Pheonix Labs reminds us that sometimes all we need is a well-balanced team and a common goal.
< New innovations are hard to come by these days. The next big thing is quickly superseded by another equally big thing. In our industry, the minute someone pinpoints just enough similarities a game is label "Initial Game Lite" Enter Pheonix Labs and their game Dauntless. Dauntless is a co-op action RPG for PC that is currently in early release. The player dons the role of "hero" and sets off to fight giant behemoths that openly roam the land. The player's objective is simple: Kill behemoths, harvest any and all useful materials, craft increasingly helpful armor, rise and repeat. Does this sound similar? It sure does! This is snake eats tail-- this is the infinity sign.
Dauntless takes place in a fantasy setting, where a cataclysmic event has torn the world apart. The event released monster-like Behemoths that prey on the surviving humans. Players become Slayers that takedown Behemoths. Slayers use that loot to craft and upgrade weapons and equipment.
The initial reaction to this game has led to heavy comparisons to Capcom juggernaut Monster Hunter: World. While there is a justified cause for comparison- it is still safe to say that Dauntless is very much its own behemoth. However, Pheonix Labs will be the first the confirm that Dauntless was inspired by Capcom's Monster Hunter series. Dauntless was also influenced by Dark Souls and World of Warcraft.
The biggest discernable differences between these two games are direction, tone and multiplayer playability. Where MHW is deeply rooted in the fantasy aspect of its action roleplay, its tone is solely focused on the player. YOU are the hunter of all hunters, Nothing happens if you aren't the one doing it. While MHW offers up co-op- its direction is very confusing. Players can't just drop-in/drop-out. There are limitations as to how players interact. Ideally, MHW encourages players to play solo. There is no real benefit to meeting up with your real life friends to take out an Anjanath.
Dauntless is completely opposite. It encourages the player to get a team together that is correctly balanced to take out their fiends.
I personally had a blast playing a few hunts with the fellahs over at Pheonix Labs. I definitely see Dauntless being a part of my gaming collection.