Dauntless, The Free Monster Hunter.
Dauntless is the new title from Phoenix Labs and is a "co-op, action RPG coming to PC, currently in early access. Battle ferocious Behemoths, craft powerful weapons, and forge your legend in the Shattered Isles". This is basically another monster hunter game that is free to play. It is almost time for it to enter its open beta session and I obtained early access to hopefully give you a better idea of what you are in store for.
This is a major part of the game and is incredibly interesting. You join the hunt with a group of up to 4 slayers and search the shattered isles in an instance like manner for the Behemoths. Creatures that draw their power from the aether and destroy nature. It is your job to bring them down and use the items gathered from them to craft better weapons and armor. There are many different ways to attack with left click being your normal attack that strings together combinations with each subsequent click. Right click allows you to use your heavy attack which can also be combined with other heavy or light attacks. lastly you have a special ability by pressing Q, this is different depending on your weapon of choice as are all the other attacks. It is a slash em' up style of fighting that is very fast paced and as the Behemoths get more powerful the fights become much more strategic. You have utility slots for consumables such as health potions and used together with your team and combat style can help lead you to victory.
I have only put a small amount of time into this game so there will probably be an update to this section, but the crafting system is pretty simple. Bring the blacksmith materials gathered from slaying behemoths and you will be able to craft weapons that do more damage and armor with higher defenses. Both weapons and gear can be specialized as well. You can be strategic in what items you bring with you on the hunt and can cater to the behemoth you will be fighting with an elemental power that is more effective.
This is a pretty simple process. You get a quest and then use that quest on the bill board to sign up for a hunt. You can choose to do a private hunt which allows you to leave with just your own party of friends, or you can do a public setup that matches you with people on the same quest. It has been very smooth so far tackling the first couple quests and getting a party quickly.
The game still has a little bit to do in this department, but is most of the way there. There are some weird interactions with behemoth abilities but the devs are quick to fix any bugs and update the game very regularly. The graphics and art style are a lot of fun and remind me of World of Warcraft or Ice Age in a game version. All of the abilities and attacks look great and are pretty seamless.
This game has been a lot of fun so far but I have only scratched the surface. This game still has a lot to work on but is most of the way there. It is a ton of fun especially when grouped with friends, and with the free to play format I can see this becoming a very popular game. I hope that this helps with your decision to give the game a try when it becomes available, but being that it is free to play that barrier should not be hard to overcome!
I will be streaming this game pretty regularly on my twitch channel. Click here if you want to check it out.