The IKinema RunTime played an integral part in Phoenix Labs being able to conveniently and competently design lots of different monsters using a single animation set that allowed those monsters to navigate the environments without having to create or recreate a dozen different sets for a number of different situations. Very similar to NaturalMotion’s Morpheme engine, the IKinema suite gave Phoenix Labs the ability to bring believable looking monsters to life on a low budget.
You can see the monsters and the combat in action with the E3 trailer below, which prompts players to consider signing up for the upcoming beta for Dauntless.
The IKinema suite isn’t just for monster navigation either. They were able to utilize it to help procedurally generation monster reactions based on hits and slashes from player-characters. This gives the game a little bit of its own flair compared to Monster Hunter. You can dismember monsters, cut off their horns, their wings, their tails, and even topple them over with proper attacks.
Of course, the real challenge is going to be in how well the game scales the mechanics to the monsters. Will players be able to dodge and roll convincingly to dodge attacks? Will armor slow down players so that they have to juggle between coverage and speed? Will weapon mass play a role strikes and combos? Will stamina be a factor?
While this may be a Western take on Capcom’s classic and ever-so-popular Monster Hunter franchise, they’ll still need to iron out all the nuances that help make Monster Hunter as popular as it is.
On the upside at least we can see that weapon customization, armor upgrades and leveling will all be present.
They don’t have a date yet on when the beta will go live, but you can enlist right now over on the official website.