its not mhw.
as someone who's played mh starting at freedom 2, i like dauntless
now of course, if you go in expecting monster hunter, you wont like it.
but its in the same vein as toukioden/god eater, which are okay games if youre not comparing every little thing to monster hunter
its all about mindset
if youre constantly thinking "if this was MH, then [encounter] would have happened differently" you are actively gonna dislike the game
because monster hunter is the gold standard, and none of the games in the genre can ever really reach it
but if you just play the game to have fun, then theyre alright, but have their flaws
for example, in dauntless, monsters seem to throw out projectiles with little warning (or i just havent learned the pattern)
but compared to monster hunter, every monster with a threatening projectile has a windup, like rath fireballs, daimyo's waterjet, akantor's death laser, fatalis' meteors, gogma's gigabeam, etc etc
when compared, the former is always worse, since its harder to react to the projectiles, however when considered alone its just a matter of gitting gud
but im not super far in dauntless
so far, its essentially monster hunter: f2p edition
take that as you will
my biggest issue is that theres little to no hitstop, so every weapon really feels weightless, especially the axe
hitstop is almost necessary for a good feeling with heavier weapons, otherwise it feels like youre swinging a toy.