 10 minutes of wandering around looking for the monster, I got bored and gave up and logged out. There was a severe lack of things in the environment to interact with overall. The cool thing that I like about Dauntless is the ability to revive a fallen member on the spot. Once a party member has been revived, they are back in the fight right away. I feel like Dauntless is about going in fast and hard. Whereas Monster Hunter is seems more strategic; hiding, planning, and using items makes the fight easier in the long run.
Unlike Monster Hunter: World, Dauntless is a free-to-play game, so of course, micro-transactions are to be expected. Taking a look at their website, there are different tiers of bonuses and statuses that players can purchase. According to their developers, purchasable items are only cosmetic (such as emotes, dyes, and banners), and progression items, such as weapons and armor, will be available only through the game. Dauntless is currently in closed beta right now (September 2017) and Monster Hunter: World is expected to be released on January 26th, 2018.
The good and the bad
Dauntless (closed beta; Free-to-Play on PC in 2018):
- Beautiful graphics but more on the cartoony side
- Environment seems bland, not much else to do other than kill target monster (maybe due to the game being in beta)
- A fairly in-depth customization screen for characters
- Limited resources within mission zone
- Lack of items to help with hunting (ie. Traps, bombs etc)
- HP pools for healing (limited!) throughout the zone
- Fast pace
Monster Hunter: World (January 26th, 2018 release)
- Huge arsenal of weapons to choose from
- Environment is destructible and can be used to the player’s advantage
- Lots and lots of items; can be overwhelming to newer players, making it new player unfriendly
- Poogies & Palicos :)
Monster Hunter: World - http://www.monsterhunterworld.com/
Dauntless - https://playdauntless.com/