Dauntless: How Does It Measure Up On the Nintendo Switch?

It’s not like the Nintendo Switch had a dire need for Monster Hunter-related action. Capcom released Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate last year, and though it’s not quite as highly detailed as Monster Hunter World, it’s still an impressive beast all the same. However, if we’ve learned anything about the Nintendo Switch’s ever-growing library, it’s that there’s always room for one more, and Phoenix Labs has been hard at work on producing a version of its free-to-play monster hunting game Dauntless for the Switch, aiming to release it sometime later this year.

The company recently offered us the opportunity to go hands-on with a new build of the game to see how it’s shaping up, and thus far it looks to be a monstrously good time.

dauntless

Loaded With Features

Like the other versions of the game, Dauntless for Nintendo Switch will feature cross-progression features that work with other consoles. Not only that, but it’ll have cross-play as well and that includes PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Phoenix Labs wasn’t able to let us test out these online components just yet, but they promised everything would run smoothly once the game launches.

For those who haven’t tried Dauntless yet, let’s just say the more the merrier. The game allows you to team up with others to hunt down large beasts, utilizing a number of attacks and defensive techniques, such as reviving fallen colleagues should they fail to use a health potion at the right time. It’s up to you and your teammates to formulate the proper plan to bring down the beast you’re hunting, a job that’s easier said than done.

dauntless

The Charrogg Awaits

In this particular case, the monster we ended up chasing down at first was the Charrogg. This impressively sized behemoth put up quite a fight, thanks to his speed and size. Along with being able to charge with his massive size, he’s also able to swing around his tail, hitting whoever may be sneaking up behind him.

That’s just the start of his arsenal, however, as he’s able to generate fire attacks in different ways. To start, he can breathe fire from his mouth, making him lethal when it comes to getting up close to his face. Then he can also shoot it from parts of his shell, creating a surrounding fire attack that could cause havoc if you try and attack him from the sides.

The fire can also splash on the ground, creating lava that can effectively hurt your hunter should they come into contact with it. It helps to use a roll to get out of the way, or, at the very least, moving out of range enough to maybe try a long-distance attack. A recently posted Nintendo Treehouse video from E3 shows some of this battle in action, so you can get an idea of what the Charrogg is capable of (The battle begins at about the 4:05 point).

 

So How’s the Game Perform?

In spite of the fact that the Nintendo Switch isn’t quite a powerhouse like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, Phoenix Labs has balanced the port of Dauntless just about right. There are some lower fidelity visuals in some spots and a few slight details missing, like some shadows, but based on our session with the game, it runs pretty smoothly.

The frame rate for Dauntless holds up pretty well on the Switch. Even in a multiplayer group, we barely noticed any drop in quality or speed, allowing us to chase after the rather large Charrogg without breaking a sweat. The up-close stuff looks great as well, even if you’re right in the face of the beast as he spits fire at you.

Compared to Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, it does pale just slightly. Other than that, though, Phoenix Labs has packed quite a bit into this port. The environments look great, even if a few things have been removed to keep them moving steadily. The animations are superb on both the hunters and the creatures alike, barely missing a beat in the midst of each battle.

Running in docked mode, Dauntless looks pretty sharp. It’s a little easy to see some of its missing details in this mode, but it’s still a great looking game when it comes to tracking down your target and fellow hunters.

As for portable mode, we took a glimpse at a session, and the game somehow comes across as even better. It looks about right in 720p on the small screen, and its performance doesn’t seem to skimp in any way. This makes the game an ideal selection for handheld sessions, should you feel like teaming up with others for a quick monster-hunting jaunt.

dauntless

A Monster Hunt For Everyone

One thing that’s great about Dauntless for Nintendo Switch is that its difficulty is balanced. If you want to take on tougher hunts, that’s definitely something available within your wheelhouse. The game doesn’t overwhelm you when you jump into battle, and provides just the kind of balance to welcome both newcomers and hotshot monster hunters alike.

What’s more, it’s free-to-play, without forcing a number of Microtransactions on you. It’s just the perfect entry point for players to give it a try, especially if they haven’t picked up Generations yet. It enables them to take the game for a test drive before they think about indulging into the items that can be purchased. Completely optional, of course.

For players that have been looking for a monster hunting experience that suits them, or those seeking a fresh challenge after conquering Generations, Dauntless looks to fit the bill. However, we’ll hold off final judgment until the final game releases sometime later this year. 

If it holds up as well as other ports of the game, though, you’re in for quite the hunt.

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Steadfast Pokemon Teased for Sword and Shield, Possible Gen 8 Leek

While you were sleeping, The Pokemon Company dropped a new tease for the next Pokemon games, Pokemon Sword and Shield. These came announced in a new and unique way. Fans were immediately off to solve the mystery, but the big question on everyone’s mind is “Who’s that Steadfast Pokemon?”

Whatever it is, it appeared on the official Pokemon Sword and Shield website over night. Both the North American and Japanese versions had what appeared to be a glitch. The viewer hovers over what appears to be a glitched out Pokemon of some sort. Then, the image bounces to another corner of the screen a couple times before finally staying still. Clicking it brings up a loading bar and the “cry” of a Rotom.

steadfast-pokemon-gen-8-swsh-tease

That’s when the screen pulls up their own version of a Pokedex entry, but it’s glitched out, covering some seemingly important words. What can be seen is the Pokemon is a Fighting-type, it weighs 257.9 lbs, and it carries the Ability called “Steadfast.” As a Steadfast Pokemon, the ability “increases the user’s Speed stat by one stage when flinched.”

Underneath, some of the Pokedex entry is covered in glitches, but parts can still be read. “Only — that have survived many battles can attain this —. When this Pokemon’s — —ers, it will retire from combat.” Another noteworthy point is that the Japanese website has a single extra bit of information: the last part of its name. This translates to the word “nite”, which many believe could be a pun on the word “knight” of some sort.

 

Could the Steadfast Pokemon hold a leek or a bone?

Fans immediately began to speculate at all hours of the night, but have narrowed the possibilities down to two options: Farfetch’d and Cubone.

Some people started looking at the middle part of the image and seeing a Cubone’s skull helmet, which could make sense. However, some fans noticed that turning the image on its side could be an option. This makes it look like a squat duck holding a green shield and some sort of lance or sword.

steadfast-pokemon-gen-8-swsh-tease-glitch

This brings attention to the infamous “Affleck leak.” The notorious 4chan post from earlier this year that was spot on for what it predicted. While still just a rumor, it is held in high regard in the Pokemon community. In the rumor, the post mentions a Galarian Farfetch’d evolution named Sirfetch’d. This would line up with the naming motif and with it being a knight and fit the bill (sorry, not sorry).

As for the Japanese name including “nite”, Farfetch’d is not named that in the Japanese version of the games. In fact, its Japanese name is “Kamonegi.” This is an abbreviation of the proverb “a duck comes bearing green onions.” This would mean that whatever it evolves into could have a similar naming scheme or be different entirely.

While we wait for the eventual unveiling of this mystery Pokemon, check out our little history on Team Rocket and why they were added to Pokemon Go recently. Maybe it’s just Missingno and we’re all crazy for thinking otherwise.

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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Best Heroes For Your Squad

Now that Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order has been out for a little while, players have had time to become accustomed to the 30+ characters that are available within the Nintendo Switch game. Although that’s nowhere near the final count that will eventually be available, it gives you a good idea of who you might want to start with. DLC characters and some of the freebies are set to be added at the end of August (namely Colossus and Cyclops from the X-Men).

In the game you get to choose from a team of four, so balance is key. You can choose to just have heavy hitters, but adding a shooter to the squad would be smart. A team with a mixture of skills can do great as well, like the combination of Rocket and Groot.

Let’s say you don’t have time to explore all 32 characters and just want to jump right in. What’s the best way to start? Well, fortunately, we decided to do a little bit of digging and came up with a few recommendations for your team. Of course, personal tastes vary but we feel that some of our choices have an advantage over others. Now, let’s jump into battle!

Deadpool

First up is Deadpool, the Merc With a Mouth. If you pre-ordered the game, you earned access to a special chef’s outfit for him. You’ll also automatically bump up to level 21, unless Nintendo patched the game to even him up a bit. This makes Deadpool incredibly useful when battling against enemies up close as well as from a distance. These features automatically makes him a great asset to the team.

Since Deadpool has the ability to shoot enemies from a distance and perform up-close combos, it makes him a “best of both worlds” type of character. For instance, his Eat Lead technique lets him fire multiple bullets. This is great when you want to do damage to a boss or tough opponent especially when combined with his quick strikes, like the Slice & Dice and the Katanarama. Just make sure you don’t wear down and use all of them at once. Improvise and time your attacks properly.

Between his high energy level and unpredictability both up close and afar, Deadpool is an ideal character to start with. Bang bang!

Wolverine

If you’re a brawler sort of player, you’re not someone who prefers to stand on the sideline and attack from a distance. You want to get up close with your adamantium claws and do some damage, right? Well, Wolverine is just the character for you. Like in the previous Marvel: Ultimate Alliancegames, The Black Order lets you dish out all sorts of chaos with Wolverine. His strength meter allows him to stay in the fight a little longer than most, though he’s not completely invulnerable, despite that the comics tell you otherwise. Make sure you stay slightly on the defensive and dodge some attacks, while saving his special slash techniques for when they count the most.

His quick combos are ideal for hitting enemies fast and conveniently, and can also take down weaker opponents with utmost efficiency. However, try to save his special attacks for tougher foes, as they can deliver a greater deal of damage. You’ll feel better in the long run. Get your slash on with this guy, bub!

Magneto

It takes a while for you to unlock Magneto, but you eventually come face to face with him. It takes a while to get him after you finish up the second Infinity Trial rift, but he’s worth it, as he can utilize his magnetic techniques in imaginative ways. This makes him one of the most creative, and useful, combatants within this Marvel Universe.

Magneto can mush enemies together pretty nicely, which is helpful when you’ve got groups that need to be wiped away. What’s more, he can also drop a pretty nice AOE bomb, which at the very least, causes most enemies to stagger. This will allow the rest of your team to bring them down, and then he can call upon the Master of Magnetism to put together two debris balls to smash them and finish them off.

A bit on the heavy side, sure, Magneto knows how to deliver.

Spider-Gwen and Miles Morales

The original Spider-Man is no slouch. You’ll get him early on in the game, and he delivers versatility and speed that can’t be matched. Well, that is, until you unlock both the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen which come a little later in the game. Both characters bring the same level to your team, along with special abilities that are unique to each one. In fact, combining them together with Spider-Man wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Miles and Gwen have web-slinging abilities that deliver a great deal of damage, along with synergy attacks that dish out a heavy amount of pain to even the toughest of bosses. We’re especially fans of Miles’ Surprise Strike, which is great in groups. Try them both out and see if a favorite, ahem, sticks out for you. Now, we just need to know when Spider-Ham will join the group.

Scarlet Witch

This version of Scarlet Witch looks completely different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe edition and closer to the comics, but that doesn’t mean you should be thrown off by her appearance. She is by far one of the best support characters you’ll come across in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. You can call on her to heal your team whenever she’s charged up, and summon electrical fields that can slow or weaken enemies, depending where they are.

Not to mention she possesses great strength overall, making her ideal for quick combo attacks. She’s well rounded in both offense and defense, and is well worth a try.

Elsa Bloodstone

Elsa Bloodstone isn’t your typical run-and-gun type of character. In fact, she’s pretty fantastic with her array of weapons, as she utilizes pistols, shotguns and rifles to her advantage, making her a force to be reckoned with. Even in the face of Iron Man’s blasts and Captain America’s shield flinging she holds her ground.

The pistols are terrific for close range, and the Double Barrel is terrific for dishing out a whopping amount of damage. Her Fully Stocked technique dishes out incredible melee hurt, especially on bosses. She’s also superb when it comes to ground attacks, so you can combine all these together for both close and far range techniques. Overall, that makes her far more balanced than you might expect, even for a “run and gun chick.” So lock and load with Elsa, you won’t dare be sorry.

The Hulk

Hey, Hulk…smash. Until the Thing eventually comes along in the game’s recently announced Fantastic Four pack (he’s pretty much a given, we have to guess, along with Mister Fantastic, Sue Storm and the Human Torch), we have to turn to the big green guy for the utmost strength within the game. We’re perfectly fine with that, as the Hulk delivers all the smashing success we’ve come to expect in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.

While you can expect most of Hulk’s skills to be demonstrated with his up-close attacks, he’s also amazing with combo strikes, and he can of course take a heaping amount of damage before he goes down. On top of that, his Hulk Smash creates a wallop of pain on bosses and tougher foes.

He can also use a Gamma Slam to pick up a foe, fling them around and then hurl them to the ground which creates a shockwave that hurts others in the process. Talk about lighting up someone’s life!

If creating all kinds of controlled chaos (or simply having fun with the big green guy) is what you like, Hulk is simply a no-brainer.

Venom

Know how we recommended either Miles Morales or Spider-Gwen earlier? Well, what Spider-Man team would be complete without Venom? It might seem like a weird choice but the game’s Story Mode introduces how the symbiote-based villain turned hero joined the team and sets out to make right, by his own terms. Surprisingly, he’s an able part of the team. Though he plays quite differently from the other members of the Spider squad, it’s a good thing.

Like the Hulk, Venom relies on a heavy amount of brute strength. His combo attacks make him good for melee strikes, and he can join up with the likes of the Hulk or the Spider squad, to dish out pain to groups of enemies with ease. He can also cause staggers to bosses much more quickly than the typical superhero, which will come in handy with later battles in the story mode. Once charged, his special techniques deliver an utmost amount of damage, provided you deliver the most impact with them. Make sure you time them just right. Talk about covering your team when they need it the most.

He may not be everyone’s favorite, but Venom will find a way to grow on you. Hey, just ask Eddie Brock!

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Black Panther

Let’s say you want to, ahem, cut and run with certain opponents, but you aren’t necessarily feeling the impact of Wolverine’s claws. No matter, T’Challa, aka Black Panther, will get the job done for you! This character has speed and agility wrapped up in a neat little body suit, along with claws that deliver a significant damage with some great combos. Plus, his aerial attacks are absolutely superb.

As far as abilities go, make sure you go with the Panther Claw when you’re taking on bosses. With this, you can slice into someone multiple times, possibly to the point of making them stagger very quickly. For that matter, you can also activate the Bast’s Fury, which absorbs energy and let’s you throw it back at opponents which creates a mini-shockwave. Remember the movie? Yeah, sort of like that, but way cooler!

Pay respect to your royalty and give Black Panther his due!

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Thanos

Finally that brings us to Thanos. The only way, and we mean the only way, you’re going to unlock him in playable form is after you unlock pretty much all the other characters first. We guarantee that once you get him, you’re going to have an absolute blast, mainly because you get access to all his Infinity Gauntlet techniques, which are amazing, to say the least.

That’s on top of his pretty much unstoppable strength, and his pretty good level of speed. This makes him incredible for battles against bosses (even the likes of Electro, Venom and others of those type), as well as skirmishes in which he can wipe the floor with lesser types. Again, it’ll take quite a bit of effort in order to get him, but once you do, it’s like a whole new level of excitement awaits.

Side note: along with unlocking everything, you will need to reach level 80 with your team. Keep that in mind!

The choices are yours, and you can go with who you believe are the best characters for the job, but this should give you a proper way to get started. From there you can unlock everyone, or at the very least add some more favorites via DLC and free add-ons in the months ahead. Now bring on the Marvel Knights!

 

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is available now for Nintendo Switch.

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Interview: Challenges In Bringing DC Universe Online To Nintendo Switch

Back in 2011, Sony Online Entertainment mounted a huge task with bringing a comic book universe to an MMO structure. That project, DC Universe Online, would become a huge hit with fans of both gaming and comic books alike, attaining an audience of millions across PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Years later, now owned by Daybreak Games, it would continue to grow on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 front, as servers shut down on older platforms.

DC Universe Online Interview

Now, that audience is set to grow again. The game is set to make its debut on August 6 on Nintendo Switch, becoming the first full-on massive multiplayer online game to launch on the platform. Granted, it does come with its challenges – it’s huge in size, clocking in at 24GB at initial download, and it also has to keep up with Nintendo Switch Online’s limitations. However, the team at Daybreak is more than ready for what’s coming this week, with a brand new server dedicated to all its players.

We recently had a chance to chat with the game’s executive producer, Leah Bowers, about the challenges that came with bringing DC Universe Online to the platform, as well as what players can expect from it. And judging by early impressions, there’s a lot to look forward to.

First off, Bowers dove into the general excitement of creating the experience for a new platform in general, something that hasn’t been done since the game debuted on Xbox One back in 2016.

“It really is a special opportunity for us to be the first to bring a true MMO experience to the Nintendo Switch,” she explained. “Players will love the action combat play style that DC Universe Online brings to the console — it’s a natural fit!”

Of course, there’s the Nintendo Switch Online infrastructure to go around, since it isn’t your typical online gaming network like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. But Bowers says her team was more than up to the task.

DC Universe Online Interview

“We’ve been working on this as a team since October of last year. This was a huge challenge for us to take on, and the team really met it head on. The most important thing was handheld performance. That first time we were able to walk around the office playing DCUO handheld on the Switch was awesome.”

So, yes, you can take the system with you to San Diego Comic-Con and enjoy playing it while you’re waiting for the next panel – provided you can find a strong enough Wi-Fi point to connect to, obviously. Bowers said there’s a big plus in taking the game on the go.

“As a Nintendo Switch user, having a game of this magnitude with so much to do is extremely exciting to me! I think it’s going to really blow players’ minds when they can use a mobile hotspot to run a raid with their league mates. When I was traveling for Comic-Con I definitely fantasized about doing my DCUO dailies at the airport,” Bowers noted.

For those concerned about whether or not you need a Nintendo Switch Online membership, good news – you don’t. “DC Universe Online is free-to-play and does not require a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play,” Bowers explained. “Just download and start making your very own customized Super Hero or Super Villain right away!”

Some players, however, may feel the need to have to get “caught up” with everything that DC Universe Online has had to offer over the years. But Bowers reassured that isn’t the case, as all the content that has been released thus far will be there, with more to come – which we’ll cover below.

“Players will get to experience all the episodes!” she explained. “Everything is available from day one and mirrors what is currently available for our PlayStation, Xbox and PC communities. It’s very important to us that we welcome Switch into the DCUO fold and give them the best heroic experience we can.”

That will come in the form of Dark Nights: Metal, a new expansion based on the comic book series of the same name. Fans may recall that this was the introduction of a league of new Batmen, including The One Who Laughs. While Bowers didn’t go into too much detail about what this will bring, fans have a lot to look forward to, she explained.

“The next episode, out in September, is inspired by the Dark Nights: Metal storyline from the comic. That arc was a TOTAL TRIP and when I read it, all I could do was imagine it as a video game. I’m so excited to get to bring that deep, dark, meaningful storyline to life in our game,” she said.

And the team is working very closely with DC Comics to assure that the vibe behind the comics continues to flow smoothly into DC Universe Online, so it isn’t lost in its events.

DC Universe Online Interview

“We work very closely with our partners at DC on all updates to the game,” she said. “It’s a wonderful and collaborative relationship. They are very open to ideas from our end, and we love it when they share what they are excited about over at DC. Metal has been a big deal for them the last couple years, so they are absolutely thrilled that we’re making it a part of the DCUO universe too.”

As for what the future will hold outside of Metal in the months ahead, Bowers didn’t have a detailed schedule available. But she did note one key word: “Updates!” she said.

“We are constantly updating the game with weekend events, seasonal events, episodes, or just crazy ideas we want to try out and get feedback from our extremely passionate community. Our biggest updates coming soon are Metal Pt. 1 in September and Metal Pt. 2 in December. And, of course, the Halloween and Winter events are coming too, and for Switch players, it’ll be their first time tackling those.

DCUO is a living, breathing game and we look forward to growing it for years to come.”

Fans will be able to discover what DC Universe Online has in store when the game goes live on Nintendo Switch starting on August 6. Again, it’s going to require a lot of space, so make sure you get a big enough memory card to hold it all, and get yourself a strong Wi-Fi connection before you do anything else. Also make sure that you’ve got a good hero picked out, and have a few friends in tow to help you save the day, just in case.

DC Universe Online Interview

We’ll have a review of this game around the time of the game’s release, so be sure to check back!

DC Universe Online is also available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

(Thanks to Joy and Daybreak Games for the interview!)

 

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DCUO is Coming to Nintendo Switch

At San Diego Comic-Con it was announced that DCUO is coming to Nintendo Switch. It will launch on August 6th, which is only a little over 2 weeks away at this point. A small FAQ has been posted with a few details.

Current DCUO players will not be able to play their current accounts on the Switch. They will have to have all new accounts with all new characters made with their Nintendo account. These Nintendo accounts won’t be connected to the other accounts in any way. This is because at launch there will be a completely new server. This new server will be completely separate from the other servers in the DCUO community. Though the FAQ does add that they are looking forward to exploring crossplay options in the future.

The game will be free to play on the Switch like it is on other platforms you can find it on.

To celebrate the announcement DCUO has released an all-new trailer specifically for the Nintendo Switch.

During Comic-Con DCUO also announced two new episodes, METAL PART 1 and METAL PART 2. They will be launching in September and December respectively. Here’s what the developers have to say about each one.

 

NEW EPISODE: METAL PART II

 

In METAL PART II, the saga of the Dark Knights, the Dark Multiverse, and Metal will come to an explosive conclusion. The Bat-God Barbatos has waited since the dawn of the universe for this moment, and it seems nothing can stand in his way.

 

LEAH’S TAKE: “When we were just starting on the idea to bring Metal to the game, we knew the size and complexity of the cast and story would be challenging. We started testing the waters with looks from the comics – The Red Death and The Drowned – releasing those styles. The reaction was so overwhelming we knew we had to figure out how to bring the story into an episode. The way we figured it out? Not one Episode, but two! Doing the story right meant taking the time, and the team really stepped up and made it their own. We knew we were onto something good!” – Leah Bowers, DC Universe Online Executive Producer

 

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT METAL PART II:

 

Metal Part II will be a large-scale episode, with level-agnostic event versions of content available to all players for a limited time.

The episode will feature new and returning heroes and villains, including the Bat-God Barbatos.

The storyline will include singleplayer and multiplayer adventures set in locales too terrifying to be revealed now (spoilers).

The episode will launch new player rewards, including new gear, styles, artifacts, base items, and feats.

 

Source: Official Site

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Dauntless Weapon Tier List

Anytime a new game comes out with multiple options or customization choices, a tier list is never very far away. In the case of the recent free-to-play, Behemoth-slaying hit Dauntless, the weapons you choose define how you play the game. 

While each weapon that can be equipped has the ability to level up, gain different elemental values, and can be affected by mods and cells, they also bring different types of play styles. As of the beginning of Season Six, there are six different types of weapons that players can choose from: Chain Blades, Swords, Axes, War Pikes, Hammers, and the Ostian Repeaters. 

S Tier – Chain Blades

Dauntless Weapon Tier List chain-blades

The deadly Chain Blades in Dauntless may not look like much, but Kratos would be proud.

By far, the Chain Blades are the quickest moving attack that also gives plenty of distance for the player, if needed. Anyone who has played a God of War game knows how these work, giving a very acrobatic style to anyone using them.

Plenty of Behemoths can have pretty random feeling attacks, so the ability to pull yourself in at will, attack with the close range Bladed attack, then Chain Push out to use your Chain Throw is a crazy feat. Be careful, though: The long range Chain Throws consume the same stamina you use for running and dodging!

This weapon is pretty simple to use for newcomers to the game, but comes with some devastating combos for those who have mastered it. Later on in the game, other attacks can be equipped that are even more swift and destructive! The Chain Blades may not be designed for brand new players, but those who can master them could easily get S++ on every match!

A Tier – Sword

Dauntless Weapon Tier List sword

The Sword in Dauntless can only be considered the “Balanced Boi.”

The Sword is among the most balanced weapons in the entire game. For the uninitiated, the Sword can hit with light attacks at a faster speed and a heavier attack that is ever slightly slower. 

From the get-go, it’s notoriously powerful and offers a super speedy Overdrive attack. This “empowered” rage-like state is not unlike a berserk mode. Attacks don’t have to make direct contact in this mode since it creates short burst waves as well. These can be useful if you get knocked back at all and still want to deal a little damage without getting too close. But, why bother? Hitting your activate button again will send you shooting forward quite a bit to close the distance and get a few more powerful hits in before Overdrive ends. Even later mods like Ardent Cyclone don’t deal as much damage as Overdrive. 

Additionally, when paired with cells that can keep you from getting staggered and can help you resist direct damage, the Sword can give the most bite for the bark. If you want balance in both early levels and in the long term, you can’t go wrong with the Sword.

A/B Tier – War Pike

Dauntless Weapon Tier List

Dauntless’ War Pike is the quickest way to a Behemoth’s heart: stabbing it directly.

The War Pike, at its core, is pretty alright. It stabs quickly and offers a nice long range blast. It pierces and can wound and sever Behemoth Parts, being a powerful ally to anyone who uses an Axe. At the center of it all, it’s a thorough weapon than can be well respected. 

The special allows players to gather ammunition and then Pike Blast using a quick time event to get the perfect accuracy. Piercing attacks can wound the Behemoth and open up tears in their armor/skin for players to focus on. Harvesting, likewise, can cause chunks of the Behemoth to fly off, such as tails. 

It’s not until way later Behemoths that you’re likely to find yourself in a party of War Pike users. Late game masters of War Pikes utilize Pike Blasts to become truly devastating  when against high level creatures. While this isn’t normal for those early in the game, it deserves an honorary A-tier just for this fact, with a B-tier for anyone newer to the game.

B Tier – Axe

Dauntless Weapon Tier List axe

In a whirlwind, Behemoth slayers can get a bunch of hits if timed right with the Axe!

While a tad bit more clumsy than the Sword and War Pike, the Axe focuses on severing and breaking Behemoth parts. You might notice a horn or a tail tip come off in battle every so often and, during battles, you’ll see scrapes and tears on the skin of the Behemoth start to appear. That’s where the Axe really shines!

By attacking the wounded areas, the Axe deals bonus damage. Be sure to pair up with someone who has the War Pike because they deal mostly in causing that wounding. By holding the attack button, a spinning attack can tackle some good, melee-level hits. If you’re into some heavy-but-slow damage, the Axe is designed for you.

The special is where the Axe falls apart a tad bit. Flight of Ruin is a throwing move that has a lot of potential for missing. It leaves you vulnerable while the Axe isn’t in your hand as well. The recall takes some real precise timing and angles to really do good damage as well. I don’t recommend using this move with Behemoths that move around a lot.

C Tier – Hammer

Dauntless Weapon Tier List hammer

While it may be slow, the Hammer is great for staggering Behemoths!

In a word, the Hammer can be described as “clunky.” Yea, this might be a matter of debate for some players, but hear me out. It’s the slowest of the weapons by far, animation-wise. However, it can prove useful in staggering enemies for your much-quicker teammates to devour. The concussive blasts are the real saving grace of the Hammer user.

While the Hammer offers the most possible actions in a single weapon, between standard strikes, aerial attacks, singular and full-bearing concussive attacks, and evasion, it stands as the hardest weapon to control and utilize. If you choose to handle the Hammer, be careful with your ammo and don’t forget to reload. 

If you want to do the most damage, you need to be directly next to the Behemoth, which is dangerous territory for anyone not equipped with a Nine Lives Cell and protection from getting knocked back. Getting close quickly isn’t an issue though with a nice lunging attack combo, mixed with the Hammer Jump and Double Jump techniques. If you can angle it right and the Behemoth doesn’t sprint away before your animation finishes, the Aerial Strike can do some good damage as well.

It’s not all bad. We didn’t put the Hammer in D or F tier for a reason. If used right, it can be great for staggering Behemoths and dashing away. In a game that focuses on dealing as much damage as possible to a single enemy in a short time, Hammers might not be the best fit for most people though.

X Tier – Ostian Repeaters

Dauntless Weapon Tier List -ostian-repeaters

The Ostian Repeaters are what you make of them! Find a good combination and they’ll be the best friend you could ever have!

The Ostian Repeaters are the only wildcard when it comes to a weapons tier list for Dauntless due to their very nature of customization. They are the one true enigma of the game. 

You see, the Repeaters rely on the determination and creativity of the player to come up with the most devastating combo of parts to assemble together. Starting out, the initial vanilla Ostian Repeater parts give some pretty heavy attack numbers but don’t offer much in the way of “extras.”

Players get a Basic shot, Skillshot ability, Thrown ability, and two types of reloading. Cut and dry, right? Well, mods tell a very different tale and can affect the way the Repeaters work significantly. Changing out the barrel, chamber, grip, frame, or prism can add different elemental damage types, add additional drops (like buffs or mines), or even add missiles and additional projectiles to the mix. A single button press can really unleash hell against a Behemoth if modified right.

However, if modified wrong or under-powered, it could easily put the Ostian Repeaters in an F-tier. Because of the customization that comes with these guns, there’s absolutely no way to place them properly in a tier list. At their best, they’re a difficult-to-achieve S-rank, but they’re nothing without their mods at base value. Welcome to X-tier, where you (the player) solve for X.

Final Thoughts On The Weapon Tier List

While the disastrously speedy Chain Blades easily take the cake as “best weapons in the game,” I’m particularly fond of how the Sword plays. It was easy to get comfortable with when I just started out and still does what I need it to as I progress later into the game and come across bigger, badder Behemoths. I’ve tried dabbling with other weapons, but none of them gave me the pizzazz that I was hoping for in early quests. 

The Ostian Repeaters always intrigue me when I see teammates utilize them correctly, having seen someone go solo with them during a Danger alert and win the battle for us single-handedly. If not for the late-game devastation that the War Pike offers, I’d easily put them hand-in-hand with the Axe, with no difference in tier at all.

The Dauntless developers, Phoenix Labs, sometimes add additional weapons, such as Grenades only being added during late summer 2018 and the Ostian Repeaters coming late 2018. Additionally, updates come pretty rapidly now that the game has officially gone out onto the Epic Games Store and is awaiting the imminent Nintendo Switch launch. So, it’s not unheard of that we could eventually see a new weapon to really shake up this list.

 

Check out our PlayStation 4 review of Dauntless to see how much we loved it! Then, go play it by downloading the game from the Epic Games Store (yea, It’s free to play).

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Darksiders Genesis – A Diablo-Like Twist

The Darksiders franchise has been going strong since 2010, getting its start as a God of War style adventure under the guidance of Joe “Mad” Madureira and Vigil Games. Two years later, Darksiders II was added to the franchise, and brought a bit of irony with it. Featuring Death as a new character, this second installment was followed by the “death” of THQ, and shortly after the company went into bankruptcy.

Darksiders Genesis

THQ found new life a few years later, returning as THQ Nordic. The franchise was brought roaring back last year with Gunfire Games’ successful Darksiders III, featuring another new Horseman, Fury.

Now, with its newfound energy, the publisher decided to try something a bit different with the franchise by keeping the storyline moving forward without making Darksiders 4, at least not yet. So how do you do that? Simple. Bring back the man that started it all, Joe “Mad” plus his team at Airship Syndicate, and make an interesting twist on the formula with Darksiders Genesis.

Originally introduced right before the Electronic Entertainment Expo kicked off last month, Genesis adds a Diablo style twist to its proceedings. The fourth Horseman, Strife, who made an appearance near the end of Darksiders III, is the final playable character, and a fan favorite from the original title, War, returns as a secondary playable character. Games such as this are always more fun to play with a friend, right? Well, with Genesis, two players can go at it with buddy-buddy scavenging in local or online co-op.

Darksiders Genesis does feature a somewhat lighter tone than its previous installments, but it sticks with the familiar world so fans won’t miss a beat. Madureira is backed by a number of veterans at Airship Syndicate, who have worked with him at Vigil previously, and understand what he’s looking for in terms of tone and action. Based on what we’ve seen from the game so far, they definitely have that nailed down, even though the approach – isometric action compared to third-person 3D action – is much different.

Joe “Mad” noted that this game has been in development for around eighteen months or so, indicating that he’s been toying with it since Darksiders III was in the works at Gunfire. That’s an interesting contrast, though again, Genesis was never really meant to be a sequel, despite the fact it introduces Strife as a playable character for the first time.

Instead of a free-flowing adventure, Genesis works with a mission structure. You (and your compadre, should you work in a cooperative fashion) have to work to clear out enemies across each stage in order to successfully accomplish missions. You also have the ability to try for a higher ranking, should your current one not be to your liking.

Darksiders Genesis

This actually makes a difference for you and your fellow character, enabling you to level your abilities over the course of the game, to become increasingly powerful, which is quite useful for tougher enemies later on. However, this isn’t just a simple “one and done” system, with a number of systems that are broken down across the board.

First up, there’s the loot drops. As you take out creatures that are scattered across Genesis’ hideous world, you’ll be able to pick up all sorts of rewards that you can equip and/or spend later. These are worth hunting down, as you can pick up gear to use as you progress. Don’t worry, there should be enough for both of you to use, or something for you to scoop up if you’re going through the game on your own.

Next up are the set of skill and ability trees featured throughout the game. Though the team really didn’t show off how many of these are available for both Strife and War, we have a feeling that there will be a lot you can upgrade such as power, speed and more. How you do so is completely up to you, depending on your style of play, but it never hurts to have a little bit of balance.

Optional combat upgrades will also be available over the course of the game. We’re not sure if that means combos will open up more, or if there will be defensive abilities that open as things get heated later on. Either way, it’ll be cool to see what Joe “Mad” and the team at Airship have in mind as the game continues development.

Finally, there are “creature cores.” These can be put into a skill tree, though not fully detailed yet, they could mix things up. Who knows, maybe they could lend a supernatural hand in transformation at some point in the game. (That’s just a guess, mind you.)

Darksiders Genesis isn’t a game that’s built entirely around action. Sure, you can carve your way through demon forces and have a field day doing it, but Airship has meticulously built this world around puzzle solving. This includes using one or two characters to solve platforming puzzles, or activating key things within the world to move forward in certain areas. Based on the footage we’ve seen thus far, it’s pretty challenging, and also very cool stuff, similar to what we’ve seen in previous Darksiders games.

That being said, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have a helping hand during these puzzles, as there are waves of enemies that are bound to be a real pain in your backside. One player could fend them off while you attempt to complete the puzzle, before a much larger enemy forces both of you to work together to finish them all off so you can move forward as a team.

Platforming isn’t the only way to solve puzzles; sometimes you’ll need items to find a solution. For instance, War’s Vorpal Blade can act as a boomerang at times, allowing you can hurl it at objects (like switches) in order to activate things within the world. Strife should have a similar ability as well, which will give the characters some sort of balance so one doesn’t have something over the other.

The characters will have light and heavy attacks, which you’ll be able to mix together to create some beautiful techniques for mowing down enemies. You’ll also have access to ranged attacks (read: guns) to take down incoming foes from afar, which is especially helpful. A dash technique can get you out of harm’s way quickly, and you’ll utilize it for a boss or two early on which will help you get the hang of it.

These are still early days with the game’s development, so obviously the visuals for Darksiders Genesis aren’t done, but based on the footage we’ve caught a glimpse of, it’s impressive. Granted, the world may look different from previous games, but it’s still very beautifully designed and reminds us of classic games like, well, Diablo III. The visual effects are luscious, particularly the lava and some of the enemy designs; and the animations are razor sharp, on some of the characters for example. We couldn’t really hear too much of the sound just yet, but based on a few of the samples, Airship Syndicate has some of the content put together nicely. They’re bound to have a musical score right up there with what we’ve heard in previous games, though from what we’ve heard a composer hasn’t been settled on just yet.

Darksiders Genesis

It’s true, Darksiders Genesis is a change of pace from what fans are used to, and it’s not Darksiders 4, but this serves as a fun little distraction in the meantime. Genisis will provide hours of loot-grabbing and demon-killing enjoyment for you and a friend. Will it knock off Diablo? More than likely not, but it’ll provide a good time nevertheless. Plus, you get to play as War again, and finally see what Strife can do in this fun little world, which we’ve been waiting to see since his appearance in Darksiders III last year.

Not to mention, Joe “Mad” Madureira’s involvement with this beloved franchise is worth its weight in gold alone. It’ll be the reunion we’ve been waiting ages to see, and will have to wait a bit longer for; Genesis wont be released until later this year for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC, but soon enough, it’ll get its chance to shine.

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The Best Fighting Games On Nintendo Switch That Aren’t Smash Bros.

While the Nintendo Switch’s small JoyCons weren’t exactly made for those that appreciate fighting games, there’s no question that the system can hold its own in the arena. Get yourself a pair of Pro Controllers and set them up for the following recommended games and we assure you that you’ll have a great time getting into a brawling mood.

No, the list isn’t about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Obviously that’s a recommended favorite, but there are so many other fighting games that are worth checking out as well, as we’ve noted below.

So load up on a bigger memory card and get those fighting thumbs ready, because things are about to get rather competitive up in this piece.

Dragon Ball FighterZ (Bandai Namco)

After taking our breath away on other platforms, we figured it would just be a matter of time before Goku, Vegeta and the rest of the Dragon Ball Z gang would arrive on the Nintendo Switch in the form of FighterZ.

Produced by the team at Arc System Works, FighterZ looks like an anime universe brought to life. It brings several of the DBZ characters to the 2D fighting realm in the best way possible. You’ve got your combos, your super moves, your counters and, of course, those super-dramatic moves where a planet gets cut in half after you hurl someone into it.

Dragon Ball FIghterZ

What’s more, the game runs impressively on the Switch, whether in handheld mode or playing on the big-screen. The animation is truly impressive, and the speed of the game is second to none when it comes to dialing in the big hits. And the gameplay is as smooth as ever, offering something for both newcomers and veterans alike.

Even if you’re not really that heavily into anime, you owe it to yourself to check out FighterZ. It’s a brawler’s dream come true.

Mortal Kombat 11 (WB Games)

So there is one rather big hang-up that you’ll have to accept with Mortal Kombat 11 on the Nintendo Switch – this sucker takes up a lot of space. The game runs at around 15GB install with the physical version, via a day one patch. And if you go digital, it’ll crank up to around the 22GB range, maybe even higher.

Now, if you have a memory card that can sufficiently handle that kind of range, and you don’t mind waiting a while for the download to drop into place, then you’re in for a hell of a port. Mortal Kombat 11 actually feels quite good on the Nintendo Switch, particularly with the Pro Controller. That said, portable mode isn’t too shabby either, if it’s the only option you have on the table.

Now, visually, the game does pale in comparison to its Xbox One/PS4 brethren, but the devs still managed to get it running smoothly enough that most players don’t mind. What’s more, like Mortal Kombat II on the SNES, MK11 is brimming with all kinds of sweet carnage. That includes limbs flying off, bodies exploding and so, so much more. It’s all here, fans.

Along with a satisfying story mode, Mortal Kombat 11 also features a balanced Towers mode to test your might and multiplayer options for those that want to mix it up with others. Local versus is your best bet, but that’s a good deal anyway considering friends want to come over and punch your head off.

Even with its technical limitations, Mortal Kombat 11 holds its own – and more – on the Switch. Now if we can just get a port of Injustice 2

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection (Capcom)

At one point in time, it looked like the best way to get Street Fighter action on the Nintendo Switch was to pick up a copy of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. And while that’s not a bad option to have, it doesn’t really do much for those looking for variety. Fortunately, the 30th Anniversary Collection easily picks up where the debut effort left off.

That’s because, for a mere $30, you get a pretty complete package of the Street Fighter saga, going from the original game that started it all in 1987 (before Street Fighter II four years later) to the awesome Street Fighter III: Third Strike, considered by many to be one of the best in the series. The ports of all these games are done incredibly well, and the fighting action feels as smooth as it ever has, right down to the counter moves and getting those occasional combos. Again, a Pro Controller is your best bet here, but it feels so nice.

On top of that, you can also take part in online fighting with some of the key titles, like Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting and Street Fighter Alpha 3. It’s a slight disappointment that online isn’t offered across the board, but it allows Capcom to focus on delivering top-tier performance in the games that really matter. And, yes, Third Strike has that support as well.

Also included in this game is a sweet Museum Mode, where you can delve into the history of Street Fighter. It’s mesmerizing just how stacked this is, and it’ll keep you busy while you wait to jump into your next match.

While Ultra Street Fighter II is a good game, this Collection delivers more than its weight in gold. Well worth it for the $30 drop.

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle (Arc System Works)

Although Dragon Ball FighterZ has more than enough of a recommendation on the Arc System Works front, we dare not forget about the game that put them on the map to begin with on the Switch – BlazBlue. In Cross Tag Battle, you’ll pair up with a number of characters across various fighting games in one huge mishmash of fists, kicks and supers. And it’s unbelievable, to say the least.

Featuring characters from the respective Persona, Under Night In-Birth and RWBY (as well as BlazBlue, obviously), Cross Tag Battle delivers an unprecedented roster of characters to choose from, as well as the option to expand upon it with several characters through downloadable content. It never hurts to see what all is out there, so you can master certain ones and deliver a true butt whooping online.

The game features stellar visuals that match the quality of FighterZ in terms of hand-drawn elegance and beautiful backgrounds. For that matter, the game also features a rockin’ soundtrack that will be right at home for those of you that love any of the franchises above. But it’s the gameplay that will truly hook you, with a 2 vs. 2 gameplay system that rivals the greatness of Marvel vs. Capcom 2. It has its own special tricks that you certainly shouldn’t miss.

There’s also an array of spectacular modes to choose from, which will keep you busy in both single player and against others in multiplayer. It’s impressively stacked, and you won’t have to sacrifice too much of your memory card if you take the digital route. (Of course, physical game fans will want to pick this up and add it to their growing collection.)

While one Arc System Works party with FighterZ may be enough for some, we recommend adding BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle to the party. If only because there’s more than enough 2D fighting goodness to go around, so why limit it to just one selection?

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy (SNK)

Okay, we know. This isn’t exactly the most serious SNK fighting game out there, but there’s enough variety for that with the Arcade Archives releases, as you can load up on Samurai Shodown and Garou: Mark of the Wolves for less than a 20 spot. That said, SNK Heroines does deserve some commendation, mainly because of the two things it manages to do pretty well.

The first is delivering fan service. Sure, it takes a Dead or Alive route to do so, but that’s proven popular with Koei Tecmo in the past, so why shouldn’t SNK give it a try? The selection of female characters is rather startling, and their outfits would give Kasumi and company a run for their money. It doesn’t necessarily over-sexualize either, though it definitely doesn’t hold back on the cheesecake. There’s a reason it has a Teen rating.

snk heroines

As for the second thing, it just takes the fighting ball and rolls with it when it comes to entertainment. It’s a bit on the silly side, but the combo system works reasonably well; and the super moves are a blast to pull off. Plus, the game looks pretty good for a 3D SNK brawler, though obviously Samurai Shodown will take the throne whenever it arrives for the platform later this year.

While SNK Heroines may not be a favorite choice, it still gets thumbs up for those that are looking for something just outside of the norm.

Blade Strangers (Nicalis)

Although it’s not the most original crossover title out there, Blade Strangers has that certain appeal that some fans will love. Plus, you really won’t find a fighting game with a more diverse cast than this. We’re talking a buffed up Shovel Knight taking on the kid from The Binding of Isaac Plus, folks.

The game features a traditional 2D design that, while not as detailed as Arc System Works’ games, still looks very well done. And the 3D backgrounds are pretty nicely rendered to boot, so you actually feel like you’re battling in a living, breathing world.

On top of that, the control system is well handled here. If you’re approaching for the first time, the game will help you learn about what makes it tick, so you can adapt to its systems and get into the fight. And if you’re a veteran, you can figure things out rather quickly, so you can master your terrain.

Blade Strangers also packs on the fun as far as multiplayer is concerned, with lots of online match-ups that run relatively well for the Switch.

It’s not the most commendable fighting game out there, but Blade Strangers is a lot of fun. And it’s a good one-two punch to go alongside the Puzzle Fighter II-esque Crystal Crisis that’s set to drop in just a few days. Now fight!

ARMS (Nintendo)

While most folks would recommend Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the king of the fighting games for the Switch (and rightfully so), we have to give a nod to ARMS, a game that launched shortly after the system’s release. And while it’s a bit unexpected when it comes to its extendable limbs and deeper strategy, it’s a lot more fun than we expected it to be.

In the game, you choose from a number of characters that let their hands do the talking; and then drop into a 3D arena where you can try to knock them out before they get the chance to. There’s some cool stuff here, including selecting which limbs you want to go with, each with their own special abilities. What’s more, some of the characters provide their own extra spark as well, keeping things interesting with each brawl.

It’s a blast to play online. And what’s more, it’s a local favorite, too. And it actually makes proper use of the JoyCons in versus play, though, again, stick with a Pro Controller if you can.

Check out the trailer above to give yourself a good idea of just how ARMS works. We’d certainly be down for a sequel – provided they don’t call it something weird. Like LEGS or something. ELBOWS?

Pokken Tournament DX (Nintendo)

You didn’t really think we were going to leave the Pokemon out of this fight, did you? Did you? Silly trainers. Pokken Tournament left quite an impact over on the Wii U, so it only makes sense that the game do so on the Nintendo Switch as well. Nintendo, alongside the folks at Bandai Namco, really gave this the proper treatment it deserved. As a result, fans are sure to love it – if they can stop playing Pokémon Let’s Go for a good few minutes.

In the game, you’ll choose from a number of Pokémon characters and then engage in battle. A neat little system lets you fight between 2D and 3D planes, switching between them quite effectively as you execute special moves and try to win each fight. 

The controls are relatively easy to use, and take some time to truly master. So it’s got that perfect amount of balance that feels right at home, even to newcomers. As for full-blown Pokémon fans, there’s some great service here that you’re going to really dig.

Throw in a fun story mode (with a somewhat annoying announcer – just quiet down for a few, lady) and some great online versus action, and you’ve got a winner that will please both newbies and masters alike. We’d definitely take a follow-up to this one if we were given the chance.

Other Recommendations

Here are some quick recommendations you shouldn’t miss out on:

Pocket Rumble– a cool little $10 Game Boy-esque fighting game with fun characters and simple controls. A good game for kids and non-fighting masters to check out.

Samurai Shodown- the classic SNK game lives on via the Arcade Archives collection- and it’s a good warm-up for the new game coming in just a few months.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves– another SNK title that’s well worth your time, especially considering you get an all-out classic for just $8.

Nidhogg 2- an oddball fencing game, but one filled with wonderful tactics and fun local versus action. Plus, did we mention it’s weird? Because it’s damn weird.

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Deadly Alliance’s Frost Returns For Mortal Kombat 11

If you’re a fan of the classic Mortal Kombat games, you might recall a mighty Lin Kuei warrior by the name of Frost. We haven’t seen this femme fatale in quite a while, but now she’s back and more cold-blooded than ever before.

During today’s KombatKast leading into the game’s official release this evening, NetherRealm Studios announced that Frost is the final member of the core cast of Mortal Kombat 11. She’s just as deadly as she’s ever been, with ice-cold abilities that generate from her arms and chest.

She’s become a lot more cybernetic than you may recall, as you can see in the trailer below. She’s practically a head that’s fused into a cybernetic body, ready to crush anyone in her path. And you can see that with some of the abilities she uses in combat. This includes a huge ice beam that shoots from her chest, Iron Man style, to knock her opponent into the middle of next winter.

In addition, she can also generate ice blades from her hands and spin them around helicopter-style, landing several hits on her opponent. She can also freeze them in mid-air, making them susceptible to both airborne and ground combos.

And when she launches into a cinematic attack, as you can see, she hits them not once, not twice but three times with slams into icicle-laden walls.

Then there’s her fatality, and let’s just say it leans on the creative side, and could possibly introduce a new character in the future. Needless to say, a deep freeze may be on the way.

The trailer paves the way for Mortal Kombat 11‘s launch tonight on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC. And it’ll give players the opportunity to see who has what it takes to survive: Sub-Zero or Frost. Looks like it’ll be a cold day in hell figuring out that argument.

Source: Twitter

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Dauntless Hands-On: Things Are Getting Monstrous

While Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World has taken the world by storm on the console and PC front, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for competition. In fact, ever since its debut at the Video Game Awards in 2016, Dauntless has been making quite a name for itself.

The game, which has warriors hunting down wily monsters in the midst of forests and other locations, has been moving right along in development at Phoenix Labs. There’s all sorts of great talent behind the game, including former Riot Games developers Jesse Houston, Sean Bender and Robin Mayne, along with several former team members from BioWare, Blizzard and, yes, Capcom.

The game moved into open beta on the PC front back in May 2018, where it’s drummed up a pretty respectable audience. But this year is the big one for the franchise, as the game will finally launch this spring not only for the PC front, but also Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The Nintendo Switch is also in the cards, set to get a version of the game sometime down the road.

The team was recently at PAX East, showcasing some new monstrous goodies for fans to get excited over. So what can we expect from this epic battle between the Slayers (hunters) and the Behemoths (monsters)? Quite a bit, especially if you think Monster Hunter is the only “kill the giant beast” game in town.

dauntless

The General Idea

For those unfamiliar with how Dauntless works, here it is in a nutshell. In the game, you’ll select from your Hunter of choice, each with special weapons. Care to hurl around an axe that you can call back upon command? Or maybe you want to use a pair of pistols and hit enemies from afar? There are various choices here, with six in all thus far.

Once you select your Slayer, you can team up with others to see which monster you want to go after. They vary, from winged creatures that can strike from above to a strange ice beast that can summon minions to do damage on their behalf. It’s up to you to work closely with your friends, heal up when the situation best calls for it (you don’t want to be down and out with no way to recover) and slay the beast before it’s too late.

Throughout the game, you’ll find opportunity galore. If you can keep a close eye on your health and stamina, you can time your attacks pretty nicely. In fact, in some cases, you can even put together combos to land additional damage, provided they aren’t using any sort of shielding to fend off your attacks.

But strategy is the name of the game here. Each Behemoth will have techniques that they’ll use to chip away at your health or act as a defense while they shield themselves or even run away. You’ll need to dodge these with a well-timed roll or run to a safety spot, then continue striking when you’re within range. These hunts can take a good amount of time- there’s no way to kill a Behemoth in a matter of seconds. Some can take upward to about twenty minutes, so make sure you’re in it for the long haul.

Fortunately, these hunts come with abundant rewards. Not only can you upgrade weapons to make them more powerful and effective against creatures, but you can also buy new equipment and gear, which will help you as hunts become more and more insane.

Best of all, Dauntless is full of options. If you wish to take on the hunt by yourself, you can. It’s a mountain-sized task, to be sure, but it’ll help you train for when you team up with your friends. Obviously co-op is the big draw here, as you work alongside three others as a team of four to hunt your prey and collect your rewards. There are whispers that the game may support cross-play, but that’s not finalized just yet. Hopefully Phoenix Labs will have some news for us once the game gets closer to release.

dauntless

Lots To See, and Lots To Kill

The structure for Dauntless is set up pretty quaintly when it comes to getting things done in the game. Right off the bat, you can join up with your group and decide which beast you’re going to go after. You can discuss it for several seconds before needing to make your decision. Once you do, you simply fly onto the battleground, begin using your skills to deduce where the creature is (or follow your group if your senses aren’t quite that keen) and prepare for a fight.

It’s not going to always be in one place. The creature will eventually run off if you do about halfway worth of damage to it, forcing you and the team to run after it while the hunt is still good. This is a great opportunity for you to get your health up and check on others so you’re literally ready to finish the fight.

If it doesn’t go in your favor, i.e. the Behemoth manages to wipe out your group without any hope of recovery, you can always try the hunt again or select a different beast if you prefer another favorable challenge.

Phoenix Labs will also offer up special Hunt Passes over the course of the game, set up on a free-to-play basis. So you can start off without investing anything, and then turn a few bucks around and see what’s available to select from. If you prefer, you can also check out Seasons worth of content within the game. Those plans haven’t been revealed just yet, but the developer has a lot in mind when it comes to keeping players coming back for more.

Rest assured, the game isn’t about nickel-and-diming you to death with hundreds of dollars in purchases. The start of Dauntless has more than enough to offer. However, if you feel like making an investment, it looks like you’ll get more than enough payback from it. The choice is obviously yours, and that’s one of the best things you can get from a free-to-play game such as this.

 

The New Beast In Play

We’ve seen a few Behemoths running around in Dauntless before. But the new one that Phoenix Labs just introduced, the Boreus, is more than a handful. We fought him across two different stages, each time facing new challenges that he managed to generate from his body, in the form of minions.

Now, right off the bat, the Boreus is a challenge in himself, mainly because he can generate an ice shield that makes him impenetrable. In fact, he’ll summon a few minions and actually cover himself in that, so you won’t be able to get any cheap shots while you fend them off. Only after you wipe out the current wave of minions will he shake loose and start attacking again.

What’s more, the minions that Boreus generates actually come in different types. First up, you’ll face the Stalkers. These are beasts that merely fly around and try to hit you with their blade-like limbs. Fortunately, they’re the easiest to hit, even for melee strikers.

Then we have the Spitters. This is a bit tougher a wave of enemies, mainly because they can drop cold, frost-charged projectiles on your team. The best thing you can do when these pop up is kill them right away. Otherwise, they may do a considerable amount of damage with their continuous bile.

But perhaps the most dangerous are the Bombers. Just as their name suggests, they live to fly close to someone and then create an explosion on command. If Hunters get caught in the midst of this explosion, they’ll take damage. Again, having a long-range attacker take these out- and maybe a few of their minions with them- is the best course of action.

Then there’s the Boreus itself. Aside from its shielding, you’ll also have to watch out for its ice attacks, as well as when it comes charging at you. It means serious business, and will take a whole lot of damage before it eventually succumbs in defeat. Be prepare for war with this one.

Once you do eventually beat it, you could earn you the opportunity to use Boreus Gear for your character, a sleek mixture of fur coat and armor that can help you in even the coldest of temperatures. Plus it looks real slick, like something out of a nouveau Viking design.

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Master of Disaster

As you continue to work your way through Dauntless, you’ll find plenty of rewards awaiting you. We’ve already mentioned how you’ll be able to unlock new gear and upgrade your weapons. But you’ll also be able to take on the Master System, which will assist you in becoming a true badass of a warrior, whether you’re taking on your first hunt or your tenth.

Set to release later this month as part of the Windows 10 beta that’s currently happening, the Master System will feature a number of cards that you can unlock, provided you can complete a few objectives to do so. As you complete the levels of Mastery, you’ll be able to unlock new rewards, as well as specialized mods for your weapon and special items as well. You also won’t have to worry about Reputation tracks, as those are officially being “retired” by the team.

Essentially, this works as a tough level of the game, with a number of challenges available. In fact, it’d be safe to call it a New Game Plus, even if that’s not its official title. As the company describes it, “This brand-new system delivers a raft of challenges that you can take on to earn Mastery experience, raise your Mastery levels, and unlock a rich assortment of rewards. When introduced in the Path of the Slayer update (OB 0.7.1), the Mastery system will offer Mastery objectives for each Behemoth and weapon in the game.

It then taunts you by asking the question, “Ready to dig in?”

This will definitely serve as a benefit for those that have played the game for quite some time. If you haven’t- or you’re merely waiting for the console release of Dauntless– not to worry. It should already be implemented within the game once it launches, should development move along like it is.

Plus, Mastery will give you a chance to up your Slayer level, so you can build upon your reputation as you pair up with team members and improve skill accordingly. You can check your progress on these objectives as you go along, so you know exactly what you need to do when it comes to accomplishing tasks within the game. And with Seasons and new Hunts being introduced, there’s sure to be a fresh challenge awaiting you, even if you’ve managed to see it all.

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The Hunt Is On

While there are some skeptics who believe that Monster Hunter: World is the true king when it comes to this particular genre, don’t be fooled by Dauntless. It has something to offer to everyone, from amateurs that are getting into monster hunting for the first time to true masters ready for their next diabolical clash.

First off, Dauntless is free-to-play, unlike World’s full price affair. That’ll serve as a benefit to many, and provided that it runs smoothly across the board, it could easily serve as a strong revenue stream for Phoenix Labs.

The hunts themselves are fun as well. Even though some foes, like Boreus, can be a real pain in the tookus, the effort to bring them down is most certainly worth it, as you can level up your Slayer of choice and unlock some new gear to be proud of. And there’s probably going to be more where that came from, as Phoenix Labs should keep the store freshly stocked.

The game is challenging but fun to play. And while the idea of playing single player can be good for those that want to train, it lives and breathes from its co-op factor. There’s nothing like getting a good group together and taking the fight where it needs to go. Plus you have someone that could heal you should you need it- and you just might.

Dauntless will drop sometime this spring for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC (Epic Games Store and Windows 10); and later this year for Nintendo Switch. No matter which way you go, you’ll have quite the fight on your hands…

 

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